Mayor condemns lack of security
PANAMA. In less than a week, Panama city’s mayor, Juan Carlos Navarro, has twice criticized President Martin Torrijos’ administration f...
PANAMA. In less than a week, Panama city’s mayor, Juan Carlos Navarro, has twice criticized President Martin Torrijos’ administration for not taking a strong stance against crime.
His criticism comes as a surprise after the president supported Navarro’s failed bid for the Democratic Revolutionary Party’s presidential nomination.
Juan Carlos Navarro, shocked everyone, including the president, last Monday November 3 when he heavily criticized the government for the insecurity that afflicts the country, which he and other public and foreign officials have personally experienced.
Until October of this year, 408 murders have taken place in Panama. Navarro pleaded for the government to prevent at all costs the death of 400 more Panamanians at the hands of criminal organizations in what’s left of the year.
According to the calculations of the mayor, 750 Panamanians will die this year because of crime, unless the government takes a “tough on crime” approach to put a brake on delinquency.
“It looks like we are once again facing the War of a Thousand Days, just that this one will never end,” Navarro told Torrijos.
What at first seemed to be a speech to highlight the government’s policies, ended up becoming a hard criticism against the current administration, which during its 2004 presidential campaign promised “more security”.
Navarro gave several examples where criminals have victimized high profile citizens.
The wife of former minister Ricaurte Vazquez was robbed in their apartment. The Argentinean ambassador who was assaulted in his La Cresta residence, an apartment building where Navarro’s parents live.
The mayor recalled that Taiwan’s consul was stabbed in Colon, and confessed he and his wife experienced a similar scenario when all of the guests in a hotel they were staying at in Colon were assaulted.
The mayor, who made the security issue the central focus of his campaign in the PRD primaries, going as far as suggesting to send juvenile criminals to jail, concluded: “If we have already exerted all of the possible efforts in social matters what’s left?”
“In my opinion, my friend Mr. President, what is missing in this country is order and respect for the law. There needs to be justice. We all have to accept that a tough on crime stance is missing, unless there is another unknown solution in the civilized world,” stated Navarro.
On Saturday November 8, Navarro attacked the government again in Las Tablas, after highlighting the virtues of the inhabitants of Los Santos for having participated in the announcement of Panama’s independence from Spain, celebrated today November 10.
The city’s mayor reiterated his stance, stating that “the security in Panama is a mess” and that “it deeply hurts him that we are going through a crisis when it comes to security.”
PRD presidential nominee, Balbina Herrera will have to address this concern if she hopes to win another presidential election for her party.