State of emergency could fight crime
PANAMA. A former Vice-Minister is calling for the declaration of a state of emergency while investigations to combat crime are carried ...
PANAMA. A former Vice-Minister is calling for the declaration of a state of emergency while investigations to combat crime are carried out. The initial government reaction has been to approve laws increasing jail sentences.
President Martin Torrijos made a proposal after a high level meeting with authorities involved in the fight against crime.
It was concluded that harsher penalties were needed.
The former Vice-Minister of Government and Justice, Alejandro Perez, said that a “state of emergency” needs to be called to allow more adequate investigations.
The new Minister of Government and Justice, Dilio Arcia, presented the law modifications before the National Assembly on Tuesday. The laws increase the hail time for possession of a deadly weapon from four to six years.
Recent statistics from the Prosecutor’s Office stating that fromJanuary to November this year there were a total of 474 cases of illicit possession of deadly weapons were used to support the change.
The previous law called for two two four years imprisonment and allowed the use of preventive detention, when the case required it.
Speaking about this project proposed by the president only eight months before leaving office the former Vice-Minister of Government and Justice Alejandro Perez says that any measure taken in combating the violent criminality in this country is positive, even if it is late, considering the outburst of crime currently afflicting the country.
However, he believes that the operatives taking place to remove delinquents from the midst of society, should be accompanied by a declaration of a state of emergency in strategic places.
“The idea”, according to Perez, “is that in those places you could suspend some constitutional guarantees that will allow the investigation of detainees to last 24 hours.”
“Why are we going to give an advantage to criminality and not to the honest citizens of this country?” asked Perez.
Meanwhile, the legislator Jose Blandon Figueroa, explained that the strategy has already been used and that it doesn’t work.
“This proves that the government did not accomplish its campaign theme, it has no strategy, spending four years improvising and telling tales,” added the legislator.