Temas Especiales

29 de Oct de 2020


PYCSA rep accuses Navarro over Odebrecht tax relief

PANAMA. The pathway to finishing construction of the Panama – Colon highway has been tumultuous.

PANAMA. The pathway to finishing construction of the Panama – Colon highway has been tumultuous.

The government should have waited for the representatives of the Mexican company PYCSA to come to an agreement with the construction company Norberto Odebrecht to transfer the concession rights.

Here is where the first problem arises. PYCSA Panama has been seized by the government since the beginning of the decade after a legal dispute with the Metropolitan Park. The courts named Kevin Harrington the judicial administrator to oversee the disputed assets.

Harrington says that he never participated in any negotiations about the subject with the new company.

Additionally, recently he has said that Panama City’s mayor, Juan Carlos Navarro, on leave because of his vice-presidential candidacy, violated the law by allowing Odebrecht to start constructing the highway without the proper construction permits. He filed a complaint for “exempting (Odebrecht) the payment of municipal tax” (construction permit).

The complainant argues that Navarro as well as the mayor in charge Ivan Arrocha are allegedly allowing the company to work without the required construction permit.

Harrington said that the mayor is not in a position to concede these type of exemptions, a task which falls under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Council.

He asked Panama’s attorney general, Ana Matilde Gomez, to request the Electoral Tribunal to lift the corresponding immunities in order to hold investigations, to order the suspension of Ivan Arrocha and others involved in the matter, and to raid the Odebrecht offices. He also requested the Electoral Tribunal to inspect the accounting files of the PRD, specifically the party’s executive committee and the VP campaign, to check for any donations by Odebrecht.

Meanwhile, the architect Jaime Salas, director of Works and Constructions for Panama City’s Municipality, said that given that the Panama – Colon highway is a national project, the municipalities cannot tax the project.