Temas Especiales

18 de Ene de 2022

Nacional

A forgotten promise

PANAMA. Three months before finishing his time in office, and in a last attempt at keeping his campaign promise of bringing more securi...

PANAMA. Three months before finishing his time in office, and in a last attempt at keeping his campaign promise of bringing more security to Panama, President Martin Torrijos launched a new set of “immediate” reforms to fight against delinquency.

The measures were passed by the Cabinet earlier this week, and will be presented to the National Assembly this Monday. They include reforms to the Penal and Judicial Codes, and a renewal of the migratory regime.

Faced with the constant jail breaks the government is proposing increasing the sentence for escapes from two to four years.

In a press conference, Torrijos also announced that maximum sentences would be raised from 35 to 50 years, for either certain crimes and multiple convictions.

For cases where there are numerous separate crimes the Code calls for the sentences to be fulfilled consecutively.

For crimes involving personal injuries, Torrijos announced that the government is proposing stricter sentences for delinquents who use guns in public areas, as well as increasing jail sentences from four to six years for robberies from buildings.

Among the proposals to be discussed by the Assembly are updates to the Transit and Transportation regulation which restricts tinting windows in personal cars above level 2, to avoid hiding faces of victims and delinquents.

Motorcycle drivers and passengers would have to carry the number of the licence plate in their helmets.

These package of reforms will have to be discussed next week by a National Assembly that barely meets a couple days a week, if lawmakers even make it to work, as recently shown in La Estrella pictures depicting a significantly empty Assembly during working hours.

If passed, the arduous task of implementing such measures in a country with a poor jail system will be left to the following administration.

Crime rates in Panama has been on the rise lately, making security a hot topic during this electoral campaign, with many blaming President Torrijos for letting problems burst into the chaos the city lives today.

As an example, 593 homicides were reported for 2008 altogether, while 126 homicides have been reported during only the first two months of this year. At this rate, the year-end figures of homicides will widely surpass previous years.