Panama’s chaotic security system in WikiLeaks reports

A Panama government leader saying that no  one is actually responsible for the security of the country and President Ricardo Martinelli ridiculing a member of his cabinet to former ambassador Barbara Stephenson are the latest WikiLeaks revelations.

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Mulino left, and Martinelli

They were published in La Prensa on Wednesday, May 11, and  had appeared on McClatchy News in the U.S. 24 hours earlier.

The reports are based on cables sent to Washington in October 2009 by former Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, who was later promoted to one of the highest posts in the American Diplomatic Service, Head of Mission in London.

 They were writtne  following discussions with the "ring zero" for the Martinell governmen … Martinelli,  the Jimmy Papadimitriu and Juan Carlos Varela. Papadeimitriu was -described by Stephenson as the most powerful and important partner of Martinelli, who informed  her of his diplomatic "concern" and "frustration" because "there is no consensus on the safety issue" , "no developed plan," and the struggle for power among top officials of the security sectors.

"The vice president, Juan Carlos Varela, Minister of the then portfolio of Government and Justice, Jose Raul Mulino, the National Police director, Gustavo Perez, and the then intelligence chief, Olmedo Alfaro, were engaged in a power struggle.

But , Martinelli made it clear that he, "Varela and Papadimitriu are the" zero cycle "of the Government of Panama, and no major decision is taken without it being discussed by the three  and  a course of action agreed upon"
 This occurred in a six-hour meeting, with the President and the ministers. The circle of power excluded Jose Raul Mulino, who, according to the diplomat’s reports, did not have the confidence of the President, who also mocked and ridiculed him.
  "Jose Raul Mulino not have the full support and confidence of the government, but nobody else wants the job," said his colleague, the Minister of the Presidency, Jimmy Papadimitriu, according to Barbara Stephenson.
A crucial issue of the diplomatic report is how little respect he dispensed for Mulino, whom Papadimitriu described as "difficult to manage."

“We have no one to wake up with security in mind, as do you. Nobody feels responsible, "he complained.

Today, Papadimitriu does not remember saying that, says La Presna and says, "Mulino has all the credibility and confidence of Martinelli and myself." He attributed Stephenson claims to "mere subjective interpretations of an official who did not like me, to the point that I was not invited her farewell when she left Panama. She invited all the ministers, except me. "
Lawyer and former director of the National Police Asvat Ebrahim commented "If Mulino said Mulino he did not enjoy his confidence, he had to call for his resignation."

 Stephenson's report said: "Martinelli ridicules Mulino saying that  in Cabinet meetings he often speaks non-stop for 20 minutes or more with an attitude that knows more than others because hje is the only one who has experience in other governments, causing other ministers stop listening and connect with their Blackberries. "
La Prensa reports that this was backed up by, three Cabinet members, on condition anonymity. “We were weary of the know-allarrogant tone” they said. Not much has changed” And management spent 22 months and although the government says it is implementing the plan "Safe Streets", the results are obvious. Security experts such as lawyers and former director of the Police and Jaime Abad Asvat Ebrahim said: "This country does not have a security plan."
Asvat, said: “The problem is that Mulino the then Ministry of Government and Justice, now the Ministry of Public Security, exercised and continues to exercise a role only with the media. Security strategies are not defined there. Police has always been the one hand, the Border Service and the other Maritime Service another.”

Mulino, said Asvat, never has been delegated the responsibility for security. "All heads of law enforcement agencies report directly to the President."
The campaign that led to the Presidency for Martinelli took over the failed promise of his predecessor Martin Torrijos, to put a stop to rampant crime.
According to a report by the former ambassador, Papadimitriu-Martinelli- asked for help to "focus" the attention of the president on security issues and give some order to what he described as "chaotic security apparatus ".
According to Papadimitriu “Martinelli's management style, characterized by excessive hyperactivity and short attention span, it was difficult to do the necessary work in setting up the broken government administrative system, "which is the biggest obstacle to security reform. "
Asvat points to a key issue: Where are the loyalties of Papadimitriu? The Minister of the Presidency and confidant of Martinelli, Jimmy Papadimitriu, is identified in reports as an informant diplomats from the United States "is an issue of loyalties. Martinelli would have to ask if you feel comfortable with this  relationship".


THE MULINO RECORD
Mulino has been a center of controversy since his appointment.

A few months after taking office he caused a media frenzy, saying he had given instructions to the  youth prison custodians to fire at any escape attempt by prisoners, "as simple as that. To shoot at the slightest attempt to escape," he said.

A string of controversial statements and actions of theminister, who caused the rejection by public opinion said La Prensa
Almost a year into the reign of Change, a bill was sponsored to regulate the retention of data for prepaid mobile users Internet cafes and popularly known as "law stick." The Assembly and later repealed the controversial "law chorizo", which amended three codes and six laws, and caused most popular revolt that has prevailed in the country in recent times.
In the heat of the debate of this legislative initiative, Mulino said  that union leaders had used as " indigenous people intoxicated by alcohol and God knows what other substances as shock troops and cannon fodder in Bocas protests del Toro.

In January this year he  publicly confronted the Minister of Government, Roxana Mendez, now responsible for the work of custodians in the country's prisons.

 

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