Investigation underway into blockade of La Prensa

90Views 0Comments Posted 10/08/2012

An investigation into the blocking of La Prensa by trucks and workers from Transcaribe Trading (TCT) hyas been started by the Attorney General’s office.

Meanwhile the  owner of the company, David Ochy, has  attacked the Vice President, Juan Carlos Varela, and alleged that he manipulated the newspaper in investigatinf Ochy's business with the government. 

The newspaper revealed that TCT is one of the great beneficiaries of the  Marinelli infrastructure plan and that since mid-2009 was involved in projects worth $400 million. 

It also published a report on the banana business of Ochy related to the land titling process in in Baru, Chiriqui that  would be used by the brothers Daniel and David Ochy

Ochy, in an interview with Telemetro Report , Thursday, August 9 . said that  he has lodged four complaints against La Prensa. He said that "David Ochy does not want Baru land, the farmers want it" 

He added, "Varela is behind all this because he wants Baru land. " Ochy did not provide any documents to support his accusations. 

 Ochy said that the TCT workers acted on their own and made ??no attempt against freedom of expression but  only exercised their right to protest. "I think we saw other things there ... other things that happened that maybe they want to keep hidden, a vice president [John Carlos Varela] a Edwin Cabrera, a [Jose Isabel] Blandon every night cooking the dishes of La Prensa ". Ochy  did not say exactly what he meant, but claimed the workers were asked to act without violence, when they told him they would protest against the newspaper. "We are not gangsters or thugs," he said.

 Ochy, warned that workers in Changuinola (Bocas del Toro) are prepared for a general strike to show their support to his employees,

He said come four lawsuits  will be launched against La Prensa . Specifically he will sue journalists Aet Elisa Tejera, Roberto Gonzalez Jimenez and Yolanda Sandoval and what he called "presidenthonorem diary " without specifying what he meant. 

He said that in the case of the newspaper  La Estrella , which also published information on the Ochy business dealings   he he will seek legal remedies. 

After the stories published by La Prensa , Ochy has not taken up his  request for the right to reply and has not stated his concern  that what was published was false says La Prensa.

A team from La Prensa  moved to the capital of Chiriqui province on Saturday, August 4 to attend a meeting Ochy  had arranged.. Ochy, however, never showed up.

Ochy workers, meanwhile, have asked for their "right of reply", but the news stories that led to the blockages, had nothing to do with the workforce says La Prensa.

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