OPINION – Panama approaches failed state

Supreme Court

On the eve of Mother’s Day, the Supreme Court of Justice dealt a blow to the Rule of Law. A very peculiar plenary session – a combination of a minority of principal magistrates and a majority of substitutes -dismantled the institution of constitutional guarantees, mocked the accusatory criminal system and affected the country’s international reputation after a long and cumbersome extradition process. The score, 7 to 2, favorable to the decline of the competence of the Supreme Court itself, recalls the end of the military regime, when then decisions were also 7 to 2, thanks to a couple of judges On that occasion, two of them decided to face the mandates of the military boot. Today, we do not have barracks that give orders to the Court, but the presence of the powerful gentleman “Don Money” is perceived. The Supreme Court of Justice brings us closer and closer to the edge of the precipice of a failed state. Without the certainty of punishment or the legal certainty that judicial proceedings will be carried out as they should be, all our freedoms and the rights of citizens and foreigners alike, are in danger. This setback of justice was not the exclusive product of those staying at the Palacio Gil Ponce. We, the Panamanian society, have also let the magistrates of the Court be the golden trophy of the friends of power. It has long ceased to be an acknowledgment of talent and integrity. The declinatory jurisdiction of the Court in this case leaves us defenseless, giving in to the whims of a defendant and ignoring fundamental principles such as the presumption of innocence and due process, giving way to the reign of the darkness of influence and manipulation. Proof of this is that days before the “permanent session” of the plenary session, one of the most vocal advisers of the guest of El Renacer had predicted, in one of his media, that the result would be from 7 to 2. This infamy will never be forgotten in the history of the country. A majority of the Supreme Court of Justice has betrayed us, and has irreparably stained the dignity of the court. They sold their consciences and kidnapped the present and the future of the country. And that, simply, has no forgiveness. – LA PRENSA Dec. 8