Panama’sAlliance For Justice has called on the United Nations to investigate the crisis in the country’s judicial system.
A letter outlining widespread citizen concerns has gone to the Office of the Special Rapporteur on the judicial independence of the United Nations.
Magaly Castillo, Director of Alianza Ciudadana, said that they sent the letter to inform the rapporteur about what happens in Panama like the lack of application of the judicial career system, the high percentage of interim judges, the way the system works when judges block prosecutions, and the delay in the appointment of new magistrates along with President Varela’s refusal to implement an accord to involve the citizenry in the naming of judges.
"It is a critical and chaotic situation that we are living in Panama in the area of justice that affects judicial independence, "said Castillo.
In the letter, the Alliance urged the Office of the Special Rapporteur to ask the Panamanian State what is going on or request a visit to the country to investigate what is happening.
Castillo said that this week they are also sending the same letter to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
"If there is no justice system that guarantees the independence of citizens, everyone is affected… if there are no guarantees of independence, there is also no respect for human rights, "she said.
While looking at the administration crisis inside Panama's justice system, please do not overlook the lack of justice the system is providing outside itself. Laura Michelle Reese was held for 7 years without evidence or access to a court. Because no evidence was ever found to justify her detention, she was declared guilty of accomplice, to create justification. The only 'evidence' offered, was an opinion that she must have known what someone who lived in her house, did, while away from that house. This abuse of justice is no less offensive to the public, or destructive of the system, than having public officials freely walk away from cases of obvious influence peddling, protectionism, misuse of public funds, and all possible other means of being corrupt. Besides being the victim of injustice, Reese also gets used as the poster child of the same system, when it attempts to portray itself as effective.