Well, ex-President Martinelli’s involvement in the New Business alleged corruption trial, which began today, appears to have finally made the press outside of Panama – or at least France 24, saw nothing in UK media.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment has launched a public consultation on Coiba National Park, on the Pacific coast of the Gulf of Chiriquí, known for its biodiversity. A former high-security prison, think Alcatraz and Devil’s Island, where my wife’s uncle, a naval officer, was incarcerated by Noriega, probably avoiding being “disappeared” thanks to the US invasion in 1989. Apparently, UNESCO have warned the Government that more needs to be done to protect the island.

The media here has reported claims by the former Comptroller of the Republic about alleged bribery attempts linked to construction of the Centennial Bridge over the Canal in the early 2000s. The minister involved died in 2017.

Despite the recent heavy rainstorms, the Canal has again reduced the draught restrictions because of the drought. It is said that rainfall was less than 50% of normal from February to April near the Canal and the lakes that feed it. Rainfall levels have been in line with 2019, which saw the lowest levels in 2 decades.

Finally, I note that my old employer, the Isle of Man Government, is advertising for the “new” full-time post of “Sanctions Officer”, just one of several jobs I seem to have done simultaneously for several years…. A grade lower than mine admittedly, perhaps demonstrating that sanctions administration and compliance has been recognised as a full-time job.

23 MAY 2023

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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