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Under Consideration - Broadening looting jail terms

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OPINION: Broadening looting jail terms

Posted 02/04/2020

The looting of businesses that occurred recently has deserved national rejection. There is definitely a need and even hunger in many Panamanian homes. The response of the State and civil society is beginning to reach all corners of the country and, even if this were not the case, there is no justification for attacking and looting shops that are the heart of the food supply for the neediest populations.

The National Assembly has begun to consider a bill to toughen penalties against looting, regardless of the amount stolen, punishing offenders with imprisonment for 6 to 12 years and without the benefit of a penalty agreement.

The initiative is appropriate for the times we live in and sends a strong signal to the country that this type of robbery will not be allowed. The message of harsh and severe justice against this crime should be complemented, in addition, with more severe penalties for those who commit embezzlement, manipulate contracts or distribute aid,  privileging their political associates. All looting must be avoided, including looting by public servants by taking advantage of others' needs.- LA PRENSA, Apr. 2



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