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Panama child actor gunned down

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Ilsa Salas. Aber Benaim and the murdered actor during the film shoot

Posted 19/06/2021

The  14-year- old child actor Fernando Xavier de Casta, who played a leading role in the upcoming film Plaza Catedral, was gunned down in  Torrijos Carter on Thursday and his lifeless body left on the street beside a taxi.

The film's producer, Panamanian filmmaker Abner Benaim, and Mexican actress Ilse Salas, who starred in the film little Fernando and is known in Panama for her performance in the Netflix telenovela “One Hundred Days to Fall in Love,” lamented what happened.

“ Fernando and so many other young people die from violence in our beloved country almost daily. We have to work as a society and as individuals so that these gruesome and senseless deaths are not part of normalcy. Rest in peace Fernando. We will never forget you,” said Benaim.

Salas paid tribute to the young actor on Instagram "Fernando Xavier de Casta. He was an outstanding dancer, soccer player, and actor. Brilliant and funny, very bright and very funny. He taught me NOT to act, to dance, and to understand Panamanian. And to understand many more things. He is the protagonist of 'Plaza Catedral', a film that he did not see, of which he would have been very proud because his work is precious. A tremendous colleague, very hard, "he wrote."Fernando Xavier de Casta. He was an outstanding dancer, soccer player, and actor. Brilliant and funny, very bright and very funny. 

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama-child-actor-gunned-down-1

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Murder of young actor highlights Panama’s grim homicide toll

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Posted 21/06/2021

The murder of 14-year-old Fernando Xavier de Casta, the star of the film Plaza Catedral,  due to premiere next year highlights, the homicide toll on young people in Panama.

Data from the Public Ministry (MP) confirm that most of the victims of the more than 2,000 homicides in the last five years are young people in sectors such as Panama, Colón, and Panama Oeste.

Many have been executed with firearms. Statistics detail that from 2016 to this year, 2,470 citizens have been murdered, 1,523 of the victims between the ages of 18 and 39.

In 2016 there were 416 homicides nationwide, of that total 235 were in Panama, 54 in the province of Colón, and 38 in the province of Panama Oeste.

But, homicide numbers have been on the rise. In 2020, 500 people were murdered, with Panama the province with the most cases, (246) including the district of San Miguelito, where there were 70 homicides that year. In Colón there were 99 homicides and in Panama Oeste 93

In 2020, the country was mired in the Covid-19 pandemic, with mobility restrictions applied since March. But in July of that year, Panama was shaken by the news that seven young men had been killed in a bunker near Gatun Lake, in Espinar, Colón.

In 2020, the body of 21-year-old Enrique Ryce, a resident of, Arraiján, was found in three garbage bags on the road leading to Punta Chame.

While of the 223 homicides to date this year, the homicide of 16-year-old Kevin Campos is remembered, who had been missing since April 8 and whose body was found burned in a vacant lot in the Ciudad Esperanza sector

Security authorities have said that some of the cases are linked to account settlements. Last April, the Minister of Security, Juan Manuel Pino, referred to Colón as one of the three provinces with the most homicides in the country. He said that 80% of the victims who die from homicides in Colón had criminal records.

“They are all the product of gang and drug fights, where criminals kill each other. This is logically not good for Colón, ”said Pino during a visit to the village of Gorgona, district of Chame

 The former Minister of Security, Rodolfo Aguilera, argues that the increase in homicides is explained by the absence of a clear policy to confront crime.

Carlos Lee, from the Citizen Alliance for Justice, agrees. In his opinion, what the country needs is a comprehensive citizen security plan, which, incorporates citizens.  The security policy of President Cortizo is unknown.

In January 2020, when homicide figures soared in the country, the president in his report to the nation recognized that security requires a state policy that goes beyond government. He spoke about prevention, repression, re-socialization, and increasing the number of police officers.

In the country, there are at least 19 institutions offering programs and projects, aimed at the young population, between 15 and 29 years old.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/murder-of-young-actor-highlights-panamas-grim-homicide-toll

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