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Military person can run Panama cops


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Military person can run Panama cops

Posted on August 28, 2016 in Panama

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PANAMA’S police force is open to being governed by a military person according to  a Supreme Court judgement.

The decision notes a “lack of prohibition” in the law regulating the national police,

The court rejected a claim of unconstitutionality filed by attorney Carlos Bolivar Pedreschi against article 41 of the 1997 law that regulates the appointment of police directors.

That law allowed persons with a military background to be appointed to the position.

Bolivar Pedreschi had argued that the law violates the provision that Panama can’t establish an army.

There has been pervious criticism of police on duty dressed like combat troops.

But the t argument was rejected by Judge Harry Díaz, who heard the case.

Díaz ruled that appointing a person with a military background was not equivalent to establishing an army.

He also said that the court could not expand the interpretation of the law, since the constitution did not specifically prohibit those individuals from serving. reports La Prensa

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/military-person-can-run-panama-cops

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1 hour ago, Keith Woolford said:

After years of governance by a military dictatorship I can understand where the idea of a prohibition came from.

Keith,

Your comment focuses on the reason this topic was added this morning. I have talked to too many old timers who are very reluctant to see any kind of militarization rekindle itself in Panama. "Old timers" in this context refers to Panamanians for the most part. They want nothing more to do with Noriega or his ilk.

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It seems to me that if Panama decided in 1997 by law that the Police Director could have a military background, that pretty much settled it.  And since it's been over 25 years since Panama even had a military, it seems less relevant each new day. How long of a military career would any candidate today really have had?

Just pick a good new Director, please.

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Doug, you're correct. The fact that the subject is becoming irrelevant may be the reason why it took so long to get a Court decision on the validity of the law.

The Director's position isn't open at the moment.

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It seems to me that if Panama decided in 1997 by law that the Police Director could have a military background, that pretty much settled it.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford
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7 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

After years of governance by a military dictatorship I can understand where the idea of a prohibition came from.

Keith

 

As usual, you are correct.   

After the US invasion the new democratic government lead by president Endara started to do some changes in our constitution.  The first thing was to ban the existance of Organized Armed Forces.  There will be only "Police Forces" under the command of a civilian person.   

Some people in Panama still sees ghost and cry aloud in fear or panic when they see that a Panama national with a military background is working at the Police forces.  I think this is more an argument to criticize the whatever government is in power than a real fear of having such person in the police force.

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The police force here is just as corrupt as Noriega's forces were.  I get this information first hand from a friend who is employed by the police force. Another friend was robbed of about $3k of equipment and knew who did it because one of the bandits t-shirt covering his face fell off.  Armed with a firm identification, the police did nothing.  I wouldn't be surprised if the police officers confronted the offender for a cut of the action!  You probably did not see it in the news but officers were caught helping  to smuggle cocaine through the Darien.  What good is a police force that is on the take?  While I am sure there are honest officers out there, I am discouraged by what I hear about corruption at most levels of government and police bodies throughout this country.  If Varela is the man to clean Panama up, he needs to do a better job with the Police.  The police should be part of the government mandate and not a separate entity.

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