Attorney General Caraballo Addresses the Use of the Stock and Advances on Economic Aid - Expat Community

Attorney General Caraballo Addresses the Use of the Stock and Advances on Economic Aid

May 28, 2024 | News & Articles, Panama | 0 comments

by Alejandro Reyes

During a tour in Bocas del Toro, the Attorney General of the Nation, Javier Caraballo, expressed his concern about the use of ancestral punishments such as the “cepo” and spoke about the investigation into economic aid.

“It is of utmost concern that some traditions of indigenous populations may conflict with fundamental issues such as the protection of our children, adolescents, and human rights,” he emphasized.

According to Caraballo, it is important that traditional authorities, in coordination with national authorities, gradually reduce this type of punishment against the population.

At the beginning of May, officials from the Public Ministry, in coordination with the DIJ and the Police of the Eighteenth Zone of the East of Chiriquí, managed to locate the mother and the minor who was subjected to punishment in the “cepo” in the Ngäbe-Buglé comarca, Muná sector.

At the time, the mother and the 14-year-old girl approached the Public Ministry in Tolé, where they formally filed a complaint against the people involved in this incident, so that the due investigation could proceed.

The situation became known after a video circulated on social networks, showing a teenager trapped in this punishment mechanism and complaining of pain.

The cepo is a device designed to hold, restrain, or immobilize. During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, the cepo was implemented as a method of punishment for those who committed heresy. When it was a punishment, the cepo was generally located in the town square, to expose the prisoner, serve as a mockery, and subject them to all kinds of humiliations, such as being beaten, spat on, insulted. Sometimes, the commoners even urinated and defecated on the condemned or threw rotten food at them.

However, with the colonization by the Spanish, it was adopted by the indigenous peoples and adapted to the reality in the comarca areas.

Article 90 of the Panamanian Political Constitution states that the State recognizes and respects the ethnic identity of the national indigenous communities. Law 10 of March 7, 1997, which creates the Ngäbe-Buglé comarca, grants them the right to preserve their customs and institutions.

Similarly, it establishes a system of government through traditional authorities and a General Congress as the highest expression body.

Ifarhu Headquarters
Awaits Theories on Economic Aid Cases
Regarding economic aid, Caraballo said that this issue is under investigation by several prosecutors, it is somewhat complex, but he is confident that in a few weeks they will have a case theory that will allow them to move forward.

The way economic aid was granted at the Institute for the Training and Use of Human Resources (Ifarhu), to relatives of politicians and government associates, generated criticism among the public.

An investigative report by the newspaper La Prensa revealed information about the economic aid, which was distributed among 4,903 beneficiaries during the period from 2019-2023.


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