Panama Newsroom | Friday, 08 April 2011
Panama human rights problems spotlighted in Washington
The list of U.S. criticisms of human rights infringements in Panama under the Martinelli administration continues to grow and the president, unlike the leaders of other countries seeking an FTA, has still not been invited to the White House.
At a time when Panama is hoping for an early ratification of the Free Trade Agreement the U.S. Department of States has issued a report highlighting The "problems’ of human rights in Panama in 2010, including the use of "excessive force" by police during protests, corruption in the legislature and the executive branches and security forces. It also lists the marginalization of indigenous communities over issues that affect them, corruption, inefficiency and political manipulation of the judicial system.
The report criticized the conditions in Panamanian prisons, the pressure against media and journalists, and discrimination against people with disabilities.
The criticisms come in a report that the U.S. government publishes annually on human rights situations worldwide.
Many of the complaints about Panama are annual repetitions, but the latest edition contains new charges covering the suppression of protests, the marginalization of indigenous peoples, and intimidation of journalists.