October 27th Security Meeting at BCP in Boquete

There was a meeting today at the BCP in Boquete. It included a presentation by Rodolfo Aguilera (The Minister of Security for Panama) and was attended by Emigdio Walker Vasquez (Mayor of Boquete) and Juan Arauz (The Boquete police Chief).

For a synopsis of the meeting, click HERE.

I can see that some of the things that were presented at the last Warden’s meeting at the U.S. Embassy are being implemented.

It was mentioned, in today’s presentation, that some of the programs were were being used in New York, and if I remember right, our presentation at the Embassy was given by an ex-member to the New York police, who was working with Panama officials.

It is also important to note that today’s meeting followed President Varela’s meeting in David on related topics yesterday.

This is a beginning. Today there is talk. With tomorrow, I hope there will be more action. Some actions have already been taken with measured results.

From looking at the Boquete presentation and reading about yesterday’s meeting, I see a lot was aimed at drug trafficking. In the area of gangs it appears that they are working to offer gang members other opportunities and enticing them to leave.

What I didn’t see was an acknowledgment that crimes by minors need appropriate punishment.

I didn’t attend the meeting and that may have been covered.

18 thoughts on “October 27th Security Meeting at BCP in Boquete

  1. Hi Don,
    “What I didn’t see was an acknowledgment that crimes by minors need appropriate punishment.”

    We were there and it was covered very well. The powers to be are working on this but due to Treaties with the UN with Panama they have to abide by those treaties regarding juveniles. They are working on this to avoid putting Panama in violation of international treaty.
    This was a very informative meeting and a great move for progress on all fronts for fighting crime in Panama.
    It was filmed to be on the Chiriqui TV station,when it will air we do not know.

    A lot of really great information.

  2. Thanks, that is good to hear. So if I understand you, then they are planning on changing the law that releases 14 year olds that are found guilty of violent offenses.

    I only know what I read in the minutes of Chiriqui Life and the translation I did on the Monday meeting in David.

  3. Don are you aware of the case in Panama’ where a 10 year old boy is serving 5 years in jail for committing murder? 5 years is the maximum sentence for juveniles. I do not understand where all the different perspectives on the law for juvenile offenders comes from. Seems a great crap shoot on who is and isn’t detained and convicted.

    Aside, Last December in Bocas Del Toro a young man was apprehended, and has been detained ever since, after he murdered an American woman. Even though the investigators found clear evidence of her money (the exact amount of the bank withdrawal the day before the murder) and her personal belongings in his home, he has still not been granted a trial. Though, he is off the street.

  4. Don Ray,

    I, (Dr. Sleepwell) neglected to mention the discussion of crimes by minors which was brought up in the Q&A. The short answer is that Panama’s laws are governed by a UN treaty, which might be appropriate for European countries with an advanced social safety net, but such does not exist in Panama. Changing the law will be difficult.

    The Minister of Security, Rodolfo, got his Master’s Degree in England and has a sophisticated understanding of the European mentality. It would be great to get him on the record discussing this issue in detail. His assistant (names coming) in David is from South Carolina, but a Panamanian. A new day indeed.

  5. Hi Mark,

    I am not holding my breath. I still thinks this issue needs to be reinforced with the Embassy in in hopes that it will continue to raise visibility. Working to turn members of gangs can go only so far and if there is no punishment that is a deterrent, then in Chiriqui, not much will change.

    Currently, there still is no U.S. Ambassador in Panama. The next Warden’s meeting will not be held before there is an Ambassador in country.

  6. In todays world of initials having meaning for a near endless number of items, I think it is becoming more important to explain what the letters actually represent. So what is the BCP? Is it anything like the BPD (Boquete Police Department) or Juan Arauz is also a BPC (Boquete Police Chief)? In December in Bocas Del Toro a young man was apprehended in BDT (Bocas Del Toro). For those of us who are not initial minded, please consider more detail and less abbreviations.
    TNT (Terry Norman Trumbull)

  7. Terry, I think it was originally the Boquete Country Players
    Boquete Community Players, but to be honest I do not know. I moved out of Boquete before it existed.

    Maybe someone in Boquete will answer. I am really sorry that it has caused you so much anxiety.



  9. The initials “BCP” stand for “Boquete Community Players” which started its life 10 years ago as community theater. It’s become much more. It’s now a huge market and information meeting venue.
    BCP needs community funding. A one year membership is as little as $10.

  10. Received this in a e-mail sent out by Dr. Sleepwell:

    “On Crimes by Minors
    The short answer is that Panama’s laws are based on a UN treaty for treatment of minors. Rodolfo got his Master’s Degree in England and is quite sophisticated in his understanding of European thinking. In those countries with advanced social safety nets, minors who commit crimes are shunted to social welfare agencies. In Panama, we have none of that and they are out on the street.
    UN treaties supercede national law, so getting it changed will be difficult.”

    So it appears that minors crime in Panama is governed by the United Nations,
    we all know how that will work out!!!

  11. Countries that cede sovereignty to the UN get what they deserve! Particularly on Human Rights and Criminal Law. Yes, this is a valid political comment, not for .ning

  12. Children should have special consideration under law. But, that doesn’t mean that countries should avoid dealing with a problem child in a judicial process and institutionalizing when necessary.
    Laws can and should be enacted that provide unforgiving penalties for adult gang members that have encouraged or supported criminal acts by minors. Firing squads for them seem appropriate to me.

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