As the title says, I am not a happy camper.
First, there are YouTube videos, going viral, that show Latin American children using foul language protesting a U.S. politician. I don’t care what your political affiliation is, this is just disgusting.
And the fact that many of these foul mouthed videos are being supported by English speaking internet sites, forums, FaceBook and network TV, bothers me as well.
Political disagreement can be done in a respectful manner. Using children, in their formative years in such a video, scorches my mind. In my opinion, this is akin to brain washing youth using youth.
Another, speaking out against this video, was on NING. The poster was called out for it not being relevant to Boquete, but I disagree and support the author’s premise. These videos are creating a divide or increasing an existing divide.
Other children will see the children, in the video, as heroes and role models. This creates more anti-American hate and can translate into crime against American Citizens in Latin American countries.
Which leads me to my Second Rant. Those of us, who live full time in Chiriquí, have seen a dramatic increase in violent crime, often committed by minors. I will give Richard Detrich credit for writing a post on Crime and Punishment.
However, I feel, after reading his post, that he took the easy way out and downplayed it’s importance by saying crime is growing everywhere in Latin America. While I don’t disagree with that, I believe that Panama has a chance to not be like the rest of Latin America. It just needs to review and change penalties for Minors committing violent offenses. I live here and plan on continuing to live here and it is very important to me.
Richard played back the Panama government speak, that Panama can’t do anything because Panama’s laws are based on a UN treaty. Do you think Singapore gives a flying flip about a UN treaty. A gang member creating a crime like those being created in Chiriquí would be executed or get life in prison in Singapore.
Richard did include a write-up, by a respected member of Boquete taking issue with Panama’s UN position, but I would like to see Richard take a stand. He is in the tourism business and a resident of Chiriquí and should voice the concern of his neighbors. His word on the Internet would have an impact. It is easy to take a back seat, if you think you are not effected. I feel the effect everyday, when I go to Hospital Mae Lewis
It is my position, that nothing will change until Panama feels that its tourism and property values are impacted. Panama citizens are concerned, but they don’t have the ability to voice discontent like Richard does. I feel very lonely being one of the few places voicing concern and asking for change. If this discussion dies, nothing has a chance of being done.
Which leads me to my last Rant. Boquete Ning was created to be a place where people could go and learn about life in Boquete, the best known retirement location in Panama. You could read about the good and the bad. Often, voicing concerns about the bad brought change. It even caused the capture of crooks. Now, the new JLM management has put a filter on NING and wants information to be of a positive nature, especially when it comes to Boquete.
The world in not perfect; neither is Boquete. Crime exists around Boquete just as much as any other place in Chiriquí. In fact, there is added incentive for gangs to look for eligible targets in Boquete because of the growth of the gringo population. If you didn’t know, Panamanians think all foreigners (i.e. gringos) are rich. To be fair, Panamanians are being targeted too, but they tend to be more savvy and have multiple levels of protection.
More information about current crimes, information about suspicious activity, and other items that might promote awareness should be posted on NING. It could save a life.
Instead NING lets non-Panama related nonsense dominate the front page such as this rant. It has nothing to do with Panama and belongs on a site devoted to politics, not a site dedicated to Boquete and Panama.
To moderate a site like NING, requires a mature person with a brain and that does not exist at the present. I am angry because of what was lost, when the new management took over. NING wasn’t perfect before, no site is, but it was far better than it is now.
My Rant is over.