UPDATE: I just talked to Tom. If you have tuned into the local TV and radio stations today, this issue has been getting a lot of publicity. Tom wanted me to let everyone know that the location of the 9:00 AM meeting/protest has been changed to the front of the Governor’s office in David, which is on the block behind the Municipal Building. This is the location of the Saturday Farmer’s markets that I go to often and two blocks to the right of Hotel Nacional, if you are facing the hotel. The original post follows.
I received the following email from Tom McCormack related to the containers he has been trying to get released to assist the needy in Chiriquí.
Hi Don Ray,
Here is the story of the ongoing saga about our 2 -40 ft containers held hostage by SINAPROC since last November. These containers contain hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, potty chairs, breast prosthesis , wigs , clothes, shoes, blankets, sheets , towels, 93 used bicycles (to make more handicapped tricycles), 5 ambulance gurneys, and lots of other medical items. All of these items to be donated in Chiriquí.
The head of SINAPROC in Panama City has and is continuing to put roadblocks in the way of bringing the containers to Chiriquí. We feel he is trying to get his hands on the things in the containers. He has caused the poorest and most severely handicapped people in Chiriquí to suffer needlessly for an additional six months. All we need is one signature from the head of SINAPROC Chiriquí and we can move the containers. He can’t make a move without permission from his boss.
SINAPROC has cost me an additional $8000.00 not counting the $5000.00 or so to send the containers to Panama from the U.S. The last 3 containers entered without a hitch.
I need the help of the of your readers to come to the SINAPROC office in David on Wednesday 5 May at 9 am to help us put some pressure on the government to solve this problem. We expect members of the handicapped community to be there also. Please be there if you can.
Pres. Thomas L. and Linda J. McCormack Foundation
You may remember the post when Tom was having the containers filled in the US.
Now why an organization would choose to prevent the containers from being delivered and the contents put in the hands of those that need it is beyond me. Hopefully this demonstration, that is planned for 5th of May, will bring enough publicity to the issue that some heads roll in SINAPROC and the contents are released.
See you there the 5th. This post will remain as the first post until the 5th of May.