From Mon Mar 26 21:19:31 2001
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 11:18:17 -0600 (CST)
From: The Panama News <>
Subject: Mireya goes off the deep end
Article: 117292
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Mireya goes off the deep end

By Eric Jackson, The Panama News, [25 March 2001]

President Moscoso, purportedly relying on the word of some campesino in Coclecito, says that she has begun an investigation of Zapatista infiltration of the area to the west of the canal that is to be flooded if the canal expansion plans go through. She vows to throw any foreign troublemakers out of the country, which in the logic of the way things are going, probably means that some foreign-born Catholic priests will either be expelled from Panama or intimidated against advocating for their parishioners who would be displaced.

The left HAS glommed onto discontent among those who would be displaced, and the Catholic church IS demanding justice and transparency in the process. A political brawl IS brewing, in which Mireya will be at a distinct disadvantage so long as Ricardo Martinelli is the Minister of Canal Affairs.

Canal modernization is a matter of great national importance for Panama, and its successful accomplishment ordinarily ought to be a way for a president with low public approval ratings to rally public support behind her administration.

However, the opposition to the canal expansion plan will certainly get a boost from Mireya's apparent, and everybody hopes temporary, lapse into stark raving madness. Like Joe McCarthy's alleged list of commies in the State Department, Deputy Minister of Canal Affairs Leo González's forged document alleging Cuban support for the 1994 Blades campaign and the John Birch Society's declaration that the Chinese People's Liberation Army now controls the Panama Canal, Mireya's declaration makes its maker a laughing stock. The fact is that there are no Zapatistas in Panama, and those who claim that there are have not offered a shred of proof to back their startling claim.