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Weekly Report - 13 February 2020 (WR-20-06)

PANAMA: Cortizo faces first ministerial departures

Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo last week was forced to replace his security and interior ministers, Rolando Mirones and Carlos Romero – the first cabinet members to step down since the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) government took office in July 2019. The two were forced out following the escape of notorious serial killer Gilberto Ventura Ceballos from a high security unit of La Nueva Joya prison. The incident, which followed a deadly shoot-out at another prison late last year involving weapons seemingly smuggled in with the cooperation of prison guards [WR-20-01], comes as Cortizo continues to face pressure over a worsening security situation.

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