Panama Today interviewed journalist Álvaro Alvarado during the demonstration staged by Panamanian journalists in defense of freedom of speech. "There is a strategy prepared by a political sector of the country to try to silence the media and to close, if necessary, some media. The purpose is not to disclose all the acts of corruption that have been generated in the past and are being generated today," said the interviewer of the local channel Telemetro.
"We cannot repeat this history because here we fought for democracy and we have to defend that democracy," said the journalist, referring to the Panama’s dictatorship era.
He claimed that in recent weeks he has been the victim of "slander and insults by a couple of deputies from the National Assembly (AN). The most cowardly thing is that they stand in the hall to do it and they do not go to the Public Ministry to present evidence, a single evidence of what they are saying".
Panama Today asked Alvarado for his opinion as a citizen of the justice system. He said he is a critic because he considers he has failed, specifically in terms of selectivity and delays.
Although he categorizes some facts as "dark", he is confident that gradually things will be corrected in all areas of the country. Otherwise, he believes that "we will become another Venezuela or another Nicaragua. We cannot allow that".
He believes that 2019 should be the year to redesign a new country.
Regarding the trial Ricardo Martinelli is facing, he stated he must stand his trial and the court must determine whether he is guilty or not of the facts that are imputed to him.
A large representation of the Panamanian journalism union attended a demonstration that took place in the Porras Park in Panama City. The journalists rejected the recent actions of public officials and figures who have filed millions of civil lawsuits against their work.
A high-ranking police officer filed a lawsuit requesting $ 2 million against the Nextv channel presenter, Guadalupe Castillero for alleged injuries; former first lady, Marta Linares de Martinelli took legal actions against a group of journalists from La Prensa newspaper; Deputy Carlos "Tito" Afú sued the same newspaper for 20 million dollars; TVN News also reported that the journalist Meredith Serracín has been the subject of a lawsuit for a tweet that she published without mentioning any specific person.