Panama: New Strongman

Paredes takes charge

The gambit was carried out swiftly and efficiently. One year after his mentor, the popular dictator Omar Torrijos Herrera, died in a plane crash, Panama's President Aristides Royo, 41, resigned from office last Friday. In a letter dispatched to the president of the National Assembly and read to the public, Royo declared that he could no longer carry out his responsibilities "due to health problems that make a checkup necessary." Shortly after his Vice President, Ricardo de la Espriella, 47, was sworn in as his successor, Royo explained that a...

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