THE CANAL CRONIES

THE U.S. PREPARES TO CEDE PANAMA THE PRECIOUS WATERWAY, BUT THE CANAL IS ALREADY UP TO ITS LOCKS IN CHARGES OF NEGLECT AND POLITICAL FAVORITISM

The evidence against Pedro Miguel Gonzalez was strong. Three eyewitnesses said they saw him gun down U.S. Army Sergeant Zak Hernandez in 1992, days before a scheduled visit to Panama by President George Bush. The vehicle used in the shooting was found abandoned at the Gonzalez family ranch, the alleged murder weapon buried at Gonzalez's sister's workplace. Nevertheless, on Nov. 1, after years of delay and controversy, a jury found Gonzalez, the son of the head of Panama's ruling party, innocent of murder, setting off an explosion of indignation. In a replay of the rhetorical battles that marked U.S.-Panama relations in...

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