COMMUNITY ACTION on IslaTaboga has forced the authorities to cancel agreements under which they sold, four islands of four municipal Ernesto BósquezDitrani, a Panamanian linked to land speculators.
Isla Taboga from the air.
Taboga,known as the Island Of Flowers is a popular destination for day trippers from the mainland, less than hour away by Ferry.
Azael Ortiz, president of the Taboga Municipal Council , and José MayorChirú Mayor signed agreements 81, 82 and 83 through authorizing the sale of 78 hectares of the islands in June 2013 , but the community did not hear of the deals until they were published in the official Gazette in January and exposed by La Prensa. Bósquez would have got 61.9 hectares of Taboguilla ; 14.8 hectares in Taboga, 2 hectors onTortola and 6,000 square meter on Tortolita and supposedlybasked the National Land Management Authority of ( Anati ) for certification of its inhabitants. Bósquez does not have ownership rights oin any of the islands, but it was enough to promise to tourism development to privileged councilors directly. The projects that were part of this development plan were accepted without public consultation. On Friday , spokesmen for a group of residents challenged the council 's decision. At a heated meeting lasting over two hours the mayor tried to divert the resident’s anger and elude responsibility by laying blame on the media. "It is the only way that newspapers have to sell ... shouting a lot," said Chirú . Islanders demanded accountability from the authorities and RodolfoBenítez read a statement in which he attacked the sale, which was " disrespecting the intelligence of all ." There were shouts, hand wringing, and Council president Ortiz lost his cool, shouted at the residents and threatened to withdraw. The community cheered for him to leave and called for his resignation. reports La Prensa In the end The Council passed repealed the agreements. It was later revealed that Tortolita could not be sold as it was under the contol of the Canal Authority.