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  • Panama Human Rights

British American Foundation Fights for the people to have safe Medical Rights

Updated: Nov 3, 2019

Dr Jose Angel Hernandea O. Medico Encargado Tel:(507)-2996219

Dr Ricaute Ivan Garcia G. 507- 299-6146

Dr Fausto Alvarez Tel:(507)-299-6219

Dr Rolando Jimenez

San Jose Hospital

San Jose Hospital, La Palma, Darien Panamá or a hospital located in war torn Syria!

War-torn Syria La Palma - Hosptial

President Varela classes “San Jose hospital” as acceptable, The President has done nothing in his last five years for the people of Darien compared to the affluent areas of Panama! The Embera are still marginalised.

Above photo was taken in 2007 - San Jose 2017 Defensora del Pueblo raised the alarm to stop human rights violations

Going back as far as 2009 this hospital has been in hemorrhage mode, but we at British American Foundation filmed this hospital showing the serious failings by previous governments, including to days,  still, no serious support or help has been forthcoming.

We at Panama Human ask the question, why these Panamanian voices are not being heard! they are treated not as people, but as disregarded garbage. The people of Darien had no choice or no control over where they were born, but they are now paying the price for being born under the Panamista government.

The Darien region is so hostile to humans, the jungle holds many dangerous animals and plants, but for the Embera Wounnan tribe who live in this remote tidal area have a huge problem, when they do have to navigate to the hospital, sometimes carrying their young children, they are penniless, homeless and with nowhere to go and without any government support, most sleep outside on the streets, the hospital only accepts patients and with no facility for parents.

Below is an example of the treacherous conditions Indians face in making the trek to the hospital, some times with fatal consequences, especially when time is not on your side, and you are suffering from a snake bite.

Well, people of Darien your time has come. An uprising is on the horizon, you will have your day and a chance to vote, you will be heard, you will have a hospital fit for purpose come May 2019.

5 Meter Long Boa Constrictor Swallowed A Man Whole In The Darien

A huge boa constrictor that was more than 5 meters (16 feet) long swallowed a man whole.

This incident - which has not been confirmed by the authorities - took place in the jungle community of Embera-Wounaan ethnicity, known as Sierpe, in the Darien province.

The incident was reported on 30 January this year, when natives of the community caught the reptile that was moulting or shedding its skin.

At the same time, when they saw the snake in the Darien jungle, they noticed that the lump inside of the snake was shaped like a human being.

The reptile was caught by hunters and taken to the community by more than a dozen men.

The snake measured the length of a "red devil" bus - those that are used in the capital.

When the huge reptile was cut open they found the body of a dark-skinned man inside, which was already in an advanced state of decomposition.

All of that happened to the amazement of those present.

In order to get to that community, one must cross the Santa Barbara River.

After removing the body of the unidentified person, the tribal chiefs proceeded to perform a ritual for the soul of the body, which was later buried.

The community bears the name "Serpie" which in the Embera-Wounaan language means "Snake".

It was learned that when travelling to that place, between the trails in the jungle, one always encounters all kinds of snakes.

After the fact, the rumour about the unusual event ran for three days through all of the Darien communities, and only recently reached the ears of the officers of the State Border Service, a source revealed.

Besides the Indians daily concerns about being attacked by animals, they have the added problem with rebbable groups raiding their communities.

There were multiple conflicts between the government and indigenous groups regarding decisions affecting indigenous land. The Ngabe Bugle and the Naso continued to clash with the government over the issue of hydroelectric plants on territorial lands, and one violent confrontation near the Barro Blanco dam project left four indigenous persons and three police agents injured.

Indigenous communities continued to fight against illegal settlements on their land. No violent clashes involving indigenous people were confirmed.

In February the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Embera-Wounaan on an appeal for constitutional rights violations in a 2011 case pertaining to land issues in the Embera-Wounaan Comarca. In February the Inter-American Court of Human PANAMA 24 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Rights heard the case of the Guna of Madungandi and the Embera of Bayano against the government for not protecting adequately and effectively the ancestral territories and resources of these groups after the construction of a hydroelectric dam in 1976.

Nevertheless, many indigenous persons misunderstood their rights and failed to employ legal channels when threatened because they did not have an adequate command of the Spanish language.

Societal and employment discrimination against indigenous persons was widespread. Employers frequently did not afford indigenous workers basic rights provided by law, such as a minimum wage, social security benefits, termination pay, and job security. Labourers in the country’s sugar, coffee, and banana plantations (the majority of whom were indigenous persons) continued to work in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Employers were less likely to provide adequate housing or food to indigenous migrant labourers, and indigenous children were much more likely to work long hours of farm labour than non-indigenous.

This is what Varela calls acceptable, these Indians who struggle to get to a hospital with snake bites, cancer or infections are then treated in a Syrian styled bombed-out hospital in deplorable conditions and limited medication. Indians are the lifeblood for tourism in Panama’s growing economy and play a vital role in protecting the natural jungle regions of Panama, how can this President sit back as a practising Catholic and allow these human right violations to take place when living only 5 hours away from this hospital, this truly does begs belief to how human this person really is!

Donations from 2010 - 2011

Most likely, the British American Foundation has delivered more containers to Darien than the president himself, the below PDF shows just some of the shipping containers sent to Balboa port in their onward journey to Darien...

Click on image to read in full:

Hopefully, now reality has set in and you know just how much the President does care about his people and others by reading this site.

You can count on one hand the number of times he has visited Darien throughout his presidency compared to the prosperous side of Panama, this type of profiling by a president is totally UN-Panamanian. 

Rio Inglesis Metiti-Darien

Viewing this TVN2 documentary below shows that this government has not provided any substantial help to this neglected community, the main reason for this and other presidents in turning a blind eye to supplying humanitarian aid.

The underlying issue is that this Provence does not contribute its fair share of tax revenue, this region's population contains mainly indigenous communities who do not pay tax as they eat what they grow and what is leftover at the end of a season is usually sold in La Palma to buy basic supplies. All but one of the beds in the hospital shown in the TVN documentary was occupied by Embera and are the ones most affected regarding health. When Indians do arrive, they are in extremely poor health as most of the communities have no funds to trek a long distance to the hospital, so instead rely on their local witchcraft doctor for a fix, when the witch doctor fails, the patient arrives in La Palma in serious condition.

Hospital La Palma was not the only recipient of beds, pictured below a delivery of beds going to Llano Bonito, Darien

Poor health, that’s if they have not already died in their community. Undocumented deaths and burials are common and go without any autopsy taking place, or truly knowing the cause of death.

Cemetery Mogue Darien

Every hospital bed and children's cots shown in the TVN-2 documentary were not provided by the President Juan Carlos Varela, or the First Lady, not even the Ministry of Salud, but by myself and every member of the British American Foundation located 3500 miles away, the president lives only 125 miles away. The TVN-2 documentary would have been more damning if we had not replaced all the hospital beds including the nursery, even the chair this Embera lady is sitting on was provided by the British American Foundation.

Pictured cots and office supplies donated to San Jose hospital, La Palma. Same cots as shown in TVN-2 documentary - top left. Bottom left is the actual video of the true conditions of La Palma hospital before the British American Foundation was involved.

Mum and baby relaxing on one of the new beds supplied

The British American Foundation is a charity and is registered as a (Not- for profit) organisation and is legally registered in the United Kingdom with the charity commission and has its full complement of the board of governors. The charity was recognised by the Panamanian Ambassador to London Lilliana Hernandez.

Financial Donations

The British American Foundation is still an active charity but stands dormant at the moment due to my illegal expulsion from the Republic of Panama in banning to return for a period of 10 years ending in 2024 and regardless of my innocence. The Foundation still provides financial aid every year to cover the shortfalls by this administration.

Click image to view full document:

What’s the price of saving a child's life!

Something as simple as a child's blood pressure unit was also sent on the doctor's laundry list of urgently required items. You would think that the government of Panama would have supplied this most basic piece of a medical product, but sadly no. The doctors desperately needed blood pressure machines that worked, as the only ones they had fitted were for adults and could not be adapted for children as the Velcro strap was too large and not suitable for children and babies arms.

Thankfully this request reached us before another container was being shipped and many machines were added fulfilling all the hospital's medical requests.  

Panama to date has not had the courtesy to reply to a single letter written to the Panamanian Embassy in London 2016 / 2017 about my human right abuses, but when the letter above was received by the Panamanian Ambassador in 2009 concerning donations, and funds raised, the ambassador responds within two days, to date, a year and a half later still no response letter has been received from the Panama Embassy - London.

Sadly prior to my incarceration into La Joya two 40 foot containers were being loaded for Panama, all products were date sensitive, everything had to be destroyed and sent to a local landfill in the UK. This made me extremely angry and sad because I was innocent of the charge, but the implications of a small majority of people caused hundreds of people to go on without through one greedy family in Nuevo Paritilla, Darien. 

Doctors have been protesting as far back as 2009 shown in the video below. It has been nearly 10 years since we filmed, now in 2018 Human right cases of abuse still persist and the Panamanian government still will not listen to you, the people.

The British American Foundation was established to plug the gap in aid where the state has failed to fulfil its moral duties by securing the wellbeing and good health of its indigenous people. This has been born out when the state forcibly took tribal land to build a hydroelectric dam with no compassion or understanding for the people who had lived there some 1000’s

of years before this alien outsider, Juan Carlos Varela came into town.

Pictured below, number 9164, my ex-wife and I at Leeds Castle to raise funds for our Darien appeal

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