Newspaper in Panama sued again for millions in damages

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned another multi-million dollar charge brought against the newspaper La Prensa in Panama that reported on the Ochy Diez business group's contracts with the government of President Ricardo Martinelli, according to the organization.

Brothers and business partners David and Daniel Ochy Diez and the business Panaplátanos are claiming $7 million in compensation from the La Prensa Corporation for moral and material damages caused by the publication of reports about a piece of property in the province of Chiriquí, according to the newspaper Mi Diario, owned by La Prensa Corporation.

Other organizations have published different figures. According to IAPA, the Ochy Diez brothers requested $6 million while Vanguardia reported that the charges reached as high as $13 million. Last August, employees of the Transcaribe Trading, S.A. construction company, owned by the Ochy Diez group, surrounded the offices of La Prensa to block the distribution of the newspaper until President Martinelli negotiated the removal of the dump trucks.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.