Headlines - Panama Guide - Red Frog Beach Club - Getting Smeared in the Press
Red Frog Beach Club - Getting Smeared in the Press Sunday, September 10 2006 @ 03:39 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
(Source: Panama America) The Ombudsmans Office opened an investigation against red frog Beach in Bocas del Toro in response to complaints from local residents. According to the complaint the company uses boats with outboard motors that generate wakes that are dangerous to their children who go to school in cayucos. (Editor's Comment: This is about the fourth time that I've seen a short piece saying that someone has made a complaint against red frog and an office responding by saying "we're going to investigate." But when I follow up and contact those offices I'm told that red frog is in total compliance with the law and that there is no investigation underway. What's more, with regards to the labor issue and SUNTRACS, red frog was paying their workers more than required by Panamanian law, a signed labor agreement in place with workers, and had won a legal decision from the government in their favor. But they still ended up getting the short end. I have yet to see anything indicating the red frog project is violating any law. As far as I can tell they are straight-up, getting smeared, and simply losing the PR war.
Nothing New: This isn't the first time I've seen something like this. There are people who are against any kind of development unless they get a kickback. The SUNTRACS thing worked out to be little more than extortion with the labor union securing a "raise" for the workers that was actually just enough to cover the union dues. As a result SUNTRACS is squeezing red frog for 2% of every dollar spent on labor. On the environmental front, I'd like to remind everyone that it's quite simply impossible to build 500 houses and a golf course without cutting down some trees and moving some dirt. red frog has an approved Environmental Impact Study (#069-2004) for phase one and is now starting the process to get approval for phase two.
Leverage: There's more to this than meets the eye. There are people out there who are actively at the red frog development and trying to do them harm. Some people are simply anti-business. Others are simply echoing what they hear (like this article) without putting any thought into the situation. This puts red frog in the classic position of having to defend themselves against exaggerated "complaints." I'm still waiting for the local media to print a headline saying that "ANAM looked into the complains and found nothing. The project is in complete compliance with the law!..." in a bold, screaming headline.
For the Record: I'm looking hard at the red frog issue, and so far have found nothing wrong, at all. What I am seeing is a bunch of anti-business BS that's starting to tick me off...
Investigarán proyecto en Bocas
LA DEFENSORIA del Pueblo inició una investigación en el proyecto red frog Beach en Bocas del Toro por posibles daños al medio ambiente.
Los moradores del área denunciaron ante la Defensoría que la obra le viene causando problemas e inconvenientes, porque les cierra los caminos que utilizan para dirigirse a sus viviendas. Además emplean lanchas rápidas y otras naves a motor fuera de borda, que se desplazan a gran velocidad, levantando a su paso olas que ponen en situación de riesgo a sus hijos que asisten a la escuela en cayucos.
SOURCE: Panama Guide