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GOVERNMENT

State asks forgiveness in Rita Wald case

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President Juan Carlos Varela speaks in the Yellow Room of the Presidency. President Juan Carlos Varela speaks in the Yellow Room of the Presidency.
President Juan Carlos Varela speaks in the Yellow Room of the Presidency. Tomada de @CancilleriaPma

The Panamanian state publicly apologized for the disappearance of Rita Irene Wald, a 17-year-old student who opposed the military dictatorship and who was last seen on the afternoon of March 27, 1977.

The private event was held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Yellow Room of the Presidency of the Republic.

"We recognize the responsibility of the state derived from the Rita Wald case," said President Juan Carlos Varela in front of various ministers and family members of Wald.

According to the Twitter account of the Chancellery of the Republic, Varela said that his government will take all the necessary measures to fulfill the commitments assumed in this case.

"This is a step in the process of national reconciliation, to know the truth of what happened during a military dictatorship," Varela said.

Edwin Wald, the brother of the victim, immediately expressed his satisfaction with Varela's commitment to comply with all the points of the agreement, starting with the act of requesting public pardon.

Rita Wald, a young woman from Chiriquí, was one of 110 victims of the military dictatorship whose deaths or disappearances were investigated by the Truth Commission, which determined that sufficient evidence existed to conclude that her disappearance was a politically motivated crime.

It was in 2011 that the state formally agreed to indemnify her family.

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