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The Singer's NeedleAn Undisciplined History of Panamá$
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Ezer Vierba

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226342313

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226342597.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 May 2022

Trials of Authority

Trials of Authority

Legal Consciousness and Formal Struggles in the Postwar Era

Chapter:
(p.193) 5 Trials of Authority
Source:
The Singer's Needle
Author(s):

Ezer Vierba

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226342597.003.0005

After President Remón was assassinated, the regime he put in place struggled to convince the public of its legitimacy. To regain its stability, it began a massive investigation into the murder, which was followed by a set of public judicial proceedings. But within months, the public became convinced that the judicial procedure was being manipulated; what was supposed to restore an air of order became a giant farce. Between 1955 and 1958, the Panamanian political and judicial systems enacted in grand theatrical pomp the story of their own corruption. The public, which cared neither for the dead president nor for any of the accused, became mesmerized by the spectacle, dancing in the streets after the acquittal of the defendants. The chapter argues that what Panamanians cared about was not content but form—judicial procedure came to signify justice.

Keywords:   Jose Antonio Remon Assassination, Ruben Miro, Jose Ramon Guizado, political trials, legal consciousness

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