July 27, 1998 |
Panama's laws are drafted, modified and, finally, recorded in a building with the ambience of a storage depot. Clerks at the Legislative Assembly navigate past overstuffed shelves, file cabinets and boxes of papers with the agility of dancers. "You have to be thin to work here," joked one secretary. Thin and sure of your luck. Black electrical tape Xs mark shorted-out light switches and electricity outlets. Air conditioners hang precariously from windows, buzzing and clanking ominously.