Context of Panama

Panama ( (listen) PAN-ə-mah, pan-ə-MAH; Spanish: Panamá IPA: [panaˈma] (listen)), officially the Republic of Panama (Spanish: República de Panamá), is a transcontinental country spanning the southern part of North America and the northern part of South America. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Its capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people.

Panama was inhabited by i...Read more

Panama ( (listen) PAN-ə-mah, pan-ə-MAH; Spanish: Panamá IPA: [panaˈma] (listen)), officially the Republic of Panama (Spanish: República de Panamá), is a transcontinental country spanning the southern part of North America and the northern part of South America. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Its capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people.

Panama was inhabited by indigenous tribes before Spanish colonists arrived in the 16th century. It broke away from Spain in 1821 and joined the Republic of Gran Colombia, a union of Nueva Granada, Ecuador, and Venezuela. After Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831, Panama and Nueva Granada eventually became the Republic of Colombia. With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, allowing the construction of the Panama Canal to be completed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. The 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties agreed to transfer the canal from the United States to Panama on December 31, 1999. The surrounding territory was first returned in 1979.

Revenue from canal tolls continues to represent a significant portion of Panama's GDP, although commerce, banking, and tourism are major and growing sectors. It is regarded as having a high-income economy. In 2019 Panama ranked 57th in the world in terms of the Human Development Index. In 2018, Panama was ranked the seventh-most competitive economy in Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index. Covering around 40 percent of its land area, Panama's jungles are home to an abundance of tropical plants and animals – some of them found nowhere else on earth. Panama is a founding member of the United Nations and other international organizations such as OAS, LAIA, G77, WHO, and NAM.

More about Panama

Basic information
  • Currency Panamanian balboa
  • Native name Panamá
  • Calling code +507
  • Internet domain .pa
  • Mains voltage 110V/60Hz
  • Democracy index 7.18
Population, Area & Driving side
  • Population 860000
  • Area 74177
  • Driving side right
History
  • This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources....Read more
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    At the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the known inhabitants of Panama included the Cuevas and the Coclé tribes. These people have nearly disappeared, as they had no immunity from European infectious diseases.[1]

    Pre-Columbian period
     
    Embera girl dressed for a dance

    The Isthmus of Panama was formed about three million years ago when the land bridge between North and South America finally became complete, and plants and animals gradually crossed it in both directions. The existence of the isthmus affected the dispersal of people, agriculture and technology throughout the American continent from the appearance of the first hunters and collectors to the era of villages and cities.[2][3]

    The earliest discovered artifacts of indigenous peoples in Panama include Paleo-Indian projectile points. Later central Panama was home to some of the first pottery-making in the Americas, for example the cultures at Monagrillo, which date back to 2500–1700 BC. These evolved into significant populations best known through their spectacular burials (dating to c. 500–900 AD) at the Monagrillo archaeological site, and their beautiful Gran Coclé style polychrome pottery. The monumental monolithic sculptures at the Barriles (Chiriqui) site are also important traces of these ancient isthmian cultures.

    Before Europeans arrived Panama was widely settled by Chibchan, Chocoan, and Cueva peoples. The largest group were the Cueva (whose specific language affiliation is poorly documented). The size of the indigenous population of the isthmus at the time of European colonization is uncertain. Estimates range as high as two million people, but more recent studies place that number closer to 200,000. Archaeological finds and testimonials by early European explorers describe diverse native isthmian groups exhibiting cultural variety and suggesting people developed[clarification needed] by regular regional routes of commerce.

    When Panama was colonized, the indigenous peoples fled into the forest and nearby islands. Scholars believe that infectious disease was the primary cause of the population decline of American natives. The indigenous peoples had no acquired immunity to diseases such as smallpox which had been chronic in Eurasian populations for centuries.[4]

    Conquest to 1799
     
    Vasco Núñez de Balboa, a recognized and popular figure of Panamanian history
     
    "New Caledonia", the ill-fated Scottish Darien scheme colony in the Bay of Caledonia, west of the Gulf of Darien

    Rodrigo de Bastidas sailed westward from Venezuela in 1501 in search of gold, and became the first European to explore the isthmus of Panama. A year later, Christopher Columbus visited the isthmus, and established a short-lived settlement in the Darien. Vasco Núñez de Balboa's tortuous trek from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1513 demonstrated that the isthmus was indeed the path between the seas, and Panama quickly became the crossroads and marketplace of Spain's empire in the New World. King Ferdinand II assigned Pedro Arias Dávila as Royal Governor. He arrived in June 1514 with a 19 vessels and 1,500 men. In 1519, Dávila founded Panama City.[5] Gold and silver were brought by ship from South America, hauled across the isthmus, and loaded aboard ships for Spain. The route became known as the Camino Real, or Royal Road, although it was more commonly known as Camino de Cruces (Road of Crosses) because of the number of gravesites along the way.

    Panama was under Spanish rule for almost 300 years (1538–1821), and became part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, along with all other Spanish possessions in South America. From the outset, Panamanian identity was based on a sense of "geographic destiny", and Panamanian fortunes fluctuated with the geopolitical importance of the isthmus. The colonial experience spawned Panamanian nationalism and a racially complex and highly stratified society, the source of internal conflicts that ran counter to the unifying force of nationalism.[6][page needed]

    In 1538, the Real Audiencia of Panama was established, initially with jurisdiction from Nicaragua to Cape Horn, until the conquest of Peru. A Real Audiencia was a judicial district that functioned as an appeals court. Each audiencia had an oidor (Spanish: hearer, a judge).

    Spanish authorities had little control over much of the territory of Panama. Large sections managed to resist conquest and missionization until very late in the colonial era. Because of this, indigenous people of the area were often referred to as "indios de guerra" (war Indians) who resisted Spanish attempts to conquer them or missionize them. However, Panama was enormously important to Spain strategically because it was the easiest way to transship silver mined in Peru to Europe. Silver cargoes were landed at Panama and then taken overland to Portobello or Nombre de Dios on the Caribbean side of the isthmus for further shipment. Asides from the European route, there was also an Asian-American route, which led to traders and adventurers carrying silver from Peru going through Panama to reach Acapulco, Mexico before sailing to Manila, Philippines using the famed Manila Galleons.[7] In 1579, the royal monopoly Acapulco, Mexico; had with trading with; Manila, Philippines; was relaxed and Panama was assigned as another port that was able to trade directly with Asia.[8]

    Because of incomplete Spanish control, the Panama route was vulnerable to attack from pirates (mostly Dutch and English), and from "new world" Africans called cimarrons who had freed themselves from enslavement and lived in communes or palenques around the Camino Real in Panama's Interior, and on some of the islands off Panama's Pacific coast. One such famous community amounted to a small kingdom under Bayano, which emerged in the 1552 to 1558. Sir Francis Drake's famous raids on Panama in 1572–73 and John Oxenham's crossing to the Pacific Ocean were aided by Panama cimarrons, and Spanish authorities were only able to bring them under control by making an alliance with them that guaranteed their freedom in exchange for military support in 1582.[9]

    The prosperity enjoyed during the first two centuries (1540–1740) while contributing to colonial growth; the placing of extensive regional judicial authority (Real Audiencia) as part of its jurisdiction; and the pivotal role it played at the height of the Spanish Empire – the first modern global empire – helped define a distinctive sense of autonomy and of regional or national identity within Panama well before the rest of the colonies.

    The end of the encomienda system in Azuero, however, sparked the conquest of Veraguas in that same year. Under the leadership of Francisco Vázquez, the region of Veraguas passed into Castilian rule in 1558. In the newly conquered region, the old system of encomienda was imposed. On the other hand, the Panamanian movement for independence can be indirectly attributed to the abolition of the encomienda system in the Azuero Peninsula, set forth by the Spanish Crown, in 1558 because of repeated protests by locals against the mistreatment of the native population. In its stead, a system of medium and smaller-sized landownership was promoted, thus taking away the power from the large landowners and into the hands of medium and small-sized proprietors.

    Panama was the site of the ill-fated Darien scheme, which set up a Scottish colony in the region in 1698. This failed for a number of reasons, and the ensuing debt contributed to the union of England and Scotland in 1707.[10]

    In 1671, the privateer Henry Morgan, licensed by the English government, sacked and burned the city of Panama – the second most important city in the Spanish New World at the time. In 1717 the viceroyalty of New Granada (northern South America) was created in response to other Europeans trying to take Spanish territory in the Caribbean region. The Isthmus of Panama was placed under its jurisdiction. However, the remoteness of New Granada's capital, Santa Fe de Bogotá (the modern capital of Colombia) proved a greater obstacle than the Spanish crown anticipated as the authority of New Granada was contested by the seniority, closer proximity, and previous ties to the viceroyalty of Lima and even by Panama's own initiative. This uneasy relationship between Panama and Bogotá would persist for centuries.

    In 1744, Bishop Francisco Javier de Luna Victoria DeCastro established the College of San Ignacio de Loyola and on June 3, 1749, founded La Real y Pontificia Universidad de San Javier. By this time, however, Panama's importance and influence had become insignificant as Spain's power dwindled in Europe and advances in navigation technique increasingly permitted ships to round Cape Horn in order to reach the Pacific. While the Panama route was short it was also labor-intensive and expensive because of the loading and unloading and laden-down trek required to get from the one coast to the other.

    1800s
     
    Santo Domingo Church

    As the Spanish American wars of independence were heating up all across Latin America, Panama City was preparing for independence; however, their plans were accelerated by the unilateral Grito de La Villa de Los Santos (Cry From the Town of Saints), issued on November 10, 1821, by the residents of Azuero without backing from Panama City to declare their separation from the Spanish Empire. In both Veraguas and the capital this act was met with disdain, although on differing levels. To Veraguas, it was the ultimate act of treason, while to the capital, it was seen as inefficient and irregular, and furthermore forced them to accelerate their plans.

    Nevertheless, the Grito was a sign, on the part of the residents of Azuero, of their antagonism toward the independence movement in the capital. Those in the capital region in turn regarded the Azueran movement with contempt, since the separatists in Panama City believed that their counterparts in Azuero were fighting not only for independence from Spain, but also for their right to self-rule apart from Panama City once the Spaniards were gone.

    It was seen as a risky move on the part of Azuero, which lived in fear of Colonel José Pedro Antonio de Fábrega y de las Cuevas (1774–1841). The colonel was a staunch loyalist and had all of the isthmus' military supplies in his hands. They feared quick retaliation and swift retribution against the separatists.

    What they had counted on, however, was the influence of the separatists in the capital. Ever since October 1821, when the former Governor General, Juan de la Cruz Murgeón, left the isthmus on a campaign in Quito and left a colonel in charge, the separatists had been slowly converting Fábrega to the separatist side. So, by November 10, Fábrega was now a supporter of the independence movement. Soon after the separatist declaration of Los Santos, Fábrega convened every organization in the capital with separatist interests and formally declared the city's support for independence. No military repercussions occurred because of skillful bribing of royalist troops.

    Post-colonial Panama
     
    1903 political cartoon. The US government, working with separatists in Panama, engineered a Panamanian declaration of independence from Colombia, then sent US warships and marines to Panama.[11]
     
    US President Theodore Roosevelt sitting on a steam shovel at the Panama Canal, 1906

    In the 80 years following independence from Spain, Panama was a subdivision of Gran Colombia, after voluntarily joining the country at the end of 1821.

    The people of the isthmus made over 80 attempts to secede from Colombia. They came close to success in 1831, then again during the Thousand Days' War of 1899–1902, understood among indigenous Panamanians as a struggle for land rights under the leadership of Victoriano Lorenzo.[12]

    The US intent to influence the area, especially the Panama Canal's construction and control, led to the separation of Panama from Colombia in 1903 and its establishment as a nation. When the Senate of Colombia rejected the Hay–Herrán Treaty on January 22, 1903, the United States decided to support and encourage the Panamanian separatist movement.[13][11]

    In November 1903 Panama, tacitly supported by the United States, proclaimed its independence[14] and concluded the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty with the United States without the presence of a single Panamanian. Philippe Bunau-Varilla, a French engineer and lobbyist represented Panama even though Panama's president and a delegation had arrived in New York to negotiate the treaty. The treaty was quickly drafted and signed the night before the Panamanian delegation arrived in Washington. Mr. Bunau-Varilla was in the employ of the French Canal company that had failed and was now bankrupt. The treaty granted rights to the United States "as if it were sovereign" in a zone roughly 16 km (10 mi) wide and 80 km (50 mi) long. In that zone, the US would build a canal, then administer, fortify, and defend it "in perpetuity".

     
    Construction work on the Gaillard Cut of the Panama Canal, 1907

    In 1914 the United States completed the existing 83-kilometer-long (52-mile) canal.

    Because of the strategic importance of the canal during World War II, the US extensively fortified access to it.

    From 1903 to 1968, Panama was a constitutional democracy dominated by a commercially oriented oligarchy. During the 1950s, the Panamanian military began to challenge the oligarchy's political hegemony. The early 1960s saw also the beginning of sustained pressure in Panama for the renegotiation of the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty, including riots that broke out in early 1964, resulting in widespread looting and dozens of deaths, and the evacuation of the American embassy.[15]

    Amid negotiations for the Robles–Johnson treaty, Panama held elections in 1968. The candidates were:[16]

    Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid, Unión Nacional (National Union) Antonio González Revilla, Democracia Cristiana (Christian Democrats) Engr. David Samudio, Alianza del Pueblo (People's Alliance), who had the government's support.

    Arias Madrid was declared the winner of elections that were marked by violence and accusations of fraud against Alianza del Pueblo. On October 1, 1968, Arias Madrid took office as president of Panama, promising to lead a government of "national union" that would end the reigning corruption and pave the way for a new Panama. A week and a half later, on October 11, 1968, the National Guard (Guardia Nacional) ousted Arias and initiated the downward spiral that would culminate with the United States' invasion in 1989. Arias, who had promised to respect the hierarchy of the National Guard, broke the pact and started a large restructuring of the Guard. To preserve the Guard's and his vested interests, Lieutenant Colonel Omar Torrijos Herrera and Major Boris Martínez commanded another military coup against the government.[16]

    The military justified itself by declaring that Arias Madrid was trying to install a dictatorship, and promised a return to constitutional rule. In the meantime, the Guard began a series of populist measures that would gain support for the coup. Among them were:

    Price freezing on food, medicine and other goods[17] until January 31, 1969 rent level freeze legalization of the permanence of squatting families in boroughs surrounding the historic site of Panama Viejo[16]

    Parallel to this, the military began a policy of repression against the opposition, who were labeled communists. The military appointed a Provisional Government Junta that was to arrange new elections. However, the National Guard would prove to be very reluctant to abandon power and soon began calling itself El Gobierno Revolucionario (The Revolutionary Government).

    Post-1970
     
    Omar Torrijos (right) with farmers in the Panamanian countryside. The Torrijos government was well known for its policies of land redistribution.

    Under Omar Torrijos's control, the military transformed the political and economic structure of the country, initiating massive coverage of social security services and expanding public education.

    The constitution was changed in 1972. To reform the constitution, the military created a new organization, the Assembly of Corregimiento Representatives, which replaced the National Assembly. The new assembly, also known as the Poder Popular (Power of the People), was composed of 505 members selected by the military with no participation from political parties, which the military had eliminated. The new constitution proclaimed Omar Torrijos as the Maximum Leader of the Panamanian Revolution, and conceded him unlimited power for six years, although, to keep a façade of constitutionality, Demetrio B. Lakas was appointed president for the same period.[16]

    In 1981, Torrijos died in a plane crash.[18] Torrijos' death altered the tone of Panama's political evolution. Despite the 1983 constitutional amendments which proscribed a political role for the military, the Panama Defense Force (PDF), as they were then known, continued to dominate Panamanian political life. By this time, General Manuel Antonio Noriega was firmly in control of both the PDF and the civilian government.[when?]

     
    US President Jimmy Carter shakes hands with General Omar Torrijos after signing the Panama Canal Treaties (September 7, 1977).

    In the 1984 elections, the candidates were:

    Nicolás Ardito Barletta Vallarino, supported by the military in a union called UNADE Arnulfo Arias Madrid, for the opposition union ADO ex-General Rubén Darío Paredes, who had been forced to an early retirement by Noriega, running for the Partido Nacionalista Popular (PAP; "Popular Nationalist Party") Carlos Iván Zúñiga, running for the Partido Acción Popular (PAPO; Popular Action Party)

    Barletta was declared the winner of elections that had been considered to be fraudulent. Barletta inherited a country in economic ruin and hugely indebted to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Amid the economic crisis and Barletta's efforts to calm the country's creditors, street protests arose, and so did military repression.

    Meanwhile, Noriega's regime had fostered a well-hidden criminal economy that operated as a parallel source of income for the military and their allies, providing revenues from drugs and money laundering. Toward the end of the military dictatorship, a new wave of Chinese migrants arrived on the isthmus in the hope of migrating to the United States. The smuggling of Chinese became an enormous business, with revenues of up to 200 million dollars for Noriega's regime (see Mon 167).[19]

    The military dictatorship assassinated or tortured more than one hundred Panamanians and forced at least a hundred more dissidents into exile. (see Zárate 15).[20] Noriega's regime was supported by the United States and it began playing a double role in Central America. While the Contadora group, an initiative launched by the foreign ministers of various Latin American nations including Panama's, conducted diplomatic efforts to achieve peace in the region, Noriega supplied Nicaraguan Contras and other guerrillas in the region with weapons and ammunition on behalf of the CIA.[16]

    On June 6, 1987, the recently retired Colonel Roberto Díaz Herrera, resentful that Noriega had broken the agreed-upon "Torrijos Plan" of succession that would have made him the chief of the military after Noriega, decided to denounce the regime. He revealed details of electoral fraud,[21] accused Noriega of planning Torrijos's death and declared that Torrijos had received 12 million dollars from the Shah of Iran for giving the exiled Iranian leader asylum. He also accused Noriega of the assassination by decapitation of then-opposition leader, Dr. Hugo Spadafora.[16][22]

    On the night of June 9, 1987, the Cruzada Civilista ("Civic Crusade") was created[where?] and began organizing actions of civil disobedience. The Crusade called for a general strike. In response, the military suspended constitutional rights and declared a state of emergency in the country. On July 10, the Civic Crusade called for a massive demonstration that was violently repressed by the "Dobermans", the military's special riot control unit. That day, later known as El Viernes Negro ("Black Friday"), left many people injured and killed.[23]

    United States President Ronald Reagan began a series of sanctions against the military regime. The United States froze economic and military assistance to Panama in the middle of 1987 in response to the domestic political crisis in Panama and an attack on the US embassy. The sanctions failed to oust Noriega, but severely hurt Panama's economy. Panama's gross domestic product (GDP) declined almost 25 percent between 1987 and 1989.[24]

    On February 5, 1988, General Manuel Antonio Noriega was accused of drug trafficking by federal juries in Tampa and Miami. Human Rights Watch wrote in its 1989 report: "Washington turned a blind eye to abuses in Panama for many years until concern over drug trafficking prompted indictments of the general [Noriega] by two grand juries in Florida in February 1988".[25]

    In April 1988, US President Ronald Reagan invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, freezing Panamanian government assets in all US organizations. In May 1989 Panamanians voted overwhelmingly for the anti-Noriega candidates. The Noriega regime promptly annulled the election and embarked on a new round of repression.

     
    The aftermath of urban warfare during the US invasion of Panama, 1989
    US invasion (1989)

    The United States invaded Panama on December 20, 1989, codenamed Operation Just Cause. The U.S. stated the operation was "necessary to safeguard the lives of U.S. citizens in Panama, defend democracy and human rights, combat drug trafficking, and secure the neutrality of the Panama Canal as required by the Torrijos–Carter Treaties".[26] The US reported 23 servicemen killed and 324 wounded, with the number of Panamanian soldiers killed estimated at around 450. The estimates for civilians killed in the conflict ranges from 200 to 4,000. The United Nations put the Panamanian civilian death toll at 500, Americas Watch estimated 300, the United States gave a figure of 202 civilians killed and former US attorney general Ramsey Clark estimated 4,000 deaths.[27] It represented the largest United States military operation since the Vietnam War.[28] The number of US civilians (and their dependents), who had worked for the Panama Canal Commission and the US military, and were killed by the Panamanian Defense Forces, has never been fully disclosed.

    On December 29, the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution calling the intervention in Panama a "flagrant violation of international law and of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the States".[29] A similar resolution was vetoed in the Security Council by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.[30] Noriega was captured and flown to Miami to be tried. The conflict ended on January 31, 1990.

    The urban population, many living below the poverty level, was greatly affected by the 1989 intervention. As pointed out in 1995 by a UN Technical Assistance Mission to Panama, the fighting displaced 20,000 people. The most heavily affected district was the El Chorrillo area of Panama City, where several blocks of apartments were completely destroyed.[31][32][33] The economic damage caused by the fighting has been estimated at between 1.5 and 2 billion dollars.[24] Most Panamanians supported the intervention.[25][34]

    Post-intervention era

    Panama's Electoral Tribunal moved quickly to restore civilian constitutional government, reinstated the results of the May 1989 election on December 27, 1989, and confirmed the victory of President Guillermo Endara and Vice Presidents Guillermo Ford and Ricardo Arias Calderón.

    During its five-year term, the often-fractious government struggled to meet the public's high expectations. Its new police force was a major improvement over its predecessor but was not fully able to deter crime. Ernesto Pérez Balladares was sworn in as president on September 1, 1994, after an internationally monitored election campaign.

    Balladares ran as the candidate for a three-party coalition dominated by the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), the erstwhile political arm of military dictatorships. Perez Balladares worked skillfully during the campaign to rehabilitate the PRD's image, emphasizing the party's populist Torrijos roots rather than its association with Noriega. He won the election with only 33 percent of the vote when the major non-PRD forces splintered into competing factions. His administration carried out economic reforms and often worked closely with the US on implementation of the Canal treaties.[citation needed]

    On September 1, 1999, Mireya Moscoso, the widow of former President Arnulfo Arias Madrid, took office after defeating PRD candidate Martín Torrijos, son of Omar Torrijos, in a free and fair election.[35][36] During her administration, Moscoso attempted to strengthen social programs, especially for child and youth development, protection, and general welfare. Moscoso's administration successfully handled the Panama Canal transfer and was effective in the administration of the Canal.[36]

     
    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson swapped football shirts with the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela in London, May 14, 2018.

    The PRD's Martin Torrijos won the presidency and a legislative majority in the National Assembly in 2004.[37] Torrijos ran his campaign on a platform of, among other pledges, a "zero tolerance" for corruption, a problem endemic to the Moscoso and Perez Balladares administrations.[citation needed] After taking office, Torrijos passed a number of laws which made the government more transparent. He formed a National Anti-Corruption Council whose members represented the highest levels of government and civil society, labor organizations, and religious leadership. In addition, many of his closest Cabinet ministers were non-political technocrats known for their support for the Torrijos government's anti-corruption aims. Despite the Torrijos administration's public stance on corruption, many high-profile cases,[clarification needed] particularly involving political or business elites, were never acted upon.

    Conservative supermarket magnate Ricardo Martinelli was elected to succeed Martin Torrijos with a landslide victory in the May 2009 Panamanian general election. Martinelli's business credentials drew voters worried by slowing growth during the Great Recession.[38] Standing for the four-party opposition Alliance for Change, Martinelli gained 60 percent of the vote, against 37 percent for the candidate of the governing left-wing Democratic Revolutionary Party.[39]

    On May 4, 2014, Vice President Juan Carlos Varela, candidate of the Partido Panamenista (Panamanian Party) won the 2014 presidential election with over 39 percent of the votes, against the party of his former political partner Ricardo Martinelli, Cambio Democrático, and their candidate José Domingo Arias.[40] He was sworn in on July 1, 2014.[41] On July 1, 2019 Laurentino Cortizo took possession of the presidency.[42] Cortizo was the candidate of Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) in the May 2019 presidential election.[43]

    ^ Austin Alchon, Suzanne (2003). A pest in the land: new world epidemics in a global perspective. University of New Mexico Press. pp. 67–74. ISBN 0-8263-2871-7. ^ Mayo, J. (2004). La Industria prehispánica de conchas marinas en Gran Coclé, Panamá. Diss. U Complutense de Madrid, pp. 9–10. ^ Piperno, D. R. (1984). The Application of Phytolith Analysis to the Reconstruction of Plant Subsistence and Environments in Prehistoric Panama. Dissertation, Temple University. Philadelphia, vol. 8 pp. 21–43. ^ Hays, J. N. (2005). Epidemics and pandemics: their impacts on human history, ABC-CLIO, pp. 82–83, ISBN 1-85109-658-2 ^ "Pedro Arias Dávila". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica. ^ Arango Durling, Virginia (1999). La inmigración prohibida en Panamá y sus prejuicios raciales [Prohibited immigration in Panamá and its racial prejudices] (in Spanish). Panamá: Publipan. 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Archived from the original on October 9, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2016. ^ "The Panama Riots of 1964: The Beginning of the End for the Canal". July 19, 2016. Archived from the original on November 13, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018. ^ a b c d e f Pizzurno Gelós, Patricia and Celestino Andrés Araúz (1996) Estudios sobre el Panamá Republicano (1903–1989). Colombia: Manfer S.A. ^ Pizzurno Gelós, Patricia and Celestino Andrés Araúz (1996) Estudios sobre el Panamá Republicano (1903–1989). Colombia: Manfer S.A., p. 529. ^ International, United Press (August 2, 1981). "PANAMA LEADER KILLED IN CRASH IN BAD WEATHER". The New York Times. Retrieved June 1, 2018. ^ Mon Pinzón, Ramón Arturo (1979). Historia de la Migración China Durante la Construcción del Ferrocarril de Panamá. Masters Thesis. México: El Colegio de México. ^ Zárate, Abdiel (November 9, 2003). "Muertos y desaparecidos durante la época militar." Extra-centennial issue of La Prensa. ^ Preston, Julia (July 6, 1987). "PANAMANIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR PROBE". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved March 22, 2022. ^ "Fighting in Panama; Panama's Troubled Past". The New York Times. December 21, 1989. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 22, 2022. ^ Becker, Meghan (March 28, 2010). "Panamanians campaign to overthrow dictator (The Civic Crusade), 1987-1989". Swarthmore.edu. Swarthmore. Retrieved April 30, 2022. ^ a b Acosta, Coleen (October 24, 2008). "Iraq: a Lesson from Panama Imperialism and Struggle for Sovereignty". Journals of the Stanford Course on Prejudice and Poverty. ^ a b "Panama" Archived January 13, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Human Rights Watch World Report 1989. hrw.org ^ New York Times. A Transcript of President Bush's Address on the Decision to Use Force, December 21, 1989. Web. January 2, 2008. ^ Times, Larry Rohter and Special To the New York (April 1990). "Panama and U.S. Strive To Settle on Death Toll". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2018. ^ Cajar Páez, Aristides. "La invasion." Extra-centennial issue of La Prensa, Nov.9 (2003): 22. Print. ^ "A/RES/44/240. Effects of the military intervention by the United States of America in Panama on the situation in Central America". www.un.org. ^ Lewis, Paul; Times, Special to The New York (December 24, 1989). "Fighting in Panama: United Nations; Security Council Condemnation of Invasion Vetoed". The New York Times. ^ "Panama" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. ^ "The Panama Deception" – via topdocumentaryfilms.com. ^ Blum, William. Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II -Common Courage Press, 2008. ^ Pastor, Robert A. (2001) Exiting the Whirlpool: U.S. Foreign Policy Toward Latin America and the Caribbean, p. 96, ISBN 0813338115. ^ "Moscoso wins victory in Panama's presidential vote". www.latinamericanstudies.org. ^ a b "Panama (11/07)". US Department of State. Retrieved April 2, 2017. ^ "Martin Torrijos wins Panama election". www.aljazeera.com. ^ "Panama Country Profile". BBC News. June 30, 2010. ^ "Martinelli Wins Panama Presidential Vote | Diálogo Americas". May 4, 2009. ^ "Former deputy Varela wins Panama presidential election | DW | 05.05.2014". DW.COM. ^ "Juan Carlos Varela Sworn in As New President of Panama". Caribbean Journal. July 2, 2014. ^ "Presidente Laurentino Cortizo Cohen posesiona a miembros de su Gabinete (Official site)". ^ Moreno, Elida (July 1, 2019). "Panama's new president takes office, pledges end to corruption". Reuters – via www.reuters.com.
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  • Stay safe

    Most of Panama is very safe. People in rural areas are generally extremely friendly and very helpful. If you want to visit Latin America, but are paranoid about security, Panama might be a good place to cut your teeth. One exception is the border region between Panama and Colombia, which is considered extraordinarily dangerous due to Colombian rebel groups and drug traffickers. Most of the city of Colon is considered dangerous [1], and some neighborhoods in Panama City are a bit sketchy, in particular El Chorrillo, Curundu and El Marañón, poor and crime-ridden areas. The old colonial quarter, Casco Viejo (also called San Felipe) has a lingering bad reputation among travelers and some Panamanians, but is gentrifying rapidly. During the daytime, San Felipe is perfectly safe for foreigners. At night, the main streets and plazas, as well as the district of bars and restaurants toward the point, are also safe, but visitors should exercise caution as they move north along Avenida Central towards Chorillo.

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