Coordinates: 9°N 80°W / 9°N 80°W / 9; -80
Republic of Panama
República de Panamá (Spanish)
Coat of arms
Motto: "Pro Mundi Beneficio"
"For the Benefit of the World"
Anthem: Himno Istmeño (Spanish)
Hymn of the Isthmus
and largest city
8°58′N 79°32′W / 8.967°N 79.533°W / 8.967; -79.533
12.3% Native Panamanians
Unitary presidential constitutional republic
Juan Carlos Varela
• Vice President
Isabel Saint Malo
• from Spanish Empire
November 28, 1821
• union with Gran Colombia
Republic of Colombia
November 3, 1903
75,417 km2 (29,119 sq mi) (116th)
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
• 2010 census
45.9/km2 (118.9/sq mi)
• Per capita
$63.683 billion (78)
• Per capita
high · 60th
United States dollar
United States dollar (USD)
Drives on the
ISO 3166 code
Panama (/ˈpænəmɑː/ ( listen) PAN-ə-mah; Spanish:
Panamá [panaˈma]), officially called the
Republic of Panama
(Spanish: República de Panamá), is a country in Central America.
It is bordered by
Costa Rica to the west,
Colombia (in South America)
to the southeast, the
Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean
to the south. The capital and largest city is
Panama City, whose
metropolitan area is home to nearly half of the country's 4 million
Panama was inhabited by several indigenous tribes prior to settlement
by the Spanish in the 16th century.
Panama broke away from
1821 and joined a union of Nueva Granada, Ecuador, and
Republic of Gran Colombia. When
Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831,
Panama and Nueva Granada remained joined, eventually becoming the
Republic of Colombia. With the backing of the United States, Panama
Colombia in 1903, allowing the construction of the Panama
Canal to be completed by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1904
and 1914. In 1977 an agreement was signed for the transfer of the
Canal from the United States to
Panama by the end of the 20th century,
which culminated on December 31, 1999.
Revenue from canal tolls continues to represent a significant portion
of Panama's GDP, although commerce, banking, and tourism are major and
growing sectors. In 2015
Panama ranked 60th in the world in terms of
the Human Development Index. Since 2010,
Panama has been the
second-most competitive economy in Latin America, according to the
World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index. Covering around
40% of its land area, Panama's jungles are home to an abundance of
tropical plants and animals – some of them found nowhere else on the
2.1 Pre-Columbian period
2.2 Conquest to 1799
2.3 Post-colonial Panama
2.3.2 U.S. invasion (1989)
2.4 Post-intervention era
4.1 Political culture
4.2 Foreign relations
4.4 Administrative divisions
5.1 Economic sectors
Panama as an IFC
5.6 International trade
6.2 Ethnic groups
6.4 Largest cities
7.2 Holidays and festivities
7.3 Traditional cuisine
7.4 Traditional clothing
8 See also
10 Further reading
11 External links
There are several theories about the origin of the name "Panama". Some
believe that the country was named after a commonly found species of
tree (Sterculia apetala, the
Panama tree). Others believe that the
first settlers arrived in
Panama in August, when butterflies abound,
and that the name means "many butterflies" in an indigenous language.
The best-known version is that a fishing village and its nearby beach
bore the name "Panamá", which meant "an abundance of fish". Captain
Antonio Tello de Guzmán, while exploring the Pacific side in 1515,
stopped in the small indigenous fishing town. In 1517 Don Gaspar de
Espinosa, a Spanish lieutenant, decided to settle a post there. In
Pedrarias Dávila decided to establish the Empire's Pacific city
at the site. The new settlement replaced Santa María La Antigua del
Darién, which had lost its function within the Crown's global plan
after the Spanish exploitation of the riches in the Pacific began.
Blending all of the above together,
Panamanians believe in general
that the word
Panama means "abundance of fish, trees and butterflies".
This is the official definition given in social studies textbooks
approved by the Ministry of Education in Panama. However, others
believe the word
Panama comes from the Kuna word "bannaba" which means
"distant" or "far away".
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Main article: History of Panama
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.
Amphibian Pendant, Walters Art Museum
Embera girl dressed for a dance
Isthmus of Panama
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.
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
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.
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 which had been
chronic in Eurasian populations for centuries.
Conquest to 1799
Vasco Núñez de Balboa, a recognized and popular figure of Panamanian
"New Caledonia", the ill-fated Scottish
Darien scheme colony in the
Bay of Caledonia, west of the Gulf of Darien
Rodrigo de Bastidas
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,
Panama quickly became the crossroads and marketplace of Spain's
empire in the New World. 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
In 1538 the
Real Audiencia of Panama was established, initially with
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
Panama was enormously important to
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.
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
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
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
Panama well before the rest of the colonies.
The end of the encomienda system in Azuero, however, sparked the
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
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.
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
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
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.
Santo Domingo Church
Spanish American wars of independence
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
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 an event that shook the isthmus to its
very core. It 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
once the Spaniards were gone.
It was an incredibly brave move on the part of Azuero, which lived in
fear of Colonel José Pedro Antonio de Fábrega y de las Cuevas
(1774–1841), and with good reason. 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
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
Quito and left a colonel in charge, the separatists had
been slowly converting y 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
See also: Panama–
Colombia separation; Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty;
Panamanian general election, 1968; and
History of Panama
History of Panama (1964–77)
Theodore Roosevelt sitting on a steam shovel at the
Panama Canal, 1906
In the first 80 years following independence from Spain,
Panama was a
department of Colombia, after voluntarily joining at the end of 1821.
The people of the isthmus made several attempts to secede and came
close to success in 1831, then again during the
Thousand Days' War
Thousand Days' War of
1899–1902, understood among indigenous
Panamanians as a struggle for
land rights under the leadership of Victoriano Lorenzo.
The US intent to influence the area, especially the
construction and control, led to the separation of
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
In November 1903
Panama proclaimed its independence and concluded
Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty with the United States. 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 U.S. 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-kilometre-long
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
the renegotiation of the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty.
Amid negotiations for the Robles–Johnson treaty,
elections in 1968. The candidates were
Arnulfo Arias Madrid, Unión Nacional ("National Union")
Antonio González Revilla, Democracia Cristiana ("Christian
engineer 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
interests, Lieutenant Colonel
Omar Torrijos Herrera and Major Boris
Martínez commanded the first military coup against a civilian
government in Panamanian republican history.
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
Price freezing on food, medicine and other goods until January 31,
rent level freeze
legalization of the permanence of squatting families in boroughs
surrounding the historic site of
Parallel to this[clarification needed], 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").
Omar Torrijos (right) with farmers in the Panamanian countryside. The
Torrijos government was well known for its policies of land
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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. For the reform to the
constitution[clarification needed] 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 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 (Pizzurno Gelós and Araúz,
Estudios sobre el Panamá republicano 541).
In 1981 Torrijos died in a mysterious plane crash. Torrijos' death
altered the tone of Panama's political evolution. Despite the 1983
constitutional amendments which proscribed a political role for 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
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 Partido Nacionalista Popular PNP
("Popular Nationalist Party")
Carlos Iván Zúñiga, running for Partido Acción Popular (PAPO)
meaning "Popular Action Party"
Barletta was declared the winner of elections that had been clearly
won by Madrid. Ardito Barletta inherited a country in economic ruin
and hugely indebted to the
International Monetary Fund
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
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
The military dictatorship, at that time[when?] supported by the United
States, perpetrated the assassination and torture of
more than one hundred
Panamanians and forced at least a hundred more
dissidents into exile. (see Zárate 15). Noriega also began
playing a double role in
Central America under the supervision of the
CIA. While the
Contadora group conducted diplomatic
efforts to achieve peace in the region, Noriega supplied Nicaraguan
Contras and other guerrillas in the region with weapons and
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[clarification needed], 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.
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 six hundred people injured and
another six hundred detained, many of whom were later tortured and
United States President
Ronald Reagan began a series of sanctions
against the military regime.
The United States
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 U.S. Embassy.
These sanctions did little to overthrow Noriega, but severely damaged
Panama's economy. The sanctions hit the Panamanian population hard and
caused the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to decline almost 25% between
1987–1989 (see Acosta n.p.).
On February 5, 1988, General Manuel Antonio Noriega was accused of
drug trafficking by federal juries in Tampa and Miami.
In April 1988, U.S. President
Ronald Reagan invoked the International
Emergency Economic Powers Act, freezing Panamanian government assets
in all U.S. organizations. In May 1989
overwhelmingly for the anti-Noriega candidates. The Noriega regime
promptly annulled the election and embarked on a new round of
The aftermath of urban warfare during the U.S. invasion of Panama,
U.S. invasion (1989)
Further information: United States invasion of Panama
The United States
The United States government said Operation Just Cause, which began on
December 20, 1989, 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" (New York Times, A Transcript of
President Bush's Address n.p.).
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch wrote in its
1989 report: "Washington turned a blind eye to abuses in
many years until concern over drug trafficking prompted indictments of
the general [Noriega] by two grand juries in Florida in February
1988". The U.S. reported 23 servicemen killed and 324 wounded,
with Panamanian casualties estimated around 450. Described as a
surgical maneuver, the action led to estimates of civilian death from
400 to 4,000 during the two weeks of armed activities.[citation
needed] It represented the largest United States military operation
since the end of the Vietnam War (Cajar Páez 22) The United
Nations put the Panamanian civilian death toll at 500, while other
sources had higher statistics. The number of U.S. civilians (and
their dependents), who had worked for the
Panama Canal Commission and
the U.S. military, and were killed by the Panamanian Defense Forces,
has never been fully disclosed.
On December 29, the
United Nations General Assembly
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". A similar resolution was vetoed in the
Security Council by the United States, the United Kingdom, and
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 bombardments during the
invasion displaced 20,000 people. The most heavily affected district
was impoverished El Chorrillo, where several blocks of apartments were
El Chorrillo had been built in days of Canal
construction, a series of wooden barracks which easily caught fire
under the United States attack. The economic damage caused
by the intervention has been estimated between 1.5 and 2 billion
dollars. n.p. Most
Panamanians supported the intervention.
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
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
Ernesto Pérez Balladares was sworn in as President on
September 1, 1994, after an internationally monitored election
Perez Balladares ran as the candidate for a three-party coalition
dominated by the
Democratic Revolutionary Party
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% 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 U.S. on implementation of the Canal
On September 1, 1999, Mireya Moscoso, the widow of former President
Arnulfo Arias Madrid, took office after defeating PRD candidate Martin
Torrijos, son of Omar Torrijos, in a free and fair
election. 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.
Martin Torrijos won the presidency and a legislative
majority in the National Assembly in 2004. 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. 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
Martin Torrijos with a landslide victory in the May 2009
presidential election. Mr. Martinelli's business credentials drew
voters worried by slowing growth due to the world financial
crisis. Standing for the four-party opposition Alliance for
Change, Mr. Martinelli gained 60% of the vote, against 37% for the
candidate of the governing left-wing Democratic Revolutionary Party.
On May 4, 2014,
Juan Carlos Varela
Juan Carlos Varela won the 2014 presidential election
with over 39% of the votes, against the party of his former political
partner Ricardo Martinelli, Cambio Democrático, and their candidate
José Domingo Arias. He was sworn in on July 1, 2014.
A map of Panama
Main article: Geography of Panama
La Palma, Darién.
Panama is located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea
and the Pacific Ocean, between
Colombia and Costa Rica. It mostly lies
between latitudes 7° and 10°N, and longitudes 77° and 83°W (a
small area lies west of 83°).
Its location on the
Isthmus of Panama
Isthmus of Panama is strategic. By 2000, Panama
Panama Canal which connects the Atlantic Ocean and the
Caribbean Sea to the North of the Pacific Ocean. Panama's total area
is 74,177.3 km2.
The dominant feature of Panama's geography is the central spine of
mountains and hills that forms the continental divide. The divide does
not form part of the great mountain chains of North America, and only
near the Colombian border are there highlands related to the Andean
system of South America. The spine that forms the divide is the highly
eroded arch of an uplift from the sea bottom, in which peaks were
formed by volcanic intrusions.
The mountain range of the divide is called the Cordillera de Talamanca
near the Costa Rican border. Farther east it becomes the Serranía de
Tabasará, and the portion of it closer to the lower saddle of the
isthmus, where the
Panama Canal is located, is often called the Sierra
de Veraguas. As a whole, the range between
Costa Rica and the canal is
generally referred to by geographers as the Cordillera Central.
The highest point in the country is the Volcán Barú, which rises to
3,475 metres (11,401 feet). A nearly impenetrable jungle forms the
Darién Gap between
Colombia where Colombian guerrillas and
drug dealers operate and sometimes take hostages. This and unrest, and
forest protection movements, create a break in the Pan-American
Highway, which otherwise forms a complete road from
Panama's wildlife is the most diverse in Central America. It is home
to many South American species as well as to North American wildlife.
The Chagres River
Nearly 500 rivers lace Panama's rugged landscape. Mostly unnavigable,
many originate as swift highland streams, meander in valleys, and form
coastal deltas. However, the
Río Chagres (Chagres River), located in
central Panama, is one of the few wide rivers and a source of enormous
hydroelectric power. The central part of the river is dammed by the
Gatun Dam and forms Gatun Lake, an artificial lake that constitutes
part of the
Panama Canal. The lake was created by the construction of
Gatun Dam across the
Río Chagres between 1907 and 1913. Once
Gatun Lake was the largest man-made lake in the world, and
the dam was the largest earth dam. The river drains northwest into the
Caribbean. The Kampia and Madden Lakes (also filled from the Río
Chagres) provide hydroelectricity for the area of the former Canal
The Río Chepo, another source of hydroelectric power, is one of the
more than 300 rivers emptying into the Pacific. These Pacific-oriented
rivers are longer and slower-running than those on the Caribbean side.
Their basins are also more extensive. One of the longest is the Río
Tuira, which flows into the
Golfo de San Miguel
Golfo de San Miguel and is the nation's
only river that is navigable by larger vessels.
The Caribbean coastline is marked by several good natural harbors.
However, Cristóbal, at the Caribbean terminus of the canal, had the
only important port facilities in the late 1980s. The numerous islands
of the Archipiélago de Bocas del Toro, near the Beaches of Costa
Rica, provide an extensive natural roadstead and shield the banana
port of Almirante. The more than 350
San Blas Islands
San Blas Islands near Colombia,
are strung out over more than 160 kilometres (99 miles) along the
sheltered Caribbean coastline.
Colón Harbor, 2000
The terminal ports located at each end of the
Panama Canal, namely the
Port of Cristóbal and the Port of Balboa, are ranked second and third
respectively in Latin America in terms of numbers of containers units
(TEU) handled. The Port of Balboa covers 182 hectares and contains
four berths for containers and two multi-purpose berths. In total, the
berths are over 2,400 metres (7,900 feet) long with alongside depth of
15 metres (49 feet). The Port of Balboa has 18 super post-
Panamax quay cranes and 44 gantry cranes. The Port of Balboa also
contains 2,100 square metres (23,000 square feet) of warehouse
The Ports of Cristobal (encompassing the container terminals of Panama
Ports Cristobal, Manzanillo International Terminal and Colon Container
Terminal) handled 2,210,720 TEU in 2009, second only to the Port of
Santos, Brazil, in Latin America.
Excellent deep water ports capable of accommodating large
Large Crude Oil Carriers) are located at Charco Azul, Chiriquí
(Pacific) and Chiriquí Grande, Bocas del Toro (Atlantic) near
Panama's western border with Costa Rica. The Trans-
running 131 kilometres (81 miles) across the isthmus, has operated
Charco Azul and
Chiriquí Grande since 1979.
Main article: Climate of Panama
Panama map of Köppen climate classification.
A cooler climate is common in the Panamanian highlands.
Panama has a tropical climate. Temperatures are uniformly high—as is
the relative humidity—and there is little seasonal variation.
Diurnal ranges are low; on a typical dry-season day in the capital
city, the early morning minimum may be 24 °C (75.2 °F) and
the afternoon maximum 30 °C (86.0 °F). The temperature
seldom exceeds 32 °C (89.6 °F) for more than a short time.
Temperatures on the Pacific side of the isthmus are somewhat lower
than on the Caribbean, and breezes tend to rise after dusk in most
parts of the country. Temperatures are markedly cooler in the higher
parts of the mountain ranges, and frosts occur in the Cordillera de
Talamanca in western Panama.
Climatic regions are determined less on the basis of temperature than
on rainfall, which varies regionally from less than 1,300 millimeters
(51.2 in) to more than 3,000 millimeters (118.1 in) per
year. Almost all of the rain falls during the rainy season, which is
usually from April to December, but varies in length from seven to
nine months. In general, rainfall is much heavier on the Caribbean
than on the Pacific side of the continental divide. The annual average
Panama City is little more than half of that in Colón. Although
rainy-season thunderstorms are common, the country is outside the
Panama's tropical environment supports an abundance of plants. Forests
dominate, interrupted in places by grasslands, scrub, and crops.
Although nearly 40% of
Panama is still wooded, deforestation is a
continuing threat to the rain-drenched woodlands. Tree cover has been
reduced by more than 50% since the 1940s. Subsistence farming, widely
practiced from the northeastern jungles to the southwestern
grasslands, consists largely of corn, bean, and tuber plots. Mangrove
swamps occur along parts of both coasts, with banana plantations
occupying deltas near Costa Rica. In many places, a multi-canopied
rain forest abuts the swamp on one side of the country and extends to
the lower reaches of slopes on the other.
Main article: Politics of Panama
The National Assembly of Panama.
Panama's politics take place in a framework of a presidential
representative democratic republic, whereby the
President of Panama
President of Panama is
both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party
Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative
power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The
judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
National elections are universal and mandatory for all citizens 18
years and older. National elections for the executive and legislative
branches take place every five years. Members of the judicial branch
(justices) are appointed by the head of state. Panama's National
Assembly is elected by proportional representation in fixed electoral
districts, so many smaller parties are represented. Presidential
elections requires a simple majority; out of the five last presidents
Ricardo Martinelli has managed to be elected with
over 50% of the popular vote.
Since the end of Manuel Noriega's military dictatorship in 1989,
Panama has successfully completed five peaceful transfers of power to
opposing political factions. The political landscape is dominated by
two major parties and many smaller parties, many of which are driven
by individual leaders more than ideologies. Former President Martin
Torrijos is the son of general Omar Torrijos. He succeeded Mireya
Moscoso, the widow of Arnulfo Arias. Panama's most recent national
elections occurred on May 4, 2014 with incumbent vice-President Juan
Carlos Varela declared the victor.
Further information: Foreign relations of Panama
Juan Carlos Varela
Juan Carlos Varela and Vice President Isabel Saint
Malo with former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
The United States
The United States cooperates with the Panamanian government in
promoting economic, political, security, and social development
through U.S. and international agencies. Cultural ties between the two
countries are strong, and many
Panamanians come to the United States
for higher education and advanced training.
Further information: Panamanian Public Forces
Panamanian Public Forces
Panamanian Public Forces are the national security forces of
Panama is the second country in Latin America (the other being
Costa Rica) to permanently abolish its standing army.
armed police and security forces, and small air and maritime forces.
They are tasked with law enforcement and can perform limited military
Bocas del Toro
Kuna de Madugandí
Kuna de Wargandí
Main article: Provinces and regions of Panama
Panama is divided into ten provinces with their respective local
authorities (governors). Each is divided into districts and
corregimientos (townships). Also, there are five Comarcas (literally:
"Shires") populated by a variety of indigenous groups.
Bocas del Toro
Kuna de Madugandí
Kuna de Wargandí
Main article: Economy of Panama
This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to
reflect recent events or newly available information. (May 2016)
Panamax ship in transit through the Miraflores locks,
According to the CIA World Factbook, as of 2012[update]
Panama had an
unemployment rate of 2.7%. A food surplus was registered in August
2008. On the Human Development Index,
Panama ranked 60th in 2015. In
recent years, Panama's economy has experienced a boom, with growth in
real gross domestic product (GDP) averaging over 10.4% in 2006–2008.
Panama's economy has been among the fastest growing and best managed
in Latin America. The Latin Business Chronicle
Panama would be the fastest growing economy in Latin
America during the five-year period from 2010–14, matching Brazil's
The expansion project on the
Panama Canal and the free trade agreement
with the United States are expected[who?] to boost and extend economic
expansion for some time.
Despite Panama's upper-middle per capita GDP, it remains a country of
stark contrasts perpetuated by dramatic educational disparities. Over
25% of Panama's population lived in poverty in 2013 and 3% of the
population lives in extreme poverty, according to reports by the World
The Marine bridge viaduct
Panama's economy, because of its key geographic location, is mainly
based on a well-developed service sector, especially commerce,
tourism, and trading. The handover of the Canal and military
installations by the United States has given rise to large
A project to build a third set of locks for the
Panama Canal A was
overwhelmingly approved in a referendum (with low voter turnout,
however) on October 22, 2006. The official estimated cost of the
project is US$5.25 billion, but the canal is of major economic
importance because it provides millions of dollars of toll revenue to
the national economy and provides massive employment. Transfer of
control of the Canal to the Panamanian government completed in 1999,
after 85 years of US control.
Copper and gold deposits are being developed by foreign investors, to
the dismay of some environmental groups, as all of the projects are
located within protected areas.
Panama as an IFC
Financial centre and
Panama as a tax haven
Since the early 20th century,
Panama has with the revenues from the
canal built the largest Regional Financial Center (IFC) in Central
America, with consolidated assets more than three times Panama’s
GDP. The banking sector employs more than 24,000 people directly.
Financial intermediation contributed 9.3% of GDP. Stability has
been a key strength of Panama's financial sector, which has benefited
from the country's favorable economic and business climate. Banking
institutions report sound growth and solid financial earnings. The
banking supervisory regime is largely compliant with the Basel Core
Principles for Effective
Banking Supervision. As a regional
Panama exports some banking services, mainly to
Central and Latin America, and plays an important role in the
country's economy. However,
Panama still cannot compare to the
position held by Hong Kong or Singapore as financial centers in Asia.
Panama still has a reputation worldwide for being a tax haven but has
agreed to enhanced transparency, especially since the release in 2016
Panama Papers. Significant progress has been made to improve
full compliance with anti-money laundering recommendations.
removed from the FATFGAFI gray list in February 2016. However efforts
remain to be made, and the IMF repeatedly mentions the need to
strengthen financial transparency and fiscal structure.
Tocumen International Airport, Central America's largest airport
Main article: Transport in Panama
Panama is home to
Tocumen International Airport, Central America's
largest airport. Additionally there are more than 20 smaller airfields
in the country. (See list of airports in Panama).
Panama's roads, traffic and transportation systems are generally safe,
though night driving is difficult and in many cases, restricted by
local authorities. This usually occurs in informal settlements.
Panama moves on the right, and Panamanian law requires that
drivers and passengers wear seat belts. Highways are generally
well-developed for a Latin American country.
Panama City has modern buses known as Metrobuses, along
with a Metro line. Formerly, the system was dominated by
colorfully painted diablos rojos; a few remain. A diablo rojo is
usually customized or painted with bright colors, usually depicting
famous actors, politicians or singers.
Panama City's streets
experience frequent traffic jams due to poor planning for
now-extensive private vehicle ownership.
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Zapatilla Island, Panama
Tourism in Panama
Tourism in Panama is rapidly growing. It has
maintained its growth over the past five years due to government tax
and price discounts to foreign guests and retirees. These economic
incentives have caused
Panama to be regarded as a relatively good
place to retire. Real estate developers in Panama
have increased the number of tourism destinations in the past five
years because of interest in these visitor incentives.
The number of tourists from Europe grew by 23.1% during the first nine
months of 2008. According to the Tourism Authority of
from January to September, 71,154 tourists from Europe entered Panama,
13,373 more than in same period the previous year. Most of the
European tourists were Spaniards (14,820), followed by Italians
(13,216), French (10,174) and British (8,833). There were 6997 from
Germany, the most populous country in the European Union. Europe has
become one of the key markets to promote
Panama as a tourist
In 2012, 4.345.5 million[clarification needed] entered into the
Panamanian economy as a result of tourism. This accounted for 9.5% of
the gross domestic product of the country, surpassing other productive
sectors. The number of tourists who arrived that year
was 2.2 million.
Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site by
UNESCO in 1980.
Panama enacted Law No. 80 in 2012 to promote foreign investment in
tourism. Law 80 replaced an older Law 8 of 1994. Law 80
provides 100% exemption from income tax and real estate taxes for 15
years, duty-free imports for construction materials and equipment for
five years, and a capital gains tax exemption for five years.
The Panamanian currency is officially the balboa, fixed at a rate of
1:1 with the
United States dollar
United States dollar since Panamanian independence in
1903. In practice,
Panama is dollarized: US dollars are legal tender
and used for all paper currency, while
Panama has its own coinage.
Because of the tie to US dollars,
Panama has traditionally had low
inflation. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and
the Caribbean, Panama's inflation in 2006 was 2.0% as measured by a
Consumer Price Index
Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The balboa replaced the
Colombian peso in 1904 after Panama's
independence. Balboa banknotes were printed in 1941 by President
Arnulfo Arias. They were recalled several days later, giving them the
name "The Seven Day Dollar". The notes were burned by the new
government, but occasionally balboa notes can be found in collections.
These were the only banknotes ever issued by
Panama and U.S. notes
have circulated both before and since.
The high levels of Panamanian trade are in large part from the Colón
Free Trade Zone, the largest free trade zone in the Western
Hemisphere. Last year the zone accounted for 92% of Panama's exports
and 64% of its imports, according to an analysis of figures from the
Colon zone management and estimates of Panama's trade by the United
Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Panama's economy is also very much supported by the trade and export
of coffee and other agricultural products.
The Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the governments of the
United States and
Panama was signed on October 27, 1982. The treaty
protects US investment and assists
Panama in its efforts to develop
its economy by creating conditions more favorable for US private
investment and thereby strengthening the development of its private
sector. The BIT was the first such treaty signed by the US in the
Western Hemisphere. A
Panama - United States Trade Promotion
Agreement (TPA) was signed in 2007, approved by
Panama on July 11,
2007 and by US President Obama on October 21, 2011, and the agreement
entered into force on October 31, 2012.
Main article: Demographics of Panama
Panama's population, (1961–2003).
Panama had an estimated population of 4,034,119 in 2016. The
proportion of the population aged less than 15 in 2010 was 29%. 64.5%
of the population was between 15 and 65, with 6.6% of the population
65 years or older.
More than half the population lives in the
metropolitan corridor, which spans several cities. Panama's urban
population exceeds 75%, making Panama's population the most urbanized
in Central America.
Panama City, Panama's capital.
These are the 10 largest Panamanian cities and towns. Most of Panama's
largest cities are part of the
Panama City Metropolitan Area.
In 2010 the population was 65%
Mestizo (mixed white, Native American),
12.3% Native American, 9.2% Black or African descent, 6.8% mulatto,
and 6.7% White.
Ethnic groups in
Mestizo people, who have a mix of
European and native ancestry. Black Afro-
Panamanians account for
15–20% of the population. Most Afro-
Panamanians live on the
Panama-Colón metropolitan area, the Darien Province, La Palma, and
Bocas Del Toro. Neighborhoods in
Panama City that have large black
populations include: Curundu, El Chorrillo, Rio Abajo, San Joaquín,
El Marañón, San Miguelito, and Santa Ana. Black
Panamanians are descendants of African slaves brought to the Americas
in the Atlantic Slave Trade. The second wave of black people brought
Panama came from the Caribbean during the construction of the
Panama also has a considerable Chinese and Indian
(India) population brought to work on the canal during its
construction. Most Chinese-
Panamanians reside in the province of
Chiriquí. Europeans and white-
Panamanians are a
minority in Panama.
Panama is also home to a small Arab community that
has mosques, practices Islam, as well as a
Jewish community and many
The Amerindian population includes seven ethnic groups: the Ngäbe,
Kuna (Guna), Emberá, Buglé, Wounaan, Naso Tjerdi (Teribe), and Bri
Further information: Panamanian Spanish
Spanish is the official and dominant language. The Spanish spoken in
Panama is known as Panamanian Spanish. About 93% of the population
speak Spanish as their first language. Many citizens who hold jobs at
international levels, or at business corporations, speak both English
and Spanish. Native languages, such as Ngäbere, are spoken throughout
the country, mostly in their native territories. Over 400,000
Panamanians keep their native languages and customs. Some new
statistics show that as second language, English is spoken by 10%,
French by 4% and Arabic by 1%.
Further information: List of cities in Panama
Largest cities or towns in Panama
Santiago de Veraguas
Main article: Religion in Panama
Plaza de la independencia,
The government of
Panama does not collect statistics on the religious
affiliation of citizens, but various sources estimate that 75% to 85%
of the population identifies itself as
Roman Catholic and 15%–25% as
Bahá'í Faith community of
estimated at 2.00% of the national population, or about 60,000
including about 10% of the
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) claims
more than 40,000 members. Smaller religious groups include
Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Episcopalians with
between 7,000 and 10,000 members,
Jewish and Muslim communities with
approximately 10,000 members each, Hindus, Buddhists, and other
Christians. Indigenous religions include Ibeorgun (among Kuna) and
Mamatata (among Ngobe). There are also a small number of
Main article: Education in Panama
During the 16th century, education in
Panama was provided by Jesuits.
Public education began as a national and governmental institution in
1903. The principle underlying the early education system was that
children should receive different types of education in accordance
with their social class and therefore the position they were expected
to occupy in society.
Public education began in
Panama soon after it seceded from Colombia
in 1903. The first efforts were guided by an extremely paternalistic
view of the goals of education, as evidenced in comments made in a
1913 meeting of the First Panamanian Educational Assembly, "The
cultural heritage given to the child should be determined by the
social position he will or should occupy. For this reason education
should be different in accordance with the social class to which the
student should be related." This elitist focus changed rapidly under
In 2010, it was estimated that 94.1% of the population was literate
(94.7% of males and 93.5% of females).
Education in Panama
Education in Panama is
compulsory for the children between 6 and 18. In recent decades,
school enrollment at all levels, but especially at upper levels, has
Panama used to participate in the PISA exams
but due to debts and unsatisfactory exam results is postponing
participation until 2018.
Main article: Culture of Panama
See also: Music of Panama
A couple dancing Panamanian Cumbia.
The culture of
Panama derives from European music, art and traditions
brought by the Spanish to Panama.
Hegemonic forces have created hybrid
forms blending African and Native American culture with European
culture. For example, the tamborito is a Spanish dance with African
rhythms, themes and dance moves.
Dance is typical of the diverse cultures in Panama. The local folklore
can be experienced at a multitude of festivals, through dances and
traditions handed down from generation to generation. Local cities
host live reggae en español, reggaeton, haitiano (compas), jazz,
blues, salsa, reggae, and rock music performances.
Panama City, regional festivals take place throughout the year
featuring local musicians and dancers. Panama's blended culture is
reflected in traditional products, such as woodcarvings, ceremonial
masks and pottery, as well as in Panama's architecture, cuisine and
festivals. In earlier times, baskets were woven for utilitarian uses,
but now many villages rely almost exclusively on income from the
baskets they produce for tourists.
An example of undisturbed, unique culture in
Panama is that of the
Guna who are known for molas. Mola is the Guna word for blouse, but
the term mola has come to mean the elaborate embroidered panels made
by Guna women, that make up the front and back of a Guna woman's
blouse. They are several layers of cloth, varying in color, that are
loosely stitched together, made using a reverse appliqué process.
Holidays and festivities
Further information: Public holidays in Panama
The Christmas parade, known as El desfile de Navidad, is celebrated in
Panama City. This holiday is celebrated on December 25.
The floats in the parade are decorated in the Panamanian colors, and
women wear dresses called pollera and men dress in traditional
montuno. In addition, the marching band in the parade, consisting of
drummers, keeps crowds entertained. In the city, a big Christmas tree
is lit with Christmas lights, and everybody surrounds the tree and
sings Christmas carols.
Further information: Panamanian cuisine
Panamanian cuisine is a mix of African, Spanish, and Native American
techniques, dishes, and ingredients, reflecting its diverse
Panama is a land bridge between two continents, it
has a large variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs that are
used in native cooking.
Typical Panamanian foods are mild-flavored, without the pungency of
some of Panama's Latin American and Caribbean neighbors. Common
ingredients are maize, rice, wheat flour, plantains, yuca (cassava),
beef, chicken, pork and seafood.
Panamanian men's traditional clothing, called montuno, consists of
white cotton shirts, trousers and woven straw hats.
The traditional women's clothing is the pollera. It originated in
Spain in the 16th century, and by the early 1800s it was typical in
Panama, worn by female servants, especially wet nurses (De Zarate 5).
Later, it was adopted by upper-class women.
A pollera is made of "cambric" or "fine linen" (Baker 177). It is
white, and is usually about 13 yards of material.
The original pollera consists of a ruffled blouse worn off the
shoulders and a skirt with gold buttons. The skirt is also ruffled, so
that when it is lifted up, it looks like a peacock's tail or a
mantilla fan. The designs on the skirt and blouse are usually flowers
or birds. Two large matching pom poms (mota) are on the front and
back, four ribbons hang from the front and back from the waist, five
gold chains (caberstrillos) hang from the neck to the waist, a gold
cross or medallion on a black ribbon is worn as a choker, and a silk
purse is worn at the waistline. Earrings (zaricillos) are usually gold
or coral. Slippers usually match the color of the pollera. Hair is
usually worn in a bun, held by three large gold combs that have pearls
(tembleques) worn like a crown. Quality pollera can cost up to
$10,000, and may take a year to complete.
Today, there are different types of polleras; the pollera de gala
consists of a short-sleeved ruffle skirt blouse, two full-length
skirts and a petticoat. Girls wear tembleques in their hair. Gold
coins and jewelry are added to the outfit. The pollera montuna is a
daily dress, with a blouse, a skirt with a solid color, a single gold
chain, and pendant earrings and a natural flower in the hair. Instead
of an off-the-shoulder blouse it is worn with a fitted white jacket
that has shoulder pleats and a flared hem.
Traditional clothing in
Panama can be worn in parades, where the
females and males do a traditional dance. Females gently sway and
twirl their skirts, while men hold their hats in their hands and dance
behind the females.
Further information: Panamanian literature
According to Professor Rodrigo Miró, the first story about
Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés
Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés and published as
part of the Historia General y Natural de Las Indias in 1535. Some
poets and novelists born in Panamá are:
Manuel María Ayala (1785–1824)
Amelia Denis de Icaza
Amelia Denis de Icaza (1836–1911)
Darío Herrera (1870–1914)
Ricardo Miró (1883–1940)
Gaspar Octavio Hernández (1893–1918)
Demetrio Korsi (1899–1957)
Ricardo Bermúdez (1914–2000)
Mario Augusto Rodriguez (1917–2008)
José María Sánchez (1918–1973)
Ramón H. Jurado (1922–1978)
Carlos Francisco Chang Marín (1922–2012 )
Joaquín Beleño (1922–1988)
Tristán Solarte (1924– )
Pedro Rivera (1939– )
Moravia Ochoa López (1941– )
Gloria Guardia (1940– )
Dimas Lidio Pitty (1941– )
Roberto Fernández Iglesias (1941– )
Juan David Morgan (1942– )
Jarl Ricardo Babot (1946– )
Manuel Orestes Nieto (1951– )
Moisés Pascual (1955– )
Héctor Miguel Collado (1960– )
David Robinson Orobio (1960– )
Katia Chiari (1969– )
Carlos Oriel Wynter Melo (1971– )
José Luis Rodríguez Pittí
José Luis Rodríguez Pittí (1971– )
Sofía Santim (1982– ).
Panamanian baseball catcher Carlos Ruiz during 2007 Spring Training.
The U.S. influence in
Panama can be seen in the country's sports.
Baseball is Panama's national sport and the country has regional teams
and a national team that represents it in international events. At
least 140 Panamanian players have played professional baseball in the
United States, more than any other Central American country.
Notable players include Bruce Chen, Rod Carew, Mariano Rivera, Carlos
Lee, Manny Sanguillén, and Carlos Ruiz.
In boxing, four
Panamanians are in the International Boxing Hall of
Fame: Roberto Durán, Eusebio Pedroza,
Ismael Laguna and
Brown. In August 2016
Panama had two reigning world boxing champions:
Guillermo Jones and Anselmo Moreno.
Since the end of the 20th century, association football has become a
popular sport for Panamanians, the national league and the national
team has featured a good progress, their legendary players are such as
Luis Ernesto Tapia, Rommel Fernández, the Dely Valdes Brothers:
Armando, Julio and Jorge; and recent players as Jaime Penedo, Felipe
Baloy, Luis Tejada, Blas Perez,
Roman Torres and Harold Cummings.
Panama qualified for their first World Cup in 2018.
Basketball is also popular in Panama. There are regional teams as well
as a squad that competes internationally. Two of Panama's prominent
basketball players are Rolando Blackman, a four-time NBA All-Star, and
Kevin Daley, a 10-year captain and showman of the Harlem
Globetrotters. Other remarkable players who represented Panama
internationally are Mario Butler, and Rolando Frazer.
Other popular sports include volleyball, taekwondo, golf, and tennis.
A long-distance hiking trail called the Trans
Panama Trail is being
Colombia to Costa Rica.
Other non-traditional sports in the country have had great importance
such as the triathlon that has captured the attention of many athletes
nationwide and the country has hosted international competitions. Flag
football has also been growing in popularity in both men and women and
with international participation in world of this discipline being
among the best teams in the world, the sport was introduced by
Americans residing in the Canal Zone for veterans and retirees who
even had a festival called the Turkey Ball. Other popular sports are
American football, rugby, hockey, softball and other amateur sports
BMX and surfing, because the many beaches of
Panama such as Santa Catalina and Venao that have hosted events the
likes of ISA World
Irving Saladino became the first Panamanian Olympic gold
medalist in 2008. In 2012 eight different athletes represented Panama
in the London 2012 Olympics:
Irving Saladino in the long jump, Alonso
Andrea Ferris in track and field,
Diego Castillo in
swimming, and the youngest on the team,
Carolena Carstens who was 16
competing in taekwondo. She was the first representative to compete
Panama in that sport.
North America portal
Latin America portal
Index of Panama-related articles
Outline of Panama
Water supply and sanitation in Panama
^ "Panama". CIA World Factbook.
^ "Demographic Yearbook – Table 3: Population by sex, rate of
population increase, surface area and density" (PDF). United Nations
Statistics Division. 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
^ a b c "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org
(custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of
Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10
^ Distribución territorial y migración interna en Panamá: Censo
2010 (PDF) (Report) (in Spanish). INEC. 2014. p. 2. Retrieved
December 22, 2015.
^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database: Panama". International
Monetary Fund. 1 October 2017. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
^ "Gini Index". World Bank. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
^ "2015 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development
Programme. 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
^ "National Geographic Education". National Geographic Society.
Retrieved May 12, 2011.
National Geographic Atlas (list). National Geographic Society. 2010.
Webster's New Geographical Dictionary (list and map). Merriam-Webster
Inc. 1984. pp. 856, 859.
"Americas" Standard Country and Area Codes Classifications (M49),
United Nations Statistics Division
"North America" Atlas of Canada
North America Atlas National Geographic
^ a b c "Panama". CIA – The World Factbook. Retrieved December 23,
^ UNDP Human Development Report 2015. Table 1: Human development index
2015 and its components (PDF). UNDP. p. 144. Retrieved November
^ "Country profile: Panama". BBC News. June 30, 2010.
^ "Origen del Nombre Panamá". República de Panamá. Archived from
the original on February 14, 2007. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
^ Austin Alchon, Suzanne (2003). A pest in the land: new world
epidemics in a global perspective. University of New
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.
^ Hays, J. N. (2005). Epidemics and pandemics: their impacts on human
history, ABC-CLIO, pp. 82–83, ISBN 1-85109-658-2
^ 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.
^ Pike, Ruth (2007). "Black Rebels: Cimarrons in Sixteenth Century
Panama". The Americas. 64 (2): 243–66.
^ "The Darien Scheme – The Fall of Scotland", Historic UK
^ Müller-Schwarze, Nina K. (2015). The Blood of Victoriano Lorenzo:
An Ethnography of the Cholos of Northern Coclé Province. Jefferson,
North Carolina: McFarland Press.
^ "Separación de Panamá: la historia desconocida".
banrepcultural.org. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
^ "The 1903 Treaty and Qualified Independence". U.S. Library of
Congress. 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2009.
^ "Panamá: el último año". banrepcultural.org. Retrieved April 9,
^ a b c d e f Pizzurno Gelós, Patricia and Celestino Andrés Araúz
(1996) Estudios sobre el Panamá Republicano (1903–1989). Colombia:
^ Pizzurno Gelós, Patricia and Celestino Andrés Araúz (1996)
Estudios sobre el Panamá Republicano (1903–1989). Colombia: Manfer
S.A., p. 529.
^ 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.
^ 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.
^ New York Times. A Transcript of President Bush's Address on the
Decision to Use Force, December 21, 1989. Web. January 2, 2008.
^ a b "Panama".
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch World Report 1989. hrw.org
^ Cajar Páez, Aristides. "La invasion." Extra-centennial issue of La
Prensa, Nov.9 (2003): 22. Print.
^ John Pike. "Operation Just Cause". Retrieved October 25, 2014.
^ "Effects of the military intervention by the United States of
Panama on the situation in Central America".
^ "Fighting in Panama: United Nations; Security Council Condemnation
of Invasion Vetoed".
^ "Panama" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4,
Panama Deception. Dir. Barbara Trent. Empowerment Project, 1992
^ 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.
^ a b "
Panama (11/07)". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved April 2,
Panama Country Profile". BBC. June 30, 2010. Retrieved July 25,
^ "Datos generales e históricos de la República de Panamá" (PDF)
(in Spanish). INEC. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
^ CEPAL – Naciones Unidas (March 22, 2010). "Ranking 2009 de
Actividad portuaria de contenedores en América Latina y el Caribe".
Eclac.cl. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved
December 23, 2010.
^ "Port of Balboa". World Port Source. Retrieved December 23,
^ "Our History". Petroterminal.com. February 9, 1997. Retrieved
December 23, 2010.
^ Tycoon elected Panama's president Retrieved July 25, 2010
^ "Latin Business Chronicle". Latin Business Chronicle. October 7,
2009. Archived from the original on July 17, 2010. Retrieved June 26,
^ Sullivan M.P. 2011 February 2. Panama: Politics and Economic
Conditions and U.S. Relations. Congressional Research Service.
^ "Panama". World Bank. April 15, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
^ "Poverty headcount ratio at $1.25 a day (PPP) (% of population)".
World Bank. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
^ Oancea, Dan (January 2009). Mining in Central America.
Magazine.mining.com, pp. 10–12.
^ Park, Yoon S.; Essayyad, Musa (December 6, 2012). International
Banking and Financial Centers. Springer Science & Business Media.
^ a b "Committee of Independent Experts" (PDF). Presidency of the
Republic of Panama. November 18, 2016.
^ "Offshore Financial Centers (OFCs): IMF Staff Assessments (OFCA)".
www.imf.org. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
^ a b "Panama: Country-specific information". U.S. Department of State
(March 18, 2009). This article incorporates text from this source,
which is in the public domain.
^ "MiBus". mibus.com.pa. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
^ "El Metro de Panamá". El Metro de Panamá (in Spanish). Retrieved
February 26, 2016.
^ Redfrogbeach.com Archived October 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.,
Isla Palenque, examples
^ Agarwal, Tanya; Suresh, Sandeep; Saha, Sourish; S., Varun; Narayan,
Varun (2014-03-09). "The
Republic of Panama: An Economic Analysis".
Elsevier. section 1.A.ii ("Tourism") – via SSRN.
^ Juan José Espino Sagel.
Panama enacts new Tourism Law: Law 80 of
^ "CEPAL.org" (PDF). Retrieved June 26, 2010.
^ "List of BITs currently in effect". Tcc.export.gov. Retrieved June
^ "The United States-
Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA)".
trade.gov. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
^ "Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social
Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects:
The 2012 Revision". Esa.un.org. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
^ "Corredor Transístmico Panamá -Colón". Retrieved August 5,
The World Factbook
The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency".
^ "Update 2011 – Panama". Iwgia.org. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
^ "Panama". Retrieved August 5, 2010.
The World Factbook
The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov.
^ a b "The World Factbook". Retrieved October 25, 2014.
^ a b c d International Religious Freedom Report 2007: Panama. United
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (September 14,
2007). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in
the public domain.
^ "Panama". World Council of Churches: WCC Member Churches. World
Council of Churches. January 1, 2006. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
^ International Community, Bahá'í (October–December 1994). "In
Panama, some Guaymis blaze a new path". One Country. 1994
^ Panama. LDS Newsroom. Retrieved December 13, 2008
^ This article incorporates public domain material from
Library of Congress
Library of Congress document: Kluck, Patricia (December
1987). Sandra W. Meditz and Dennis M. Hanratty, ed. "Panama: A country
study". Federal Research Division. Education.
^ "Panamá sin pruebas Pisa hasta 2018". Impresa.prensa.com. Retrieved
April 9, 2016.
^ "The online almanac of
Panama culture with travel links". Panama
Culture. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
^ "Panama". Bureau of
Western Hemisphere Affairs. June 23, 2010.
^ Celebremos Panama!. Discovery Theater and Smithonian Latino Center
^ "Baseball in Panama". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved December 23,
Buckley, Kevin, Panama, Touchstone, 1992. ISBN 0-671-77876-5
Diaz Espino, Ovidio, How Wall Street Created a Nation, Four Walls
Eight Windows, 2001. ISBN 1-56858-196-3
Harding, Robert C., The History of Panama, Greenwood Publishing, 2006.
Harding, Robert C., Military Foundations of Panamanian Politics,
Transaction Publishers, 2001. ISBN 0-393-02696-5
Joster, R.M. and Sanchez, Guillermo, In the Time of the Tyrants,
Panama: 1968–1990, W.W. Norton & Company, 1990.
Mellander, Gustavo A.; Nelly Maldonado Mellander (1999). Charles
Edward Magoon: The
Panama Years. Río Piedras, Puerto Rico: Editorial
Plaza Mayor. ISBN 1-56328-155-4. OCLC 42970390.
Mellander, Gustavo A. (1971).
The United States
The United States in Panamanian
Politics: The Intriguing Formative Years. Danville, Ill.: Interstate
Publishers. OCLC 138568.
Porras, Ana Elena, Cultura de la Interoceanidad: Narrativas de
Identidad Nacional de
Panama (1990–2002), Editorial Carlos Manuel
Gasteazoro, 2005. ISBN 9962-53-131-4
Serrano, Damaris, La Nación Panamena en sus Espacios: Cultura
Popular, Resistencia y Globalización, Editorial Mariano Arosemena,
2005. ISBN 9962-659-01-9
Villarreal, Melquiades, Esperanza o Realidad: Fronteras de la
Identidad Panamena, Editorial Mariano Arosemena, 2004.
Weeks, John and Gunson, Phil, Panama. Made in the USA, 1992.
Government of Panama
Panama at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Panama from UCB Libraries GovPubs
"Panama". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
Panama from the BBC News
Wikimedia Atlas of Panama
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