Panama Against Drug Trafficking

By Dialogo
May 10, 2010

On the first anniversary of his inauguration, the president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, announced a counteroffensive against crime and drug trafficking in his country. Martinelli announced new actions to fight crime, acknowledging that it has been very difficult for his administration to tackle this problem. In the capital in recent days, the number of crimes has increased, as a result of gangs, hitmen, and the business of drug trafficking. According to the president, insecurity is an “old” problem that will not be resolved by building a school or a highway. The president indicated that security will be one of the principal issues on the agenda to be addressed by the Assembly of Deputies in upcoming extraordinary sessions. He acknowledged that it has been very difficult to confront the challenge of security and indicated as one of the causes of this the fact that “the laws do not accompany the public officials, the police.” Martinelli has strengthened laws penalizing violence and has created naval air bases and a new security ministry with the aim of fighting crime and organized crime throughout the national territory.