Panama. According to COUNTRYAAH, Panama City is the capital of Panama which is located in North America. President Juan Carlos Varela made an effort during the year to improve the image of Panama, which emerged as a notoriously corrupt tax haven. Among other things, extensive corruption allegations against former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-14) were investigated, and in early April he was deprived of his legal immunity to be subject to a criminal investigation. In June, the prosecutor’s office also decided to initiate a preliminary investigation into bribery from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht after its CEO was arrested in Brazil. Among other things, Panamanian bank accounts should have been used to secure a contract for Odebrecht to build Panama City’s new subway, worth $ 2 billion. But Panama also ended up on the EU’s black list of tax havens, published June 17 with countries where money laundering.
- Also see AbbreviationFinder.org for Panama country abbreviations, including geography, history, economy and politics.
In June, the Cocolis locks were filled on the Pacific coast, which marked the completion of the extensive redevelopment of the Panama Canal. The work was expected to be completed by the beginning of 2016.
At the same time, a hydropower building caused major protests from the indigenous people on the Tabasará River in the province of Chiriquí. The government temporarily halted construction in February for environmental reasons, but protest groups blocked one of the country’s major highways after President Varela refused to meet the demand to completely shut down the project. The indigenous people of the area fear that their settlements will be submerged if completed. Panama has long been hit by recurring energy problems with major power outages, and Varela claims the project is of national interest, while a majority of the country’s population supports the demands of protest groups.
The profound socio-economic imbalance between the Panama and the Zona del Canale, affecting the national sentiment of the people, is the predominant note of the periodic crises that disturb the country.
The controversy with the USA about the sovereignty of the Zone intensified starting from 1960. The claims of the Panama, in addition to a greater share in the profits of the Canal, concerned the rights to exploit the subsoil and an expansion of territorial waters. In 1962 an agreement was reached for the improvement of the salaries of the workers of the Panamanian nationality, but soon the tension resurfaced following new demands, which were not unrelated to the examples of Nasser in Egypt and F. Castro in Cuba. Serious incidents occurred in January 1964: US soldiers fired on demonstrators causing dozens of deaths and the temporary breakdown of diplomatic relations between the Panama and the USA. President Chiari asked for the revision of the 1903 treaty, appealing unsuccessfully to the United Nations, to the OSA and the International Court of Justice. The new president MA Robles (1964-68) fought vigorously for the recognition of the rights of the Panama until the USA threatened to build a new canal in Colombia or between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The North American project (December 1964), which if implemented it would have meant the ruin of the Panama, led to the freezing of the question. President Robles worked to calm the spirits exacerbated by the incitement of the opposition leader A. Arias, defeated candidate in the last presidential elections. The negotiations between the two countries concerned continued through the normal diplomatic channels and resulted (1965) in an agreement in principle: the project, which was only announced on 29 July 1967, repealed the old treaty, provided for the joint administration of the Canal and the recognition of the sovereignty of the Panama in the Zone. The agreement aroused negative reactions in both Washington and Panama and was not signed. The elections for Robles’ succession brought the combative opposition leader A. Arias to the presidency, who just twelve days after his inauguration (October 1, 1968) was overthrown by a coup and replaced by General O. Torrijos Herrera. The military, following the example of other Latin American nations, took power by governing through a junta. The USA, at first, condemned the coup and broke off relations with the Panama (October 15). An attempt to return to constitutional normality took place in December 1970: but the insurrection failed, strengthening the position of Torrijos.