How do you tell someone something that they don’t want to hear? How do you raise awareness in the minds of those susceptible to a very real danger? How do you make someone see that which he does not want to see? These are some of the questions that have been consuming me for a few weeks now.
What is obvious to others is often never seen by those that are in the midst of danger. Maybe they don’t care. Maybe they believe they are bullet proof. Maybe they think it only happens to others. Maybe they think they are a good judge of people and will never be involved with the wrong type. I don’t know the reason, but I have seen the results of being naive.
This is not the first time I have written of the dangers of a single senior male moving to Panama in search of starting over, finding romance with a young woman, and living happily ever after. For every fairy tail that comes true, I would venture that there hundreds or thousands that end in disappointment or tragedy.
Lets face it. There is no fountain of youth. Time takes its toll on all of us. When I look through my eyes, I see things pretty much the way I saw them in my youth. The sky is just as blue. The rain still smells as sweet. Pretty young ladies in short skirts and tight pants and blouses still raise the blood pressure. However, when I look in the mirror, I see the effects of the years in a more personal way. When I crawl out of bed in the morning, I feel the creaking bones. When I climb a flight of stairs, I realize that I am not as young as I once was.
If I were to take a photo, of one of these young things that I see walking around batting her eyes at anyone with a pulse, and pasted it on my mirror the differences would be obvious and would be exactly what others see without problem.
Why would anyone think that a woman in her 20’s or 30’s would want to be with a man in his 60’s or 70’s. I will tell you one thing. The main thing will not be for companionship, romance or anything philosophical. She will be looking at it as a business relationship.
As with all business relationships, they rise and fall with the profitability of the business. When times are good and the money is flowing in and there is a potential for a growth of income, then the partnership/relationship will flourish. However, if the business starts to fail and all parties are not being compensated to their satisfaction, then maybe the partnership will end.
When partnerships end some participants are able to move on to another opportunity and other participants may find that they have lost everything. Some may have lost money. Some may have lost the ability to dream. Some may even have lost their life.
Think this sounds a little extreme? I assure you it is not. Back in the days of the wild west there used to be mail order brides. Today is no different except now one doesn’t have to travel out of his house to find potential companions. For Panama there appears to be a new website called latinamericancupid.com. Some might consider this a dating web site. Some might look at it as a place to find a wife or husband. Some might look at it as a site to satisfy more carnal needs. Some might look at it as a way to advertise for customers.
I found about this site because of having to go through the personal files of a recently deceased gringo. One folder he had was on latinamericancupid.com. This folder contained about 20 or more printed pages of members from that site. They were from Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and at least 5 from Panama. I am sure the gringo’s mindset was that he wanted to meet someone and he was inclined to believe everything that they wrote in their bio. However, I become very suspicious when I see a 24 year old Panamanian woman that says she is looking for a person between the age of 30 and 65. There is only ONE reason that a 24 year old would be looking for a 65 year old and it is not a long term relationship.
I can’t imagine anything worse than having to go through the files of a person that has died of non-natural causes and having to be mindful that emails, photos, and other records might contain information of those who were involved in shortening the person’s life. Still it has to be done and in this case, I found myself in that position.
It did make me aware of some of the difficulties that the local police have in studying a crime scene in Panama and specifically Chiriquí. When much of the information is in English and the investigators are non-English speakers, quickly evaluating what information might be pertinent and what isn’t is an impossible task. As a result, I have provided the police with emails, along with translations, photos, names, cedulas and other information that would have taken them months to find if they ever were found.
This will probably not be the last time I will write on this subject. I feel that I understand a fair amount about what happened in this case and have spent a large amount of personal time with the authorities to insure that the case is not forgotten.
The police tell me that 90% of these types of cases are solved. When I asked for the percentage of gringo cases were solved, I could not get an answer. If family is not involved to put pressure on the authorities, it is very easy for the case to shelved. It is more difficult to shelve when someone is continually asking to see the progress that is made.
A single senior gringo coming to Panama by himself, getting himself killed for one reason or another, will most likely not have his case solved if there is no one left behind to be a nuisance and prod authorities for action. Sad but true. I hope that this will open some eyes, but as I said before, “How do you make someone see that which he does not want to see?”