Following is the latest American Citizen Services Message from the US Embassy in Panama City.
Date: February 24, 2011
To: U.S. Embassy Warden System
Subject: Foreigners Promoting Mining Ordered Out of Comarca Ngabe Bugle
Dear Wardens: Please disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your area. Thank you.
The U.S. Embassy in Panama City alerts U.S. citizens that the Panamanian government has ordered all foreigners promoting mining activities to leave the Comarca Ngabe Bugle no later than March 9, 2011. The government indicated in a statement (http://www.mingob.gob.pa/mingob/inside.php?artID=1009)
that the measure was designed to prevent non-members of the indigenous groups residing in the region from causing confusion or provoking disorder.
The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that there are ongoing protests in Panama against the recent adoption of legislation governing mining. These protests have the potential to severely restrict traffic and emergency services. Other protests on this or other issues may occur at any time and be repeated with little or no warning. The Embassy continues to caution its employees and all U.S. citizens to exercise heightened security awareness and avoid crowds and any areas where there are demonstrations or where confrontations could occur. During previous periods of unrest, there were isolated incidents where disgruntled construction workers threw bricks and other objects from structures under construction. Special caution is urged when transiting through urban areas or when driving near any tall buildings.
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department?s Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found.
Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
For updated information on the security situation in Panama, please contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy at 207-7030. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located in Clayton, Building 783, in the Clayton section of Panama. The Consular Section fax is 207-7303. The Embassy web site is http://panama.usembassy.gov/ and e-mails should be addressed to Panama-ACS@state.gov. After hours and emergency phone number: 207-7000 or 207-7200.