Crime Awareness at the Chiriquí Flea Market

An email I just received.

Hi Don Ray,

Preparations are nearly complete for our crime awareness rally this Sunday, although I can use more volunteers between 9:30 and 1pm. (Volunteers only need to take the questionnaire on the clipboard with pen provided, and say “disculpe” to Panamanians as they are on the property, and ask them to look at the crimes committed and ask them to please fill in the questionnaire.) Oh, and then I will take the results, and make copies for, all the government officials to see; Dipuda Athena Athanasiadis, Mayor of Dolega, Governor of Chiriquí, etc.


This is the program, very simple, mostly aimed at Panamanian citizens:

I will have the following 2 lists in Spanish:
1. Crimes committed in Chiriquí 2015
2. Questionnaire to citizens about crime, their awareness, and what to do to change it. Here they are in English:


1. Caldera murder and home invasion – August
2. 2014 Food Box robbery – Volcancito
3. 9 year old kid around Super 99 road in David shooting the shop owner
4. Recent robbery in David at the Do It center
5. Home invasion and attempted murder in Potrerillos
6. Home invasion and injuries by pistol in Potrerillos
7. Robbery in Brisas about a month ago (stole electronic stuff)
8. Robbery in Skateworld about a month ago
9. Robbery of people we know in Gualaca a week ago
10. Attempted break in in Palmira
11. Robbery in Potrerillos – $1000 tools taken from a friend’s house – September
12. Robbery at Handicap Center – September
13. A couple robbed of household belongings and 2 dogs, Boquete
14. Armed robbery of the owners of the Fish House in Jaramillo Centro
15. A couple robbed at gunpoint in Santa Lucia
16. An indigenous guy in Jaramillo – sister in law returning from her job in Boquete and was attacked near Romeros (she later died)
17. Beverly Hills Garden – Los Algarrobos – October – robbery of $1500 from staff and clients
18. Los Algarrobos, Panamanian family theft of jewelry and 2 laptop computers – no one home


Are you aware of all the current crime?
Are you aware of the ages of the offenders?
Many are underage – should they be prosecuted like an adult, released to their parents, and/or wear an ankle band with a chip in it and be forced to do public work?
Do you have a legal weapon at home for protection?
What are your suggestions for keeping a safe neighborhood?

Do you have boat horns or other devices to warn neighbors?
In the last year or two have you been affected by home invasions?
Have you ever been broken into? With violence?
Neighborhood in which you live.
What was the follow up?
Did police respond and was anyone caught?
If so, who?
How were they dealt with?
Should the law be changed to allow minors (under 18) to work legally?

Name________________________________________ Cedula#________________________________

(Thank you for your participation; your responses will be delivered to the proper government authorities so your voices can be heard)

Linda Pedersen If you want to help please call me at 6503-7756

19 thoughts on “Crime Awareness at the Chiriquí Flea Market

  1. Not sure this is so good. It seems to be asking very personal questions which most Panamanians will not feel comfortable answering. Also asking for their cedula number is very over the top. It is like asking an American for their social security number.

  2. Some of the events were armed events, which I consider robberies. I am sure some were entries when no one was there, those would most likely be considered burglaries.

    I think the important thing that needs to be conveyed is that violent crimes are increasing and juveniles are committing or being recruited to commit these crimes because of the leniency of current laws for minors.

    For the protection of all living in Panama, the laws excusing minors from receiving appropriate punishment needs to be changed. This is not a gringo issue. It is a Panama issue.

    If there are those out there that feel capable of helping to present the information, in Spanish, the most correct way to get the attention of Panamanian officials, I am sure that Linda would appreciate the help.

  3. Hilda, Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Do you have any advice for Linda on how to change the questionnaire or do you think that all Panamanians will not be interested in participating no matter how the questionnaire is worded?

  4. Brisas: Home invasion . Two young men who were armed. Theft of property to include the theft of vehicle ( later recovered). Injuries: broken bones , both elderly victims. Time: daylight, afternoon. Victims were overwhelmed by these men as the victims existed their vehicle on returning home. ??crime of opportunity. Young men seen “casing’ the neighborhood earlier by local residents. .

  5. Look, I am doing what I can. I am not on any defense, I am not political; I do not consult a thesaurus for the correct word to use when someone has been violated; I do not have a following or an agenda. We at the flea market only provide a venue once a month where we have many Panamanians coming to our event, and as far as I know, only the Panamanian voters have the authority to make a statement in this country. So I am taking advantage of that for each and every one of us. If you have a negative please direct it to me. I am just like you; not hit with a crime, but committed for this week to try to make a change, or just a dent. Far as people not wanting to give name and cedula, so be it; if they do it is the only way they will be heard, to be justifiable as a Panamanian.

  6. It’s a fact that most Panamanians won’t want to put their cedula # on this questionnaire. The problem then is that without it the officials may not consider them valid.

  7. Lynnie i agree with you. Evetybody is aware of crine increase. Authoritirsckniw what is going on. There was a security meetung at bcp so this isnt necessary. Panamanians have had rallues here and in other areas in the country.

    And i think it is illegal to ask for people’s cedulas. Has this been aporived by any authorities. When you see people conducting this type of questionnaires they have asked for approval.

  8. I see little problem with giving out Cedula numbers. It is not in the same type category as a SSN in the USA. I know of no identity theft with such. I am frequently asked to produce a Cedula and corresponding number. You write this number on checks, for endorsement, payment confirmations, refunds, payment receipts, banking documents, and practically any type of activity requiring a valid ID. My wife, who is Panamanian, like most everyone here, memorizes her number and gives it to anyone that asks as most all do here, like it is giving out cotton candy practically.

    This should not be an issue in my view.

  9. Linda I would love to help you on your questionnaire. However Im fishing that day. Also the Murder of Joe P in the Caldera area. Ask for the Cedula: it is legit if they decline no problem. But I don’t believe any panas would object. They are also involved in this travesty of justice.

  10. I would like for you all to consider this, if a group of foreigners in your city in the States passed out a petition for the government, and a questionnaire asking for incredibly personal information, also requesting your name and social security number, how would you feel? Think about this…

    I do recognize that people are frustrated, and want to make a difference concerning Panamanian law, especially because Marion is a very close friend of mine, but this is not the correct way to go about it.

  11. Kind of one of the small influences for people wanting to move to Panama, a place that actually protects it’s people from identity theft and immigrants (illegals are quickly deported correct?) taking advantage of it’s citizens. I had to go back far to find an article that was some what written more on the side of our victims but this touches on just a little of what we deal with on a regular basis. One can only guess how much worse it’s gotten here in the 10 years since this was written. Thank you Lynnie for your support and understanding of how others feel. People don’t often consider that. I appreciate it very much. Has anyone checked to see if it’s legal and authorized? If so would it be like a petition here in the US and if so it seems like it might help get the proper attention. It’s worth checking. It would be wonderful if people offered to help Linda verify this. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

  12. Dear Hope, I have a Facebook group called, “The REAL Boquete” where current issues are discussed, also, I post information which is rarely exposed on other Boquete FB pages blogs, and websites. (This page, Chiriqui Chatter, gives excellent information, but mine is a different format, which allows person to person interaction).

    My page is open to the public for viewing, I invite anyone who has interest to make comments, or ask questions to send a request to be a member.

  13. I suggest we differentiate robbery from burglary. I believe some of the events listed were in fact, burglaries (Pro-Integracion, SkateWorld etc..) and not robberies.

  14. That is true. However, the ones impost concern art the increase in armed robberies. Marion’s was an armed robbery. She was stabbed and shot. Definitely not a burglary.

  15. Well actually Don, burglary can be defined as: with the intent to commit a crime therein, a person unlawfully enters a dwelling. Any kind of crime, from theft, to murder, after unlawfully entering a dwelling, is technically a burglary.

  16. Hi Gene,

    OK. I appreciate your clarification. I certainly am not qualified to put the correct term to the situation.

    What I think is important for people to know that the individuals entered with the intent of causing bodily harm.

    I believe the rumors that gangs coming from Panama City and out side of Panama are using initiations of violence to gain more control of the recruits. That is the only reason I can find that accounts for them stabbing and shooting the victim after they had been told where the money and laptop was.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment Gene.

  17. Hi Don,
    Just wanted to add that while we were away visiting family late September our home in Potrerillos also got broken into and many things taken, besides that they trashed the place. The worst part is that they tried to come back and get in the home twice since then. We do have someone there watching the home and installed more security measures. And yet another neighbor two doors down also had his house burglarised.
    We just got back about a week ago so we could not attend the meeting but are very concerned. This home we purchased in June and now are afraid to move there full time beause of all that has been happening. I have lived in Panama for over10 years and never had felt insecure but this has changed everything. My husband is Panamanian and so are our two small children so picking up and leaving is not an option having our entire panamanian side of the family here. We sure hope the justice system changes soon and we can see improovements.
    Thanks for everything you do in this matter.

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