Security Message for U.S. Citizens:

U.S. Embassy in Panama

Security Message for U.S. Citizens

February 10, 2017

Today, February 10, 2017, the SUNTRACS (Sindicato Unico Nacional de Trabajadores de la Construccion y Similares)  union (and others) have threatened protests and road closures “across the country”.  It is the Embassy’s understanding that the protest leaders are meeting this morning to determine what they are going to do and where.  Subsequently, the Embassy does not have a good read-out of the scope or location of possible protests and road closures.  We have seen unconfirmed media reports of protests planned on Calle 50 at McDonalds, line 2 of the metro, in Costa del Este, near Ciudad Hospitalaria, and on Avenida Peru.

Some schools are closed for the day, while others remain open.  The main concern seems to be the unpredictability of the impact of possible road closures on bus routes this afternoon.

All U.S. citizens are reminded to remain diligent in your personal security.  U.S. Citizens should plan their travel accordingly and avoid all confrontations.  Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.  Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

For further information about security in Panama:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Panama Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler-Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Panama, located at Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue Clayton, Panama, at+507-317-5030, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +507-317-5000.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

9 thoughts on “Security Message for U.S. Citizens:

  1. It is about the government not putting the white-collar guys in jail while prosecuting bule-collar crime very harshly. The Panama America has a long article on it.

  2. It is difficult to visit Panama City for 2 weeks and NOT find a SUNTRACS demonstration somewhere. Usually, there is a march of 20 or 30 folks with signs, the last one we saw was headed down Av Central in Calidonia area headed for Plaza 5 de Mayo.

    Traffic was moving past in the other lane but at times the walkers were making better time due to the constant tranques. Mostly peaceful.

  3. I remember when Torrijos was president. Suntracs was very active. I remember the riot they conduction over a Valentin Day week end. They torn up about 3/4 million worth of property.

  4. “I remember when Torrijos was dictator. No riots.”

    “No riots.” Really? Not even “disturbios callejeros”?

    Quoting from pages 73-74 of “En nuestras propias voces: Panamá protesta, 1968-1989” by Brittmarie Janson Perez

    Septiembre 1976: Estudiantes de la Ciudad de Panamá
    Causa: Aumento de precio de alimentos básicos
    Formas de protesta: Manifestaciones , disturbios callejeros
    Resultado: Represión de estudiantes , detención y destierro dirigentes de la oposición.

    Mayo-junio 1978: Estudiantes de Panamá y Colón
    Causa: Estudiantes de la capital , contra la visita del Presidente Carter y los tratados; estudiantes colonenses, contra la pobreza
    Formas de protesta: Disturbios callejeros y saqueo
    Resultado: Dos estudiantes muertos en la Ciudad de Panamá por huestes gubernamentales; apaciguamiento mediante prome­sas en Colón.

    Page 326 of “Panama Odyssey” by William J. Jorden goes into more detail about the events of September 1976.

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