More security for South Corridor
PANAMA. Security in the South Corridor is becoming a big issue for the general population and the tourism industry. The Panama Tourism...
PANAMA. Security in the South Corridor is becoming a big issue for the general population and the tourism industry. The Panama Tourism has moved to combat the attacksand will spend $108,000 on security cameras for the toll road.
Over the last few months there have been several incidents in which tourists have fallen victim to criminals on their way to the capital city or coming back to the airport.
Panama Tourism Authority Minister Ruben Blades met with the director of the National Police, Commissioner Francisco Troya, to discuss security and it was decided that more surveillance was necessary in the area to protect visitors.
The authorities will install seven or eight cameras along the toll road that goes from Paitilla to the Tocumen airport.
Blades acknowledged that there is a security problem in Panama and more has to be done to guarantee tourists’ safety, but he did not give any specific details.
However, he added that the way the local media is portraying the increase of violence in the country is very negative, because the same message could be conveyed in a less dramatic manner.
“We should have a meeting with the media to see the ways in which they can report the news, but at the same time trying to avoid tarnishing the image of the country,” said Blades.
“It is very difficult for us to maintain a campaign promoting Panama abroad, when the prospective visitors are seeing stories of violence on the Internet,” added Blades.
Meanwhile attacks on tourists are happening in different parts of the country. Last week two Americans where carjacked by unknown assailants in the area of Sora close to Chame.
They were left at the side of the road and their car was later found abandoned in Rio Abajo.
There have also been cases of criminals throwing projectiles at cars going to the interior to make them stop so they could be robbed.
Despite incidents of this nature, Blades insisted that not all is gloom and doom in Panama and there are very good people around and they approach visitors to help them, not to cause them harm.
Over the last two years the level of violence in Panama has increased dramatically, but in comparison with other countries in the region it is a fairly safe country.
The only problem is if the levels of violence could stop coming for good.