14 de Ago de 2022

Nacional

Gun battles across the city

PANAMA. Street crime and police confrontations continue to rise. A police chase resembling a crime movie took place in Panama earlier ...

PANAMA. Street crime and police confrontations continue to rise. A police chase resembling a crime movie took place in Panama earlier this week, when criminals escaped three ambushes by police patrols between Panama Viejo and San Miguelito.

At 8:50 a.m. on Thursday, in front of the Transit police station in Panama Viejo, police forces challenged a suspicious group of people, who when asked to stop, opened fire and fled.

The shooting was immediately followed by a police chase, with the criminals managing to escape both the pursuers, and a second police unit that heard about the police chase over the radio and tried to stop the criminals on Plaza Agora leading to another shoot out.

At Villa Guadalupe, a third police unit on motorcycles joined the chase.

Near the Manuel Maria Valdes clinic in San Miguelito, the criminals were intercepted by yet another police unit. Another exchange of gunfire followed, in which 47 year old Sergeant Ceferino Zarate was injured.

The criminals were able to escape the police once again, heading to K street in Paraiso, San Miguelito, where the police forces lost their track.

The police search that followed found the abandoned car, with a taxi plate, on M Street, in Veranillo, close to the Omar Torrijos library. A 21 year old, Israel Castillo was found dead inside the car, with a bullet hole on his throat.

This week, a man was also found dead by a gunshot wound in his throat in El Chorrillo. A police operation led to the arrest of three adults and one minor were.

They were submitted to the paraffin test to determine if they had recently fired a gun weapon.

Another 19-year-old was also found dead in Cerro Azul.

Meanwhile, Panama’s Ombudsman, Ricardo Vargas, says it is worrisome that 48.6 percent of Panamanians identify citizen insecurity as their main problem.

Confronted by this reality, Vargas called on the population not to allow crime “to take over the streets and win the battle.”

The Ombudsman’s declarations were made at a press conference for the Walkathon for Citizen Security and No to Violence to be held on Sunday starting at 7:30 a.m.

It will start from the parking lot of the Ombudsman’s office on Calle 50, close to the intersection with Via Brazil.