Attacks now in broad daylight
PANAMA. Concern among foreigners is rising as Panama's crime spree spreads from the red districts of the city to high end shopping area...
PANAMA. Concern among foreigners is rising as Panama's crime spree spreads from the red districts of the city to high end shopping areas, and even into school rooms.
On Tuesday afternoon in a parking adjoining the Mercedes Benz dealership on Calle 50 near Via Brazil, Edwin Rios was gunned down by a hitman who fled in a black car.
The incident occurred in broad daylight, in front of dozens of witnesses.
Edwin Rios had been released from prison six months ago.
Preliminary reports showed that he frequented the El Chorrillo area.
A few hours earlier at the Colegio Artes y Oficios, a teacher was attacked by two thieves who burst into a workshop. One was 12-years-old.
Domingo Romero was threatened and beaten up by two thieves, one wielding a gun while the other flaunted a knife.
The delinquents were promenading through the school’s halls looking for a possible victim, ignoring calls by both the principal’s office and an inspector to leave the premises.
According to Jose Muñoz, from Panama’s Teachers Association, there was negligence on the school’s part, which should have called the Police immediately.
These cases show that insecurity is surpassing new limits in the country.
According to the constitutionalist Carlos B. Pedreschi, “whoever doesn’t know the origin of things should not get involve in them.”
He says the phenomenon has nothing to do with laws and the Constitution, but is linked to unemployment.
“With more unemployment, there is more delinquency, and with more delinquency, there is more insecurity,” he said.
For the retired general, Ruben Dario Paredes, three steps need to be taken to curtail the security crisis facing the country.
First, cancel the permits to import munitions and gun powder for the next two years.
Second, decentralize the Police and for every six areas (“corregimientos”) organize a well-equipped “police unit”, in addition to implementing a national criminal law.
Lastly, he recommends not repeating the mistake of naming civilians or retired officials as police directors, because it puts a dent in the proper functioning of the policeman’s career.
Insecurity increased with civilian directors, he said.