Panama

Introduction Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela - named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When the latter dissolved in 1830, Panama remained part of Colombia. With US backing, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 and promptly signed a treaty with the US allowing for the construction of a canal and US sovereignty over a strip of land on either side of the structure (the Panama Canal Zone). The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of the century. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the subsequent decades. With US help, dictator Manuel NORIEGA was deposed in 1989. The entire Panama Canal, the area supporting the Canal, and remaining US military bases were transferred to Panama by the end of 1999. In October 2006, Panamanians approved an ambitious plan to expand the Canal. The project, which began in 2007 and could double the Canal's capacity, is expected to be completed in 2014-15.
History

Christopher Columbus arrives in Panama on his fourth travel, which started in Nicaragua and ended in Panama. It is in this trip he discovers the Chagres river, which in the XX Century it would be the main resource to build the Panama Canal. He arrived to the Caribbean coast where he baptized the area with the name of Portobelo (in English, Beautiful Port). Columbus then explored Veraguas and founded Santa Maria de Belen, which would be the first Spanish settlement on the continent, leaving Bartolome, his brother, in charge.

Eventually, this settlement was destroyed by the local native population and the few surviving members returned to Spain.

Founding of Panama La Vieja

It wasn´t until 1519 when the Spanish decided to settle the new city. This time they chose a site in the Pacific ocean, which was discovered six years before by Vasco Nuñez de Balboa. The new city, today known as Panama La Vieja, was founded in August 15th, 1519 by orders of governor Pedrarias Davila and became an important port during the Spanish gold trade from Peru to the Caribbean islands and finally to Europe. The merchandise from all over South America would come into Panama and travel to Portobelo using the Camino de Cruces (old stone road) crossing the jungle and navigating the Chagres river. From Portobelo it would distribute to the islands and then to Spain.

Because of its importance and its location the city was an easy target for pirates. However, protection from pirates was only one of its many problems, as it was settled in a site composed mainly by mangrove land, diseases and fires weakened their position, until it was finally destroyed by pirate Henry Morgan in 1671.

Founding of Casco Antiguo

In 1673 a new city of Panama was founded. This time, a rocky peninsula was chosen, still on the Pacific side. A healthier site with crossed winds and easier to defend from both land and ocean attacks. Called interchangeably Casco Viejo, San Felipe, Catedral or Casco Antiguo, it is from here where Panama would declare independece from Spain and later join and separate from Colombia. It will see the boom and bust of the Gold Rush, the French attempt to build a Canal and later its completion by the United States.

Independence

After about 320 years under the rule of the Spanish Empire, on 10 November 1821, independence from Spain was declared in the small town of La Villa, today known as La Heroica. On 28 November, presided by Colonel Jose de Fabrega, a National Assembly was convened and it officially declared the independence of the isthmus of Panama from Spain and its decision to join New Granada, Ecuador and Venezuela in Bolivar's recently founded Republic of Colombia.

In 1830, Venezuela, Ecuador and other territories left the Gran Colombia, but Panama remained as a province of this country, until July 1831 when the isthmus reiterated its independence, now under General Juan Eligio Alzuru as supreme military commander. In August, military forces under the command of Colonel Tomás Herrera defeated and executed Alzuru and reestablished ties with New Granada.

Ten years later, on November 1840, during a civil war that had begun as a religious conflict, the isthmus declared its independence under the leadership of the now General Tomás Herrera and became the 'Estado Libre del Istmo', or the Free State of the Isthmus. The new state established external political and economic ties and drew up a constitution which included the possibility for Panama to rejoin New Granada, but only as a federal district. On June 1841 Tomás Herrera became the President of the Estado Libre del Istmo. But the civil conflict ended and the government of New Granada and the government of the Isthmus negotiated the reincorporation of Panamá to Colombia on December 31, 1841.

In the end, the union between Panama and the Republic of Colombia was made possible by the active participation of the US under the 1846 Bidlack Mallarino Treaty, which lasted until 1903. The treaty granted the US rights to build railroads through Panama and to intervene militarily against revolt to guarantee New Granadine control of Panama. There were at least three attempts by Panamanian Liberals to seize control of Panama and potentially achieve full autonomy, including one led by Liberal guerrillas like Belisario Porras and Victoriano Lorenzo, each of which was suppressed by a collaboration of Conservative Colombian and US forces under the Bidlack Mallarino Treaty.

In 1902 US President Theodore Roosevelt decided to take on the abandoned works of the Panama Canal by the French but the Colombian government in Bogotá balked at the prospect of a US controlled canal under the terms that Roosevelt's administration was offering. Roosevelt was unwilling to alter its terms and quickly changed tactics, encouraging a minority of Conservative Panamanian landholding families to demand independence, offering military support. On November 3, 1903 Panama finally separated and Dr. Manuel Amador Guerrero, a prominent member of the Conservative political party, became the first constitutional President of the Republic of Panama.

In November 1903, Phillipe Bunau-Varilla—a French citizen who was not authorized to sign any treaties on behalf of Panama without the review of the Panamanians—unilaterally signed the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty which granted rights to the US to build and administer indefinitely the Panama Canal, which was opened in 1914. This treaty became a contentious diplomatic issue between the two countries, reaching a boiling point on Martyr's Day (9 January 1964). The issues were resolved with the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties in 1977 returning the former Canal Zone territories to Panama.

Military dictators

The second intent of the founding fathers was to bring peace and harmony between the two major political parties (Conservatives and Liberals). The Panamanian government went through periods of political instability and corruption, however, and at various times in its history, the mandate of an elected president terminated prematurely. In 1968, a coup toppled the government of the recently elected President Arnulfo Arias Madrid.

While never holding the position of President himself, General Omar Torrijos eventually became the de facto leader of Panama. As a military dictator, he was the leading power in the governing military junta and later became an autocratic strong man. Torrijos maintained his position of power until his death in an airplane accident in 1981.

After Torrijos's death, several military strong men followed him as Panama's leader. Commander Florencio Flores Aguilar followed Torrijos. Colonel Rubén Darío Paredes followed Aguilar. Eventually, by 1983, power was concentrated in the hands of General Manuel Antonio Noriega.

Manuel Noriega came up through the ranks after serving in the Chiriquí province and in the city of Puerto Armuelles for a time. He was a former head of Panama's secret police and was an ex-informant of the CIA. But Noriega's implication in drug trafficking by the United States resulted in difficult relations by the end of the 1980s.

United States invasion of Panama

On 20 December 1989, 27,000 U.S. personnel invaded Panama in order to remove Manuel Noriega.[2] A few hours before the invasion, in a ceremony that took place inside a U.S. military base in the former Panama Canal Zone, Guillermo Endara was sworn in as the new President of Panama. The invasion occurred ten years before the Panama Canal administration was to be turned over to Panamanian authorities, according to the timetable set up by the Torrijos-Carter Treaties. During the fighting, between two hundred [3] [4] and four thousand Panamanians,[5][6] mostly civilians, were killed.

Noriega surrendered to the American military shortly after, and was taken to Florida to be formally extradited and charged by U.S. federal authorities on drug and racketeering charges. He became eligible for parole on September 9, 2007, but remained in custody while his lawyers fought an extradition request from France. Critics have pointed out that many of Noriega's former allies remain in power in Panama.

Post-invasion

Under the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, the United States turned over all canal-related lands to Panama on 31 December 1999. Panama also gained control of canal-related buildings and infrastructure as well as full administration of the canal.

The people of Panama have already approved the widening of the canal which, after completion, will allow for post-Panamax vessels to travel through it, increasing the number of ships that currently use the canal.

Geography Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica
Geographic coordinates: 9 00 N, 80 00 W
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area: total: 78,200 sq km
land: 75,990 sq km
water: 2,210 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries: total: 555 km
border countries: Colombia 225 km, Costa Rica 330 km
Coastline: 2,490 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or edge of continental margin
Climate: tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)
Terrain: interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Volcan Baru 3,475 m
Natural resources: copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 7.26%
permanent crops: 1.95%
other: 90.79% (2005)
Irrigated land: 430 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 148 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 0.82 cu km/yr (67%/5%/28%)
per capita: 254 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: occasional severe storms and forest fires in the Darien area
Environment - current issues: water pollution from agricultural runoff threatens fishery resources; deforestation of tropical rain forest; land degradation and soil erosion threatens siltation of Panama Canal; air pollution in urban areas; mining threatens natural resources
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note: strategic location on eastern end of isthmus forming land bridge connecting North and South America; controls Panama Canal that links North Atlantic Ocean via Caribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean
Politics Politics of Panama takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Panama is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The branches are according to Panama's Political Constitution of 1972, reformed by the Actos Reformatorios of 1978, and by the Acto Constitucional in 1983, united in cooperation and limited through the classic system of checks and balances. Three independent organizations with clearly defined responsibilities are found in the Political Constitution. Thus, the Comptroller General of the Republic has the responsibility to manage public funds. There also exists the Electoral Tribunal, which has the responsibility to guarantee liberty, transparency, and the efficacy of the popular vote; and, finally, the Ministry of the Public exists to oversee interests of State and of the municipalities.
People Population: 3,309,679 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 29.6% (male 499,254/female 479,242)
15-64 years: 63.8% (male 1,066,915/female 1,043,499)
65 years and over: 6.7% (male 102,937/female 117,832) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 26.7 years
male: 26.3 years
female: 27.1 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.544% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 20.68 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 4.71 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 13.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 14.35 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.88 years
male: 74.08 years
female: 79.81 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.57 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 16,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 500 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)
Nationality: noun: Panamanian(s)
adjective: Panamanian
Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%
Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%
Languages: Spanish (official), English 14%; note - many Panamanians bilingual
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.9%
male: 92.5%
female: 91.2% (2000 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)
Education expenditures: 3.8% of GDP (2004)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Panama
conventional short form: Panama
local long form: Republica de Panama
local short form: Panama
Government type: constitutional democracy
Capital: name: Panama
geographic coordinates: 8 58 N, 79 32 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 11 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 territory* (comarca); Bocas del Toro, Comarca Kuna Yala, Comarca Ngobe-Bugle, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, San Blas*(Kuna Yala), and Veraguas
Independence: 3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)
National holiday: Independence Day, 3 November (1903)
Constitution: 11 October 1972; major reforms adopted 1978, 1983, 1994, and 2004
Legal system: based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch: chief of state: President Martin TORRIJOS Espino (since 1 September 2004); First Vice President Samuel LEWIS Navarro (since 1 September 2004); Second Vice President Ruben AROSEMENA Valdes (since 1 September 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Martin TORRIJOS Espino (since 1 September 2004); First Vice President Samuel LEWIS Navarro (since 1 September 2004); Second Vice President Ruben AROSEMENA Valdes (since 1 September 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice presidents elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms (not eligible for immediate reelection; president and vice presidents must sit out two additional terms (10 years) before becoming eligible for reelection); election last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held on 3 May 2009); note - beginning in 2009, Panama will have only one vice president
election results: Martin TORRIJOS Espino elected president; percent of vote - Martin TORRIJOS Espino 47.5%, Guillermo ENDARA Galimany 30.6%, Jose Miguel ALEMAN 17%, Ricardo MARTINELLI 4.9%
note: government coalition - PRD (Democratic Revolutionary Party), PP (Popular Party)
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (78 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - in 2009, the number of seats will change to 71
elections: last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held 3 May 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 41, PA 17, PS 9, MOLIRENA 4, CD 3, PLN 3, PP 1
note: legislators from outlying rural districts are chosen on a plurality basis while districts located in more populous towns and cities elect multiple legislators by means of a proportion-based formula
Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (nine judges appointed for 10-year terms); five superior courts; three courts of appeal
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Change or CD [Ricardo MARTINELLI]; Democratic Revolutionary Party or PRD [Hugo GUIRAUD]; Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement or MOLIRENA [Gisela CHUNG]; Panamenista Party or PA [Juan Carlos VARELA] (formerly the Arnulfista Party); Patriotic Union Party or PU (combination of the Liberal National Party or PLN and the Solidarity Party or PS)[Jose Raul MULINO and Anibal GALINDO]; Popular Party or PP [Rene ORILLAC] (formerly Christian Democratic Party or PDC)
Political pressure groups and leaders: Chamber of Commerce; National Civic Crusade; National Council of Organized Workers or CONATO; National Council of Private Enterprise or CONEP; National Union of Construction and Similar Workers (SUNTRACS); Panamanian Association of Business Executives or APEDE; Panamanian Industrialists Society or SIP; Workers Confederation of the Republic of Panama or CTRP
International organization participation: BCIE, CAN (observer), CSN (observer), FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Federico HUMBERT Arias
chancery: 2862 McGill Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-1407
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8416
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Honolulu, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Tampa
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador William A. EATON
embassy: Edificio 783, Avenida Demetrio Basilio Lakas Panama, Apartado Postal 0816-02561, Zona 5, Panama City 5
mailing address: American Embassy Panama, Unit 0945, APO AA 34002
telephone: [507] 207-7000
FAX: [507] 227-1964
Flag description: divided into four, equal rectangles; the top quadrants are white (hoist side) with a blue five-pointed star in the center and plain red; the bottom quadrants are plain blue (hoist side) and white with a red five-pointed star in the center
Religion

The overwhelming majority of Panamanians are Roman Catholic – various sources estimate that 75 to 85 percent of the population identifies itself as Roman Catholic and 15 to 25 percent as evangelical Christian.[17] The Bahá'í Faith community of Panama is estimated at 2.00% of the national population, or about 60,000[18] including about 10% of the Guaymí population[19] and the Bahá'ís maintain one of the world's seven Baha'i Houses of Worship in Panama which is perched on a high hill facing the canal, and is constructed of local mud bricks laid in a pattern reminiscent of Native American fabric designs.[17] Smaller religious groups include Jewish and Muslim communities with approximately 10,000 members each, and small groups of Hindus, Buddhists and Rastafarians. Indigenous religions include Ibeorgun (among Kuna) and Mamatata (among Ngobe).

The Jewish community in Panama, with over 10,000 members, is by far the biggest in the region (including Central America and the Caribbean). Jewish immigration began in the late 19th century, and at present there are synagogues in Panama City, as well as two Jewish schools. Within Latin America, Panama has one of the largest Jewish communities in proportion to its population, surpassed only by Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Panama is also the first country in Latin America to have a Jewish president, Eric Arturo Delvalle.

Economy Economy - overview: Panama's dollarized economy rests primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for two-thirds of GDP. Services include operating the Panama Canal, banking, the Colon Free Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry, and tourism. Economic growth will be bolstered by the Panama Canal expansion project that began in 2007 and should be completed by 2014 at a cost of $5.3 billion (about 30% of current GDP). The expansion project will more than double the Canal's capacity, enabling it to accommodate ships that are now too large to transverse the transoceanic crossway and should help to reduce the high unemployment rate. The government has implemented tax reforms, as well as social security reforms, and backs regional trade agreements and development of tourism. Not a CAFTA signatory, Panama in December 2006 independently negotiated a free trade agreement with the US, which, when implemented, will help promote the country's economic growth.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $34.81 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $19.74 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 11.2% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $10,700 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 6.6%
industry: 16.4%
services: 77% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 1.362 million
note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 15%
industry: 18%
services: 67% (2006)
Unemployment rate: 6.4% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: 37% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.7%
highest 10%: 43% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 56.1 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.2% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 20.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $5.505 billion
expenditures: $4.822 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 53% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp
Industries: construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling
Industrial production growth rate: 10.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 5.661 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 37%
hydro: 61.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 1.7% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 4.735 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 51 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 55 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 93,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 4,140 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 92,170 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.577 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $9.312 billion f.o.b.; note - includes the Colon Free Zone (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee, clothing
Exports - partners: Venezuela 55%, US 9.4%, Germany 6.5%, Spain 4.1% (2007)
Imports: $12.62 billion f.o.b.
note: includes the Colon Free Zone (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, chemicals
Imports - partners: Japan 28.7%, China 18.6%, Singapore 12.8%, US 12.5% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient: $19.54 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $1.935 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $10.45 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $5.074 billion (2005)
Currency (code): balboa (PAB); US dollar (USD)
Currency code: PAB; USD
Exchange rates: balboas per US dollar - 1 (2007), 1 (2006), 1 (2005), 1 (2004), 1 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 491,900 (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 2.392 million (2007)
Telephone system: general assessment: domestic and international facilities well developed
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is approaching 70 per 100 persons
international: country code - 507; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), the MAYA-1, and PAN-AM submarine cable systems that together provide links to the US, and parts of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to the Central American Microwave System
Radio broadcast stations: AM 101, FM 134, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 815,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 38 (including repeaters) (1998)
Televisions: 510,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .pa
Internet hosts: 7,078 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 6 (2000)
Internet users: 525,200 (2007)
Transportation Airports: 116 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 54
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 18
under 914 m: 29 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 62
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 50 (2007)
Heliports: 2 (2007)
Railways: total: 355 km
standard gauge: 77 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 278 km 0.914-m gauge (2006)
Roadways: total: 11,643 km
paved: 4,028 km
unpaved: 7,615 km (2000)
Waterways: 800 km (includes 82 km Panama Canal) (2007)
Merchant marine: total: 6,124 ships (1000 GRT or over) 170,802,238 GRT/255,676,574 DWT
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 2,076, cargo 1,142, carrier 11, chemical tanker 544, combination ore/oil 6, container 768, liquefied gas 189, passenger 47, passenger/cargo 74, petroleum tanker 543, refrigerated cargo 261, roll on/roll off 126, specialized tanker 27, vehicle carrier 308
foreign-owned: 5,244 (Albania 2, Argentina 6, Australia 4, Bahamas 9, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 2, Bulgaria 3, Canada 19, Chile 11, China 502, Colombia 4, Croatia 3, Cuba 11, Cyprus 17, Denmark 38, Dominican Republic 1, Ecuador 3, Egypt 18, Estonia 4, Finland 2, France 10, Gabon 1, Germany 44, Gibraltar 1, Greece 497, Hong Kong 142, India 29, Indonesia 38, Iran 4, Ireland 2, Israel 3, Italy 23, Jamaica 1, Japan 2280, Jordan 13, Kuwait 2, Latvia 8, Lebanon 5, Lithuania 5, Malaysia 12, Maldives 1, Malta 3, Mexico 3, Monaco 16, Netherlands 12, Nigeria 11, Norway 70, Oman 2, Pakistan 6, Peru 17, Philippines 10, Poland 12, Portugal 9, Qatar 1, Romania 7, Russia 15, Saudi Arabia 16, Singapore 98, South Korea 311, Spain 56, Sri Lanka 2, Sweden 6, Switzerland 27, Syria 25, Taiwan 302, Thailand 9, Tunisia 1, Turkey 87, Turks and Caicos Islands 1, UAE 104, UK 50, Ukraine 12, US 123, Venezuela 10, Vietnam 23, Yemen 6)
registered in other countries: 1 (Venezuela 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals: Balboa, Colon, Cristobal
Military Military branches: no regular military forces; Panamanian Public Forces or PPF includes the Panamanian National Police (PNP), National Maritime Service (NMS), and National Air Service (NAS) (2008)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 851,044 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 673,103 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 31,042
female: 29,969 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures: 1% of GDP (2006)
Military - note: on 10 February 1990, the government of then President ENDARA abolished Panama's military and reformed the security apparatus by creating the Panamanian Public Forces; in October 1994, Panama's Legislative Assembly approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting the creation of a standing military force but allowing the temporary establishment of special police units to counter acts of "external aggression"
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia operate within the remote border region with Panama
Trafficking in persons: current situation: Panama is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; the majority of victims are Panamanian women and children trafficked within the country into the sex trade; rural children in Panama may be trafficked internally to urban areas for labor exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Panama is on the Tier 2 Watch List for failing to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly with respect to prosecuting, convicting, and sentencing human traffickers for their crimes, and for failing to provide adequate victim assistance (2008)
Illicit drugs: major cocaine transshipment point and primary money-laundering center for narcotics revenue; money-laundering activity is especially heavy in the Colon Free Zone; offshore financial center; negligible signs of coca cultivation; monitoring of financial transactions is improving; official corruption remains a major problem