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Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:41 am EDT

Pedasi Immigration

Immigration IssuesFollow up on a recent article on the Pedasi Immigration incident. To whom it may concern, Over the last few days, I have heard from a number of people regarding the recent Immigration incident here in Pedasi. Turns out that the lady heading up this roadside inspection is well known and well liked by expats and locals. With the help of a local hotel owner, yesterday we went to visit the Immigration Office in Las Tablas. Here we met with Teresa, for about an hour. She was very pleasant and open to explaining her job and her obligations to fulfill that responsibility. I explained that I have no issue with complying with Panamanian Law and was happy to oblige paying my $10 fine for not having the proper documentation.

The issue I had was in how the road block was conducted. The officials had very little to identify themselves and were not willing to speak with my interpreter to clarify the procedure. For the most part, I chalk up the incident to bad communication and certainly getting off on the wrong foot.

These particular people are nice and normal Panamanians with low paying and thankless jobs. I felt bad that my simple letter sent only to a concerned Panamanian local and investor, somehow got broadcasted onto the internet. The effect of that media exposure might have a negative impact on the individuals involved in the inspection. This would be an unfortunate outcome. If there is to be a positive outcome from the affair, I would hope, at a minimum, that this goes to reminding us to carry a copy of our passport and/or residency identification. And at a maximum, the governmental powers should continue to improve the intended service that the Immigration Office can provide to protect us living and visiting here in Panama.

As for the Las Tablas jail stories, it sounded like some of those involved had little to no documentation, and or might have been a little too verbally upset with the law enforcement. In any case, there appears to have been two sides to the story.

Good documentation, politeness and a little chocolate should win the day. The only horror I see in Pedasi is that I missed yesterday’s great, big waves to hopefully resolve something I could have avoided in the first place by remembering to carry my passport.


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