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Wednesday, April 23 2014 @ 07:48 AM EDT

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Varela Says The Government Is On "Auto Pilot"

PoliticsIt seems that for the moment in the country, the government is adrift and lacking in authority. Both the President of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli, and most of his ministers, out campaigning, denounced yesterday the opposition candidate Juan Carlos Varela. (more)

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A Party To Celebrate The Grand Opening Of The New Metro System in Panama

Infrastructure UpgradesThe government of Panama is planning a big party to celebrate the grand opening of the new Metro subway system in Panama City, for Saturday, April 5th 2014, at 4:00 pm. (more)

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The President Controls Panama's Judiciary (As Usual)

Law & LawyersThe independence of the judiciary is once again in jeopardy. (more)

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5.8 Earthquake in Panama Near Pedregal (Just Happened)

EarthquakesBy Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com - An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale struck Panama at 11:13 am local Panama Time (16:13 zulu).

Location: The epicenter was located at 7.886°N 82.350°W and a depth of 27.9km (17.3mi)

Nearby Cities: 53km (33mi) S of Pedregal, Panama, 60km (37mi) S of David, Panama, 60km (37mi) S of Las Lomas, Panamam 71km (44mi) SE of Puerto Armuelles, Panama, 295km (183mi) SE of San Jose, Costa Rica.

This strong earthquake lasted at least 50 seconds, and was felt by practically everyone in the region.

Copyright 2014 Panama-Guide.com.

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FLASH - 8.0 Earthquake in Chile - Tsunami Watch In Effect For Panama

EarthquakesEditor's Comment: Right now the DTG is 020030Z APR 14. Meaning, it's currently 2 April, 0030Z. The tsunami wave is expected to reach Panama in about four hours.

000
WEPA40 PHEB 020014
TSUPAC

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 002
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 0014Z 02 APR 2014

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC
OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS...EXCEPT ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA...
WASHINGTON...OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

... A TSUNAMI WARNING AND WATCH ARE IN EFFECT ...

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR

CHILE / PERU / ECUADOR

A TSUNAMI WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR

COLOMBIA / PANAMA / COSTA RICA / NICARAGUA

FOR ALL OTHER AREAS COVERED BY THIS BULLETIN... IT IS FOR
INFORMATION ONLY AT THIS TIME.

THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. ONLY
NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE
DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND
ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME - 2347Z 01 APR 2014
COORDINATES - 19.8 SOUTH 70.8 WEST
DEPTH - 10 KM
LOCATION - NEAR THE COAST OF NORTHERN CHILE
MAGNITUDE - 8.0

MEASUREMENTS OR REPORTS OF TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY

GAUGE LOCATION LAT LON TIME AMPL PER
------------------- ----- ------ ----- --------------- -----
PISAGUA CL 19.6S 70.2W 2352Z 1.92M / 6.3FT 44MIN
IQUIQUE CL 20.2S 70.1W 2351Z 1.70M / 5.6FT 56MIN

LAT - LATITUDE (N-NORTH, S-SOUTH)
LON - LONGITUDE (E-EAST, W-WEST)
TIME - TIME OF THE MEASUREMENT (Z IS UTC IS GREENWICH TIME)
AMPL - TSUNAMI AMPLITUDE MEASURED RELATIVE TO NORMAL SEA LEVEL.
IT IS ...NOT... CREST-TO-TROUGH WAVE HEIGHT.
VALUES ARE GIVEN IN BOTH METERS(M) AND FEET(FT).
PER - PERIOD OF TIME IN MINUTES(MIN) FROM ONE WAVE TO THE NEXT.

EVALUATION

SEA LEVEL READINGS INDICATE A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED. IT MAY HAVE
BEEN DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTS NEAR THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER AND
COULD ALSO BE A THREAT TO MORE DISTANT COASTS. AUTHORITIES SHOULD
TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS POSSIBILITY. THIS
CENTER WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR SEA LEVEL DATA TO DETERMINE THE
EXTENT AND SEVERITY OF THE THREAT.

FOR ALL AREAS - WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS
AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT
OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME
THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN
CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS. AS LOCAL
CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE
ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

ESTIMATED INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE ARRIVAL TIMES AT FORECAST POINTS
WITHIN THE WARNING AND WATCH AREAS ARE GIVEN BELOW. ACTUAL
ARRIVAL TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE
LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN
SUCCESSIVE WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.

LOCATION FORECAST POINT COORDINATES ARRIVAL TIME
-------------------------------- ------------ ------------
CHILE IQUIQUE 20.2S 289.9E 0002Z 02 APR
ARICA 18.5S 289.7E 0011Z 02 APR
ANTOFAGASTA 23.3S 289.6E 0017Z 02 APR
CALDERA 27.1S 289.2E 0046Z 02 APR
COQUIMBO 29.9S 288.6E 0111Z 02 APR
VALPARAISO 33.0S 288.4E 0135Z 02 APR
TALCAHUANO 36.7S 286.9E 0219Z 02 APR
CORRAL 39.8S 286.5E 0251Z 02 APR
GOLFO_DE_PENAS 47.1S 285.1E 0403Z 02 APR
EASTER_ISLAND 27.1S 250.6E 0532Z 02 APR
PUERTO_MONTT 41.5S 287.0E 0546Z 02 APR
PERU MOLLENDO 17.1S 288.0E 0021Z 02 APR
SAN_JUAN 15.3S 284.8E 0039Z 02 APR
LA_PUNTA 12.1S 282.8E 0131Z 02 APR
TALARA 4.6S 278.5E 0218Z 02 APR
CHIMBOTE 9.0S 281.2E 0225Z 02 APR
PIMENTAL 6.9S 280.0E 0250Z 02 APR
ECUADOR LA_LIBERTAD 2.2S 278.8E 0239Z 02 APR
ESMERELDAS 1.2N 280.2E 0327Z 02 APR
BALTRA_ISLAND 0.5S 269.7E 0429Z 02 APR
COLOMBIA TUMACO 1.8N 281.1E 0346Z 02 APR
BAHIA_SOLANO 6.3N 282.6E 0417Z 02 APR
BUENAVENTURA 3.8N 282.8E 0433Z 02 APR
PANAMA PUERTO_PINA 7.4N 282.0E 0427Z 02 APR
PUNTA_MALA 7.5N 280.0E 0429Z 02 APR
PUNTA_BURICA 8.0N 277.1E 0441Z 02 APR
COSTA RICA CABO_MATAPALO 8.4N 276.7E 0441Z 02 APR
PUERTO_QUEPOS 9.4N 275.8E 0514Z 02 APR
CABO_SAN_ELENA 10.9N 274.0E 0531Z 02 APR
NICARAGUA SAN_JUAN_DL_SUR 11.2N 274.1E 0557Z 02 APR
PUERTO_SANDINO 12.2N 273.2E 0609Z 02 APR
CORINTO 12.5N 272.8E 0609Z 02 APR

BULLETINS WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.
THE TSUNAMI WARNING AND WATCH WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL
FURTHER NOTICE.

THE U.S. NATIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WILL ISSUE PRODUCTS
FOR ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA...WASHINGTON...OREGON...CALIFORNIA.

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Four Bodies Discovered In Burned Out San Felipe Building

Safety & SecurityDuring search and recovery efforts today, four bodies were found in the rubble of the building that burned down last night in San Felipe, Panama City. (more)

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65 Year Old American Woman Raped, Found Naked in Chiriqui

Crime & PunishmentA 65 year old American woman was found completely naked and apparently raped in the area of Los Abanicos of David, in the Western province of Chiriqui, Republic of Panama.

The foreign woman was discovered by residents of that community near the water tank.

The residents notified the police who responded to the scene.

They used their patrol car to transport the victim to the Rafael Hernández regional hospital in David, and later she was transferred to the José Domingo de Obaldía Children's and Maternal hospital.

She is in delicate condition. (Siglo)

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Martinelli Announces Charter Flights Will Begin To Arrive In Rio Hato on 4 April

Infrastructure UpgradesPresident Ricardo Martinelli was very active today on the Internet where he made several announcements, and he said the first charter flights will begin to arrive at the newly constructed Rio Hato International Airport on 4 April. (more)

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"Varela Didn't Resign Because He Saw Irregularities, He Was Fired" - Henríquez

PoliticsWhile speaking about the Valter Lavitola case, the Minister of the Presidency Roberto Henriquez said they (the news media) is judging a person and some Panamanian government officials who have not been accused in Italy, and although the possibility exists they might be called to testify, it is hoped when it is proven otherwise, the news media outlets that have claimed this linkage will be man enough to say "we were wrong." (more)

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Man Executed Near Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal

Crime & PunishmentRuben Oses Delgado, 26, was executed by the road leading to the former Fort Sherman military base, in a forested area next to the Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal, in the province of Colon. (more)

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Delays By Electoral Prosecutor Draw Criticism

Law & LawyersThe work - or rather the inactivity - of the Electoral Prosecutor Eduardo Penaloza continues to attract criticism. (more)

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San Felipe Fire Leaves At Least Two Killed, Others Missing, Many Injured and Homeless

Safety & SecurityLast night, at approximately 8:00 pm a fire started in the building located in 9th Street, La Terraza, San Felipe. (more)

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Fire Destroys Building in San Felipe - One Killed

Safety & SecurityA fire consumed an old building in San Felipe last night known as "Caserón Terraza 9" located between 9th and 11th Streets. (more)

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Doubts Over Metro Fare Linger

Infrastructure UpgradesThe publication of a technical and economic report written by the Road Commission of the Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects stating the Panama Metro will require $194 million per year to meet operating expenses has raised new questions. (more)

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Trial Decision Delayed for Man Accused of Girlfriend's Panama Death

Expat TalesBy Andie Adams and Vanessa Herrera - A federal judge has decided to hold off on an obstruction of justice trial for the man accused of killing his girlfriend in Panama.

Brian Brimager, 38, is the lead suspect in the death of Yvonne Baldelli, who went missing while the two were on vacation in Central America in 2011.

Baldelli’s remains were found in a zipped bag off the coast of Isla Carenero in Aug. 2013. A federal grand jury charged Brimager with obstructing justice and making false statements to law enforcement, and he was arrested by the FBI in the Vista area on June 26, 2013.

Prosecutors allege he underwent an elaborate scheme to cover up Baldelli’s death.

On Friday, the federal judge heard a defense motion to dismiss charges against Brimager. The judge did not throw out the charges, but he also did not set a trial date, calling the hearing a “dicey matter.”

While prosecutors were expecting a trial date, they accepted a 90-day motion.

Baldelli’s family said the delay will give officials in Panama more time to gather the evidence.

Brimager’s defense said there has to be a “clear nexus” in the case, and if it goes to a jury trial, they want wording on the charges changed.

James Faust Jr., Baldelli’s brother, told NBC 7 it was heart-wrenching to see the “emaciated” Brimager in court Friday, but the family is glad he has not been released from custody.

“The jumpsuit suits him very well though, and those shackles, those chains on his ankles are music to my ears," said Baldelli’s sister Michele Valenzuela.

According to the grand jury indictment, Brimager and Baldelli traveled to Bocas Del Toro, Panama, in Sept. 2011. They stayed in a hostel on Isla Carenero, an island off the coast accessible only by boat.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office accused Brimager of physically abusing Baldelli, and she was last seen with him at a Panamanian restaurant on Nov. 26, 2011.

Prosecutors allege that soon after that, Brimager killed Baldelli. Investigators said he then tried to cover up her death by sending emails to family and friends from her laptop, posing as Baldelli. The emails said she was traveling to Costa Rica with another man.

Brimager allegedly disposed of a bloody mattress from their Isla Carenero hostel by dumping it in the ocean, investigators said. According to the indictment, Brimager had done two internet searches on Baldelli’s laptop for instructions on getting blood stains out of a mattress.

Court documents also accuse Brimager of packing Baldelli’s belongings into ten large garbage bags and leaving them on the dock outside their hostel for disposal.

Brimager then used Baldelli’s ATM card in Costa Rica and San Jose to make it look like she was still alive, prosecutors said.

When investigators questioned the suspect about Baldelli’s disappearance, they said Brimager lied to them and claimed she took her laptop to travel. That same laptop was found in his possession in 2012, at which point he changed his story and said the device never went to Panama and he never sent emails from it.

Nearly two years after vanishing, Baldelli’s body was discovered on a small island off the Isla Carenero coastline. Forensic scientists used DNA analysis on the skull and bones to identify her.

Brimager now faces 13 charges in connection with Baldelli’s death. If convicted on all counts, he would have to serve a maximum sentence of 205 years in prison and a $2.5 million fine.

Baldelli’s family said if Brimager goes to trial and is convicted in the U.S., they hope he will then be extradited to Panama to face murder charges.

“Justice is most important for us, and justice will be done when he is incarcerated – like I said – for the rest of his life,” said Baldelli’s father James Faust.

Many of the family members have made it a priority to attend Brimager’s hearings en masse.

“He did everything he could, hoping that people would forget her and not investigate and try to cover his tracks. But it didn’t work and we’re all here and he’s in jail,” said Baldelli’s niece Lauren Beyer.

NBC 7 reached out to Brimager’s defense attorney, but so far, no response has been returned. (nbcsandiego.com)

Editor's Comment: My guess is the judge punted on the issue for 90 days because they know Panama is about to finalize their request for extradition, to have Brimager returned to Panama to face murder charges. And 50 years in a Panamanian prison is a longer and tougher stretch than 205 years in a US prison. If he gets extradited to Panama, then they can keep him in prison for a very long time. If he ever gets released then they can boot him back to the US, where he can die in prison there. If justice is to be served, then Brimager will face murder charges in Panama, where he killed Baldelli.

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Daniel Moreno Melendez Convicted in Murder of American Expat Denise Mullen Hiller - Sentenced To 25 Years in Prison

Expat Tales By Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com - Daniel Moreno Melendez was convicted of murder in the case of the American expatriate Denise Mullen Hiller, and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Moreno Melendez killed Denise Mullen Hiller during the evening of Thursday, 18 February 2010 in her apartment in the Paitilla neighborhood of Panama City.

According to the autopsy Denise died as a result of severe head trauma caused by a blunt object.

During the trial Moreno Melendez admitted he met the victim at the hotel where he worked. He was a bartender at the "Champions" Sports Bar in the Marriott hotel in downtown Panama City. Moreno said he and Hiller struck up a friendship, but he denied having murdered Hiller. He maintained his innocence throughout the trial.

The Second Superior Tribunal convicted him of aggravated homicide, and sentenced him to 25 years in prison. Two of the three judges sitting on the tribunal voted for conviction, and there was a dissenting minority opinion.

Police detectives, forensics experts, and investigators working for the prosecutor of the Public Ministry were able to determine that Moreno Melendez surprised the victim and struck her in the skull from behind. She had no chance to defend herself, and he did not try to help her.

During the trial it came out that there were supposedly indications of a "condition of evident superiority" between the perpetrator and the victim.

Justice Luis Mario Carrasco wrote a dissenting opinion in this case, who said the prosecution was not able to prove the existence of premeditation.

He went on to say the prosecution was only able to prove that Daniel Moreno was in the company of the deceased in her apartment in the late afternoon, and at that time she was alive. He also said the accused lied to investigators throughout the investigation. (Critica)

Editor's Comment: This news article actually appeared in the La Critica newspaper in the middle of last year. There was no news article published anywhere in the Panamanian Spanish language press when the conviction was handed down, and I missed this one when it was published at the time. This evening I was going through the news and ran across an article about a different case and court trial. That prompted me to do a search, and I found this.

Justice moves very slowly in Panama, especially when the prosecutors are convinced they have the right guy behind bars. Moreno killed Denise Mullen Hiller on Thursday, 18 February 2010. Her body was discovered the next day, on Friday. Police detectives arrested Moreno was arrested just a few days later, on Monday evening, 22 February 2010 - thanks to information provided to me by Denise's "close family member" (who was in the United States at the time). I relayed the details for her to the DIJ, and they were able to quickly coordinate with the prosecutor, find Moreno's house in Arraiján, post a stake-out, and arrest him when he returned home from work later that evening. He has been in prison since that day.

This case represents the first time I was able to help the family members of a murder victim by providing the details and information they had to the Panamanian authorities, resulting in an arrest. Also, this is the first conviction for murder in any of the cases in which I've been involved. The serial killers William Dathan "Wild Bill" Holbert, his accomplice Laura Michelle Reese, and the Spaniard Javier Martin have yet to face trial. Brian Brimager is still facing extradition from the United States, to be returned to Panama for the murder of Yvonne Baldelli. So it took more than three years, but today I learned that one murderer will be spending 25 years in prison for having murdered an American in Panama.

And yeah, it's satisfying. It's nice to know this scumbag will spent 25 years in prison for what he did. Remember, he actually tried to blow Denise's apartment up in an attempt to destroy evidence. After he killed her, he dragged her body out into the kitchen area. He lit a bunch of candles in the apartment, opened up the gas on the stove in the kitchen, and fled. Unfortunately for him, the dry season winds were blowing strongly and the gas in the apartment was never able to build up to the point where it reached an explosive mixture. Investigators also found traces of Denise's blood in his car, on the floor mats, accelerator, and brake pedals. Yeah, he did it. Adios, asshole...

My sincere condolences go out to Denise's friends and family members. Over the years I've spoken to many of them, and exchanged email. Denise came to Panama to work on a contract related to the expansion of the Panama Canal, and shortly after arriving she ran into this monster. At least now maybe there will be a little closure, for what it's worth.

Related Articles:

Flash - American Expat Denise Hiller - Found Dead in Paitilla 19 Feb 2010

Update on the Murder of Denise Mullen Hiller 19 Feb 2010

Denise Mullen Hiller Investigation Continues 20 Feb 2010

Denise Mullen Hiller Found Dead in Panama Apartment 20 Feb 2010

Investigating the Death of Denise Mullen Hiller in Panama 20 Feb 2010

Suspect Arrested in Brutal Murder of American Denise Mullen Hiller in Panama 23 Feb 2010

Daniel Moreno Melendez Charged With Murder of Denise Mullen Hiller in Panama 26 Feb 2010

Blood Found in Denise Mullen Hiller Murder Suspect's Car 5 Mar 2010

An Update On The Denise Hiller Murder Trial - No Date Set 11 Aug 2011

Middletown native helps ID suspected killers in Panama 4 Feb 2012

Daniel Moreno - On Trial Yesterday For The Murder Of American Citizen Denise Hiller 2 Oct 2012

Manuel Moreno Promoted From Chief of DIJ to Vice Minister of Security 12 Oct 2012

No Decision Yet In Murder Trial of Daniel Moreno Melendez in Death of US Expat Denise Hiller 16 Jan 2013

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SUNTRACS Strike - A New Threat To The Expansion Of The Panama Canal?

Canal ExpansionWork on the project to expand the Panama Canal could be interrupted again, if the SUNTRACS construction workers go on strike. (more)

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Why Boca Chica Could Be Panama’s Smartest Real Estate Investment

Real EstateFor those who are ingrained with a North American concept of real estate valuation, understanding property values in Panama can be a crap shoot at best. Sure, some of the same familiar factors still come into play (e.g. location, location, location). But there's a lot more to it than meets the eye.

You have to consider things like how much the land is worth to the locals based on how they're using it, what the property's potential pool of buyers looks like, and whether or not there's even a decent road that offers access to the area.

After over 17 years of combined experience deciphering the Latin American real estate market, we've learned how to dig around and uncover areas or specific properties that offer the best potential return for investors. And we want to tell you a little more about our latest find.

It's none other than Boca Chica, Panama.

Here's why we think it could be one of the best real estate buys in Panama.

Boca Chica is at a pivotal point in the Panama market stage progression.

Even if you have a pretty good understanding of real estate terms, you probably aren't familiar with the concept of market stages. That's because it's basically a classification system we developed to help potential investors understand the natural progression that emerging markets go through as they transition from local villages to established communities.

Boca Chica is teetering between stages 2 and 3 of the model, with 1 being a completely undeveloped area and 5 being...well, Panama City. Without going into too much detail here, that basically means that most of the land in the area consists of large tracts owned by pioneers like us who've jumped through all the hoops necessary to buy the land from locals for rock-bottom prices.

They're beginning to break the land up into smaller lots that are accessible and affordable to a variety of end users: would-be expats who want to build a private residence, small business owners looking to launch a tourism company, or investors hoping to build a small housing community.

At this stage properties are still affordable, but much of the difficult legwork has already been done for you. Land is easy to buy. You can build to suit. And there's still plenty of room for appreciation.

Boca Chica has a multi-faceted appeal.

We mentioned that it's important, when determining the value of property in Panama, to consider who the land will ultimately appeal to. Boca Chica's audience is wide open.

There are so many different flavors to choose from in Boca Chica. There's an established local community on the mainland. Plus there are over 50 islands off the coast, and they cover every inch of the spectrum.

There are light sand beaches, dark sand beaches, mangrove forests, islands covered almost completely in rain-forest...you name it. Buyers can opt for a house on the mainland or own their own island just a short boat ride away.

Because of its varied topography, Boca Chica also offers a whole host of activities sure to please even the most adventurous expat. There are great spots for diving and surfing, islands to explore, and some of the world's best sport fishing.

Another huge part of Boca Chica's appeal is its exclusivity. While only a short distance away from one of Panama's largest cities, the area feels completely remote. It's the best of both worlds.

Boca Chica and its surrounding islands are less than an hour from the city of David.

There are a lot of remote destinations in Panama, but there aren't any that feel as isolated as Boca Chica yet are such a short distance away from shopping, culture, and an international airport.

The city of David is one of the country's largest, and it's growing fast. It offers all the goods and services you could possibly need (e.g. banks, dry cleaners, auto mechanics, etc.), and even in a slow boat you can get there from Boca Chica Island in about 40 minutes.

Not only is the proximity to David a great benefit to Boca Chica, the feeling is actually mutual. Boca Chica's beaches are frequented by many residents of David, as there just aren't a lot of other options nearby. Las Lajas is great, but it's over 2 hours away. There's also La Barqueta, but its dangerous rip current deters many would-be swimmers.

As a result, Boca Chica is most city dwellers' beach of choice, a trend that is likely to grow along with the city's population.

David's airport expansion will mean big things for Boca Chica.

One of the surest ways to bump an area from one market stage to the next is by adding infrastructure. And David's Enrique Malek International Airport is currently undergoing a massive expansion to the tune of a new 48,000 square foot terminal, 1,640 feet of additional runway, almost 158,000 square yards of repaving, and a whopping $27 million in total infrastructure investment.

These improvements will allow for heavier 737 traffic, and even frequent 757's. The airport will be safer at night and during inclement weather. The new terminal will accommodate much more activity, including customs operations, making way for international flights from the U.S. as well as other countries.

We anticipate that this increased accessibility will have the same effect as similar airport projects, like those in Costa Rica. When Liberia's international airport was built in the 1970's, it turned Guanacaste into a world-class destination at an exponential rate. It went from virtually nothing to a coveted destination packed with resorts like the Four Seasons and a Hilton.

The same thing happened when mere rumors surfaced about a Southern Zone airport in Costa Rica. Even though construction still hasn't begun, there are already tourism operations opening up shop, and property values are on the rise.

Boca Chica delivers big on its promises.

Essentially, for real estate values to increase, there has to be a demand for your property. In order for people to even see your property, you've got to make it easy for them to get there. And, when they do, it had better knock their socks off.

We can already see that the airport expansion is going to drive up traffic to Boca Chica. And, whether it's an investor who hopes to buy a $50,000 private island, an expat who wants to retire to a little cabana on the mainland, or a millionaire who's looking for a dream place to dock his yacht, we're confident that what awaits them in Boca Chica will not disappoint.

You can learn more about the real estate concepts outlined in this article (plus a lot more) in our free 56-page guide to Central American markets. Based on our years of experience, it's a blueprint for investing abroad that explains how we've repeatedly earned incredible returns, even during some tough years for the international real estate market.

It's a free download, so grab your copy today.

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Navarro Was The "Most Corrupt in Panama" According To US Report

CorruptionIn relation to a banking transaction between the Municipality of Panama and Banistmo Inc. for $25 million for the purchase of the Hatillo building and other ghost investments, the US Embassy in Panama already had several reports about Juan Carlos Navarro, who at the time was the Mayor of Panama City Juan Carlos Navarro, who today is the PRD's presidential candidate. (more)

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Electoral Tribunal Responds To Communication Secretary

PoliticsIn response to the government's Communication Secretary Luis Eduardo Camacho, the Electoral Tribunal listed the laws that support the creation of the Identity Verification Service, which has been plagiarized on a website supporting the presidential campaign of José Domingo Arias, of the Democratic Change political party. (more)

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ANAM Confiscates Illegal Wood

Environmental IssuesMore than 80 pieces of tree trunks (logs) of Cocobolo and Kira were found on private land in the districts of La Pintada and Penonomé, and although so far there have been no arrests for this environmental crime, the authorities have a suspect and the investigation has started. (more)

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Expocomer Opens Today

Money MattersExpocomer opens today, known as the most important commercial showcase for Latin America - in it's thirty-second version (XXXII ) - featuring the distinguished legal and business personality from Colombia Noemí Sanín Posada, and president Ricardo Martinelli at the inauguration. (more)

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CD's Arias Leads All Polls in Panama's Presidential Campaign

PoliticsPromising to continue on the path started by the administration of president Ricardo Martinelli (who enjoys a 60% approval rating) has allowed the candidate of the ruing Democratic Change political party José Domingo Arias to lead all polls of likely voters, now with five weeks to go before the upcoming general national elections on 4 May 2014. (more)

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Colon Free Trade Zone Exports to Venezuela Collapse

Money MattersThe diplomatic and trade crisis between Panama and Venezuela has affected the companies in the Colon Free Zone most directly. (more)

Editor's Comment: (Today's comments, worth the price of admission all by themselves...)

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Teens Suspected of Killing Cop Planned to Sail to Panama Before Suicides

Boats and SailingBy Alyssa Newcomb (ABC News) Before a teenage couple allegedly killed a Florida cop and then took their own lives, they planned to steal a boat and sail to Panama to begin a new life together, according to what police said today were their suicide notes.

Brandon Goode, 18, and Alexandria Hollinghurst, 17, were found dead Saturday morning of gunshot wounds from apparent suicides, police said, noting the couple’s bodies were found shortly after Officer Robert German, 31, was fatally wounded.

The couple’s apparent suicide notes were released today by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, which also said the teens had ran away from home on Friday.

In the note that police said was written by Goode, he told his parents ”sorry for all the pain and misery I have brought you both, not just now but from these past few years as well.” “I love you both so much, I love you with all my heart,” the letter continues. “Please don’t be sad, this is what I want now, I get to die peacefully with the woman I love, the woman of my dreams, my fiance (Yes we were engaged!).”

The note police said was written by Hollinghurst to her mother was devoid of affection. “If I had stayed another minute I would have painted the walls and stained the carpets with my blood, so you could clean it up,” the letter says.

To her father, Hollinghurst wrote that she loved him but “every day became harder and harder.”

Couple Stopped by Police Early Saturday Morning

German, 31, apparently made a “subject stop” of a man and a woman walking through a neighborhood around 4 a.m. Saturday and called for backup.

When the first Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived, officials said, German was lying in the roadway. Authorities reported hearing shots in the area at that time, but stopped short of saying whether they believed the sounds they heard could have been the teens taking their own lives.

A tactical rescue was conducted to save German, police said, meaning a patrol car was used to shield him as he was placed in another vehicle and taken to the hospital.

A short time later, authorities said they located the bodies of Goode and Hollinghurst under some brush on the side of the road.

The medical examiner’s report is still pending on their official causes of death.

A funeral for German, a 5-year veteran of the department, is scheduled for Thursday.

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No Change In Polling Data - Arias Still Firmly In The Lead

PoliticsAlthough recent history has shown that the winner of the presidential election would come from the ranks of the opposition political parties, this time it appears this trend will be broken in favor of the government's candidate, as reflected in the results of the weekly Dichter & Neira survey conducted for TVN. (more)

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Lucy Molinar Calls Upon Teachers To Stay At Their Jobs on Friday

Schools & EducationA teachers union has made a call for a march on Friday, but the Minister of Education Lucy Molinar asked the teachers to remain on the job, but this has been rejected by the educators. (more)

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Martinelli Tells The OAS To Put Their Big Boy Pants On

Panama NewsAmid shouts and applause, the president of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli, called out the Organization of American States (OAS). (more)

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EU Donates $38 Million to Strengthen Security in Panama

Safety & SecurityThe European Union (EU) made a contribution of $38 million to the Government of Panama for a cooperation program aimed at strengthening public security in the country, an official said today. (more)

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Martinelli Says Venezuela's Maduro is a "Bad Copy" of Hugo Chavez

Panama NewsThe President of the Republic Ricardo Martinelli, in an interview with the Colombian television station NTN -24, talked about the political situation in Venezuela and asked the Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro release the opposition leader Leopoldo López, and to not remove immunity from the lawmaker Maria Corina Machado. (more)

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