Wednesday, June 06 2012 @ 12:07 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: Drug trafficking, money laundering, weapons trafficking, human trafficking - it's all tied together. Illegal activity, and Panama tends to be right at the center of the action due to its geographic position, with the drug markets to the North and source countries to the South. Most of this kind of activity simply passes right by the vast majority of the members of the English speaking community of expatriates who live in the Republic of Panama. Don't try to buy an illegal AK-47 and you should not have any problems. And for the record, Panamanian laws make it very difficult for a private citizen to own any sort of rifle or long gun with a rifled barrel. Handguns for personal protection, shotguns for home defense, fine - but AK-47's make Panamanians very nervous. Back during the Noriega years Cuba flooded Panama with AK-47's by the container load. These weapons were handed out to the poorest neighborhoods, to the "Dignity Battalions" that were supposed to help shoot American military personnel, and they've been used in crime every since.