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Panama Guide

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Tuesday, November 13 2018 @ 12:53 AM UTC

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Which Would You Like First...

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - ...The good news or the bad news. I'll give you the bad news first. According to Panamanian law, specifically Article 12 of Law #55 of 10 July 1973, it's illegal to sell alcohol practically anywhere in Panama City. Yup, that's right. According to the law you can't give a license to anyone to sell alcohol if their establishment is within 500 meters of a church, school, or hospital. And before you tell me "there are exceptions" the law specifically states "without exception." So if you do the simple exercise of pulling out a map of Panama and drawing a 500 meter radius circle around all of the churches, there are enough churches spread out over enough of the city that it's illegal to sell beer anywhere. Clubs, bars, chinos, restaurants, cantinas, strip joints, massage parlors, casinos, hotels -- according to the law none of them should have a license to sell booze. It's one of those silly "have it both ways" things. (more)
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"Yeah, so what. This Is Panama" (shrug)

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Here's one for you regarding the issuance of liquor licenses in Panama. According to Article 12 of Law #55 of 10 July 1973, "Without exception, liquor licenses will not be issued for the operation of cantinas located less than 100 meters in the interior of the country and 500 meters in the cities of Panama, Colon, and San Miguelito, from schools, public and private hospitals, and religious temples." This law was just recently updated in Law #5 of 11 January 2007, but that modification did not fundamentally change the "500 meter rule" in Article 12. So what, you might ask? Here's how this works. Say you want to open a bar. In order to apply for a liquor license you have to first go to your local corregiduria and get a "500 meter" certificate. They issue a document which says how far your establishment is from churches and hospitals. You have to go to the Ministry of Education in order to get a certificate from them regarding distances from schools. (more)
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Hookers, Hookers, by the Church...?

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - No, I'm not obsessed with hookers, strip clubs, or massage parlors. And, I don't want to see these kinds of places shut down. There is a great issue at stake here. The sex industry in Panama is still dominated by back-room deals, big bribes, and million-dollar back stabs. If you take the sex out of the sex industry you're left with business, just like any other. The problems arise when businessmen and investors come to Panama from other countries and want to invest in this market. Usually they have some kind of experience or background in the sex industry and they know how to make it work. When they try to apply that knowledge and wisdom to the Panamanian scene on the ground they start to run into problems. Buying or opening a strip club in Panama can be a multi-million dollar investment and this entire issue has caught my attention because the owner of the Crystal Moon, and American, has been sentenced to five years for "human trafficking." The Midnight Club, owned by another American, was raided and all 23 girls were deported. So the obvious question is - are the Panamanian authorities picking on the gringos? (more)
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Hookers, Hookers, Everywhere... Sex Tourism in Panama

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it. Long-time readers will know that I rarely shrink away from the opportunity to write about hookers and the sex trade. Panamanian authorities want it both ways, to be able to say they are doing something to control the sex trade but then again they are not doing a very good job. There are "areas of increased tolerance," whore houses that have been operating for decades, but the government has a cow if someone puts up a website in English promoting Panama as a destination for sex tourism. Finding a hooker in Panama is one of the easiest things to do, but prostitution is illegal in Panama. But if prostitution is illegal then why do they have mandatory clinics for all of the hookers? How can you required a sanctioned hooker to carry a card from the Ministry of Health saying she's good to go if prostitution is illegal? And if they are seeing the girls at the health clinics every week, why don't they make sure they are all registered and working legally? And if you're going to bust someone in the sex trade, how come you only go after foreign owners (specifically, Americans) and not the Panamanians who own the seedier whore houses? As you can see, I still have a lot of quesitons about this whole thing. At least the homework is fun. (more)
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Atronic heads back Panama

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying Intergame.ltd.uk - Atronic, one of the leading suppliers of casino games, said it is looking forward to replicating the success of 2006 at this year’s SAGSE show in Panama. The exhibition, which is scheduled for June 14-15 will see Atronic present the latest products it has to offer. The German company will showcase for the first time the Eighth Wonder of the World King Kong Cash. “Featuring a four-level progressive jackpot and an exciting merchandising package, King Kong Cash is sure to be as successful as Universal Pictures epic adventure,” Atronic said. Still on the road of linked gaming, visitors to the Atronic booth will also get to experience The Game of Life, which is based on the best-selling board game by Hasbro. Atronic and Atronic Systems will be exhibiting at stand 48, level 4 at the Atlapa Convention Center, Panama City, Panama.
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Hookers, For or Against?

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying Yesterday Panamanian Immigration authorities raided the Midnight Club on Via Espana and shut the place down. There were twenty three girls working there and all were taken into detention. These were the girls featured in this article, "Order Up a Hooker Online in Panama", after seeing this report in El Siglo and a television report on TVN about the same article. One website, partygirlspa.com, was highlighted in the reporting as catering to the sex tourism trade. Hookers are a fact of life in Panama, and finding sex for money is easy. There are dozens of massage parlors, strip clubs, and classic whore houses that have been operating for decades. And if you're looking for a freelancer just hit the classified ads section of La Prensa and read the listings in section C420 (Personal Ads) where there are always cell phone numbers to call. So, if Panama is so hooker-happy, why did authorities raid the Midnight Club and arrest all 23 women who were working there? I went down to the holding cell at the Immigration office last night to talk to the ten girls who are awaiting deportation to find out what happened. (more)
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www.partygirlspa.com - Down for the count?

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying Aw, hell. That took what, one day? My new favorite website in Panama, Party Girls pa.com seems to be down for the count. Hopefully they just crashed from all the traffic, but more likely they did a "holy crap" after seeing the coverage from El Siglo and Panama-Guide.com today and have run for the hills. That was not my intent, promise. I think hookers are cool. Come on back, guys. I promise I won't tell anyone... Update - 17 April 2007 - Still down. Man, that sucks.
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Order Up a Hooker Online in Panama

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying Panama has always skirted a fine line between wanting to have legalized prostitution in the country, but at the same time not really liking it all that much. The fact is that in Panama prostitution is "de facto" legal while simultaneously illegal on the books. Street walkers are illegal, for example. But there are ways in which operators of massage parlors and strip clubs can make the girls available if they ensure they go to regular health checkups, use condoms, and practice other safe sex procedures. In effect this is a common sense approach based on the fact that authorities know prostitution will exist no matter what they do, so it's better to provide a level of controlled access that protects both the girls and the Johns as much as possible. The classic twin horns of a dilemma. Now, here's the rub so to speak. What happens when an enterprising pimp takes advantage of all of the existing laws, establishes an operation that is perfectly legal, and then uses the Internet to solicit business? If you're a exceptionally poor but really friggin' hot Latina from the third world somewhere, you can come to Panama and bang rich Gringos to make between $2,000 to $8,000 per month with no hassles from immigration, guaranteed. (more)
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Who Is Paying For This Crap?

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying Hey guys! Look! Right over here! There's someone with an actual working computer, a digital camera, and more than thirty seconds on the ground in Panama who can write cheesy travel pieces without feeding your valued readers a steady stream of worthless crap. I was plowing through yet another "how I discovered Panama" article, this time written by Ceci Connolly for The Washington Post with the title "Is Panama City The Next South Beach?" This article is based on slivers mundane tourist dribble blown into some kind of Sunday Afternoon brain-dead mush for the masses. The one that pushed me to write about the bad writing was "With our catch in hand, we climb a rickety wooden staircase to a restaurant of sorts. Our waitress is brusque and the napkins are paper. There's a menu, but we don't need it." The staircase is about six feet wide and built out of poured cement. And this gem "The man at the Avis counter had no idea how to get downtown, and cabdrivers were no better." Lady, Panamanian cab drivers know every trick in the book. Apparently, blowing you off went over your head. My work here is done. I wonder what she got paid for this? The editor's should ask for a refund.
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No Drinking in Public During Carnivals (What?!?!)

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying By Rafael Luna Noguera for La Prensa - The National Police will be handing out fines from $10 to $50 for anyone caught drinking on public streets during carnival. A press release says that 15,000 police officers will be working during carnival, and that people can be fined from $20 to $40 for fighting, $5 for not carrying identification, and $30 or more for showing disrespect for authority. A police spokesman said these sanctions are based on municipal decrees. Police also said that fines will have to be paid before the Corregidurias that will be operating during Carnival. A spokesperson from the Mayor's office clairified that there has been no additional decree in particular. Meanwhile, the President of the Panama City Carnival Board, Minghtoy Giro, said that she understands that the additional restrictions will only be in place in areas that are outside of the official Carnival parade routes, and that within the areas there are additional security measures in place to ensure the public's safety and security. The police controls also prohibit the carrying of knives and firearms.
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