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Wednesday, July 30 2014 @ 03:11 PM EDT

Safety and Security

There are things you can do while living in the Republic of Panama to increase your personal level of safety and security. Most of these things are common sense but some of them are specific to Panama. While the person ultimately responsible for any crime is the criminal, most victims of crime have opportunities to take actions that will mitigate or reduce their chances of becoming a victim of violent crime. Most newly arriving expatriates are faced with the challenges of overcoming cultural and language barriers. Panama is relatively safe compared to other large cities in the United States and throughout Latin America - there is no reason to live in fear or to be afraid of visiting or living in Panama. That having been said anyone with money might be targeted, gringo or otherwise. In this section of Panama-Guide.com you will find articles related to your personal safety and security and ways for you to remain safe. If you require additional information about this or any other category of information regarding the Republic of Panama please take advantage of our powerful in-house search engine. And if you still can't find what you're looking for we even take requests! Welcome aboard, and please remember to tell your friends about Panama-Guide.com, the #1 English Language Website about the Republic of Panama. Salud.
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Three Children Injured In San Miguelito House Fire

Safety & SecurityThree children were injured in a house fire in the community Jan. 9, in the district of San Miguelito. (more)

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Investigations Into Fatal Gas Tanker Accident and Fire in Aguadulce Continue

Safety & SecurityThe Fire Department of the Republic of Panama in Aguadulce are preparing a report on the crash between a gasoline tanker truck and another truck on the InterAmerican Highway that happened on Saturday afternoon, in which Edwin Jaramillo, 45, burned to death. (more)

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Big Fire Consumes del Rey Supermarket Warehouses

Safety & SecurityYesterday a large fire completely consumed two warehouses of the del Rey Group, containing dry food and an area of ​​cold rooms in La Locería. (more)

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Student Pilot Unhurt But Plane Destroyed After Crash in Chame

Safety & SecuritySeveral citizens and witnesses reported via Twitter, on the crash and explosion of a small plane on Friday morning at the El Celaje airfield in Chame. (more)

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Fire In Colon - Dangerous Chemical Spill

Safety & SecurityFiremen from Colon and Panama City are working to extinguish a fire at a warehouse, which has caused a spill of a hazardous chemical. (more)

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Elevator Fails and Plunges To The Ground In Panama Shopping Center - Nuns Hurt

Safety & SecurityAn elevator inside of the Raenco store on Via Transistmica fell on Tuesday, injuring at least four people, among them three nuns. (more)

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Cause Of Fire In Viejo Veranillo Unknown

Safety & Security"It's hard to watch as all of your belongings and appliances go up in flames," said Gloria Barba, one of the 16 people who were left homeless by the fire yesterday in Viejo Veranillo. (more)

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Fire At The Super99 Supermarket

Safety & SecurityThere was a fire in the Super99 supermarket located on Via Porras this morning. (more)

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Front Of The Banco Nacional Bank in Colon Crashes To The Ground

Safety & SecurityThe front part of the branch of the Banco Nacional bank in Colon, located on Avenida Bolivar and Calle 10 in the province of Colon, collapsed during the early morning hours today, Tuesday. (more)

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Two Apartments on Fire in El Chorrillo

Safety & SecurityBy Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com - A fire broke out tonight on the fourth floor of an apartment building on 21st street in El Chorrillo tonight.

At least two apartments are on fire, at the time of this report.

As of 8:53 pm the firemen are reporting that the fire has been extinguished, and they are using ventilators to remove smoke.

Firemen from the stations in Calidonia, Plaza Amador and Balboa responded to the multiple alarm fire.

Copyright 2014 Panama-Guide.com.

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CSS Warehouse Fire Destroys Medical Supplies in Juan Diaz

Safety & SecurityA fire occurred in a wooden warehouse of the Social Security Fund on Monday night, located in the area of El Sitio in Juan Diaz.

According to reports from the Fire Department, their efforts to control the fire were supported by units from several stations, and a lack of water hindered their efforts.

A water tanker truck from the Panama Canal Authority was on the scene, as well as another from the Tocumen International Airport.

According to information provided by Fire Chief Pablo Tuñón, medical supplies belonging to the dialysis unit of the Social Security Fund were burned in the fire, and the losses are in the millions.

At approximately 9:30 pm the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (IDAAN) reported they were sending two additional water tanker trucks to the scene of the fire. (Telemetro)

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Two Fires This Afternoon: Multiplaza and DoIt Center in El Dorado

Safety & SecurityBy Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com - There was a fire this afternoon in the Multiplaza shopping center in Panama City.

The fire was caused by a fault or short in an electrical panel.

The fire was controlled by the Fire Department, with no significant damages or injuries to report.

Also this afternoon there was a fire at the DoIt Center store in El Dorado.

The fire was in their electrical generator, and was controlled.

Copyright 2013 Panama-Guide.com.

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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.

This discovery brings the total number of fatalities to six, with these four added to the two women who have already been confirmed as having died in the fire.

Five people - including two minors - were reported as missing during the fire on Sunday night, which left 48 families homeless.

Authorities from the Public Ministry asked the relatives of the people who have been reported as missing to go to the Judicial Morgue tomorrow. (Telemetro)

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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.

The Fire Department needed help and support from other entities.

The Director of the Fire Department said they found it difficult to get to the scene due to the narrow streets in San Felipe, and because some vehicles were improperly parked.

Two people died - a mother and daughter - Angelina Romero, 64, and her 17 year old daughter Angelina Flores.

Another two adults and two children have been reported as missing.

It is being said a total of 37 families have been made homeless by this fire.

Initially, the firemen had problems with water, so they needed the support of other units.

They continue to investigate the cause of the fire. (Panama America)

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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.

One person was killed, 40 were injured, and several families were left homeless according to preliminary reports from the authorities.

The Fire Department of Panama managed prevent the fire from spreading to the other adjacent properties in the neighborhood.

The destroyed building was on the historic heritage list. (Prensa)

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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.

The support to the Program of Cooperation with Panama in Security was made official today with the signing of an agreement between the Panamanian Public Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino, and the Representative in Panama from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Tomas Bermudez.

The agreement documents the economic contribution of 28 million Euros donated by the EU to improve public safety in Panama, said a statement from the Ministry of Public Security.

The signing of the agreement, held at the presidency, was attended by the EU representatives to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, Matilde Caravolo, and the former mayor of Medellin (Colombia) Alfonso Salazar.

Mulino called upon the civil society to participate actively in the national government's programs to combat crime, organized crime and drug trafficking.

"In this topic, the participation of civil society is virtually nil," said Minister of Public Safety, according to official information.

Mulino said in the past four years the Ministry of Security has established 82 police checkpoints in different regions around the country to strengthen citizen security and combat crime.

Besides the Ministry of Security, the National Police, the Prison System, Public Ministry, the National Security Council and Defense, the National Criminal Statistics and the National Institute for Women all participate in the SECOPA. (Panama America)

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Carnival in Panama City Being Monitored By Surveillance Cameras

Safety & SecurityPolice and security officers, working from their command center located at the Hotel Miramar, are monitoring the development of Carnival MetroCity using eight security cameras.

Erli Miranda, a Subcommissioner of the National Police, said there have been no incidents during Carnival, in the coastal strip.

He said they are using the security cameras to monitor the activities 24 hours a day, and that the areas of the "culecos" (spraying water) are covered.

The National Police, the National System of Civil Protection, the Institutional Protection Service, and Fire Department all have officers working in the command center. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: Keeping people safe during Carnival. Like I said, it's always a slow news day when carnival is going on...

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Fire Department of Panama Conducts First Safety Drill on Panama's New Metro Subway System

Safety & SecurityFiremen from the Fire Department of Panama City successfully completed the exercise on Via Transísmtica on Sunday.

They reopened the roadway after the last part of the exercise was over, at about 11:00 am.

They closed the part of the road from the Estrella Azul plant until Monte Oscuro in both directions.

About 30 firemen from the Fire Department of Panama participated in the exercise, using two fire trucks.

As explained by a department spokesman, the goal is to be ready to respond to any emergency that might occur either on the elevated section of the Metro, or in the underground stations of the new subway system.

Panama's Minister of Government Jorge Ricardo Fabrega attended the exercise, who congratulated the firemen.

Fabrega said modifications being made to the Law, to improve the equipment of the Fire Department of Panama. (Telemetro)

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One Foreigner Killed In Panama Sport Fishing Lodge Fire

Safety & SecurityOne person is dead and one other was injured in a fire Tuesday at the Panama Sport Fishing Lodge in Boca Chica, Chiriquí.

Chiriquí Fire Chief Manuel de la Cruz said the cause of the fire is under investigation. Firefighters from San Felix, David and Bugaba responded to the call. The names of the victims have not yet been released.

He lauded the quick work of firefighters to contain the blaze and keep it from spreading to nearby areas where fuel is stored.

The injured person was reportedly hurt while jumping out of the building to escape the flames.

The fire chief said that the investigation will focus on why so much fuel was being stored at the resort. (Prensa)

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SINAPROC Launches "Operation Safe Summer"

Safety & SecurityThe National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) today announced the start of their "Safe Summer 2014" plan as of 1 January, during which they will take charge of 27 swimming areas at beaches and rivers where many people go to swim.

At a press conference at their Operations Center in Aguadulce, Cocle province, the SINAPROC announced the plan involving 800 staff members and volunteers, including lifeguards, first aid providers, and paramedics.

This SINAPROC coverage will continue through the last Sunday school holiday on 23 February, and then they will resume control of the beaches later, during the Easter holidays.

Coverage hours will be from 8 am to 5 pm, however swimmers must leave the beaches at 4 pm.

At the conference it was reported that the use of "four wheelers" (ATV's) is prohibited on beaches, and "jet ski" watercraft will have to be used at least 50 meters from the beach.

Coolers containing glass bottles will not be allowed on the beaches. And it was announced that this year they will be strictly enforcing the laws that regulate the uses of beaches and swimming areas.

Meanwhile the head of the SINAPROC Arturo Alvarado said "the beaches are not bars, and the rights of parents who wish to spend the day at the beach with their children must be respected. There should not be any bad example caused by intoxicated persons."

The most popular beaches are Gorgona, La Boquilla (Panamá), and Las Lajas (Chiriquí), and among the most visited rivers are Pacora and Cabobré in the district of Panama. The SINAPROC will deply more than 200 people to these areas.

Lifeguards will cover the main points; in the province of Bocas del Toro: Isla Colón, Playa La Estrella and Boca del Drago, in Chiriquí Grande, Río Punta Peña and in Changuinola under the Puente Bonyic.

For the province of Cocle, there will be coverage at Playa Santa Clara, Farallon and Juan Hombrón.

In Colon, the SINAPROC have presence in Isla Grande and La Guaira , while in Chiriquí, they will be in will be in Playa Las Mellizas, La Barqueta, Estero Rico and Las Lajas.

In the Darien Operation Safe Summer will cover La Palma, Punta Alegre and Acapulco, Yaviza Río Chico and Setegantí.

In the Azuero SINAPROC will cover Playa Monagre, El Rompío and Los Guallaberos, El Uverito and El Arenal.

There will also be SINAPROC units in Veraguas , specifically in Playa Torio y Reina and in Soná, Playa Arrimadero.

In the Western part of the province of Panama SINAPROC will cover Gorgona, Canadian, Montaner, Hayes and Muelle; Boquilla, La Posa and Serena; Punta Barco and El Palmar.

In Panamà they will cover Puente del Río and la Toma de Agua.

There were 135 "socio-natural" events in 2012, and 78 in 2013. (TVN)

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Miviot Providing Assistance To 38 Families in Colon

Safety & SecurityThe 38 families who were affected by the fire that occurred yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, 24 December, will receive assistance from the Ministry of Housing and Land Management (Miviot).

This was announced by Minister Yasmina Pimentel, who said they will provide a subsidy of $150 per month to help them rent a place to live, until the entity relocates them to more permanent housing.

She added they made all possible efforts to find rooms for all of the victims in local hotels, but it was impossible to place them all because first of all it's the high season during the holidays, and secondly, hotel owners have had some problems with discipline and disorder causes by victims of previous fires that have occurred in Colon.

The fire occurred at building number 3028 located on 12th Street and Avenida Domingo Díaz, and building number 3029 on 12th Street with Avenida Federico Boyd, both in the village of Barrio Sur in the province of Colon. 38 families were left homeless as a result of the fire. (Panama America)

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Fire Was Reported At El Campeon Store In Calidonia

Safety & SecurityA fire was reported at the Store El Campeon in Calidonia, Panama City.

Units from the Fire Department of Panama went to the area to assist the emergency, which was specifically at the Home Department of the commercial establishment.

The event didn’t cause any injured or material loss; the firemen shut down the store so they could inspect the area properly. (Telemetro)

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Fire Reported At Joron In Chiriqui

Safety & Security

Today, a fire was reported at the Joron Zebede, located in the Province of Chiriqui.

The incident occurred at approximately 2:30pm at the legendary party site in David.

About three fire trucks are currently at the scene, so far there are no casualties reported.(Mi Diario)

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3 People Died In Fire Reported In Colon

Safety & Security

Last night three people died burned in a fire reported at a house located in Calle 6 de Margarita, province of Colon.

The victims were identified as Eva de Lozada, and two of her children.

Her husband survived, but had burns all over his body, and her other son was at college at the moment of the fire so nothing happened to him.

Firefighters arrived to put out the fire, but the flames consumed the house because it was built entirely of wood and plastic.

It's presumed the fire could've been caused by a short circuit, however, the investigations continue.(La Critica)

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A Concrete Slab And A Sign Fell At The Entrance Of Los Angeles Shopping Center

Safety & Security

Today in the afternoon, a concrete slab and a sign fell at the entrance of Los Angeles shopping center located in via Ricardo J. Alfaro, causing panic among customers of these premises.

It was reported two sedan vehicles, a van, a truck and a motorcycle were buried under the rubble.

No one was injured in this incident, however $72 thousand are estimated in losses.

Some people had to go through a hole opened by the firefighters because they were trapped in one of the rooms.(TVN)

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Fire Reported At BBQ In Juan Diaz

Safety & Security

Yesterday at 11pm, a fire was reported at the extractor of the Hot Chicken Roast BBQ in Juan Diaz.

The inspector of the Fire Department, Victor Moreno, explained all occurred when the large amount of fat accumulated in the extractor generated an inflammation, setting it on fire.

He recommended the business owners to perform frequent cleaning, specially during this month as there is higher productivity.(Dia a Dia)

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Fire Outbreak Reported In El Carmen

Safety & Security

Today, the Fire Department units extinguished a fire outbreak reported at a residence in El Carmen, Panama City.

The Fire Department sent 2 fire trucks, an ambulance and 10 units to attend the emergency, after the neighbors reported smoke coming out of the house.

The Public Relations Office of the Fire Department reported the outbreak of fire was recorded in one of the rooms of the residence, no injuries were reported.

Research Unit of the Fire Department will determine the causes of the fire outbreak.(TVN)

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SINAPROC Wants To Lower Burned Children Cases In December

Safety & Security

Authorities seek to increase operations in order to prevent high numbers of burned children during December.

Meanwhile, in the burn ward of the Children's Hospital, the number of burned children increase, in most of cases they get burned with hot liquids such as boiling water.

The National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) recommended not to allow children to play or be around explosive devices and fireworks.(Telemetro)

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Fire Reported At Rental House In San Miguelito

Safety & Security

Today, 3 rooms of a rental house were consumed by flames in Paraiso, Veranillo, district of San Miguelito.

Firefighters rushed to the place of the emergency, however, the fire had consumed almost all of the housing.

According to neighbors, they heard an explosion and the fire immediately occurred.

The Security Office of Fire Department of Panama initiated the investigations to determine the cause of the fire, no casualties were reported.(La Critica)

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2 Prison Inmates Burned After Pressure Cooker Exploded

Safety & Security

Today, two prison inmates were burned after a pressure cooker exploded in the kitchen of the Nueva Esperanza prison, in the province of Colon.

The prisoners were transferred to the Amador Guerrero hospital to receive medical attention.

It was reported the inmates are part of the kitchen staff of this prison.

Authorities have not given their version of the events, however, the Fire Department staff initiated investigations.(La Critica)

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