Whether you’re traveling to Panama alone, or with a tour group, there are precautions you should take to ensure your safety. In particular, you should stay away from the Colon area. This is the border of Panama and Colombia, where drug and people smugglers are known to frequently cross.
Women do not report incidents of gender-based violence
Thousands of women and girls are still suffering from feminicide in the Caribbean. While women’s movements have made significant progress in the region in reclaiming their rights, feminicide continues to plague the region.
In the Caribbean, feminicide is a form of extreme gender violence. While not a criminal offense in most countries, it continues to affect thousands of women and girls. In fact, four of the English-speaking Caribbean countries experienced a rise in violent gender-based deaths between 2019 and 2020.
The Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean (GEOLAC) provides consolidated data on femicide from governments, as well as updated data on women’s violent deaths. GEOLAC’s most recent data shows that 4,091 women were victims of femicide in 26 countries in 2020.
Gender-based violence affects women and men across the world. It is a violation of women’s rights that knows no economic or social boundaries. Its harmful effects include harming the health, dignity and autonomy of victims. It also undermines women’s security. In many cases, women and men are not aware of their rights and do not seek legal assistance to protect themselves from violence.
Drug and people smugglers frequent Panama’s border with Colombia
Despite Panama’s relatively stable nature, the country is a major transit point for drugs and people smugglers. Transnational criminal networks exploit Panama’s dollarized economy and the densely forested border with Colombia to smuggle drugs and people from South America to Central America. Panama also has a reputation for corruption.
Panamanian law enforcement lacks effective mechanisms to combat corruption and money laundering. This makes it difficult to investigate smuggling operations. A lack of trust increases the risk of a violent incident on the border.
The Panama-Colombia border is a 225km long, dense mountainous jungle. There are no formal crossings between the two countries, but smugglers have adapted flexible routes that allow them to avoid detection by authorities. Panama’s strategic location and a lack of formal border points make it an attractive target for armed groups. These groups wage local turf wars to control illicit economies.
A lack of a national institution tasked with tackling illegal markets makes Panama vulnerable to crime syndicates. The country’s political and economic institutions are weak and unable to effectively address the problem.
Avoid Colon unless you visit with a tour group
Unless you are on a tour, it is wise to avoid Colon, Panama. The city is considered dangerous by many Panamanians. The area has a history of violent crime.
There are many gangs in Panama. If you are visiting, it is recommended that you take precautions and avoid areas that have high gang activity. If you are on a tour, you may have access to local information that can help you avoid the crime areas.
Avoid areas that are popular with tourists. These include Calidonia and Panama City. Avoid shopping areas that are crowded. Avoid showing expensive clothing and jewelry. It is also important to avoid showing cash.
If you are traveling alone, it is also important to avoid places that are known to be risky. This includes Panama City, El Chorillo, Panama City’s border with Colombia, and some areas of the coast.
It is also important to avoid political demonstrations. These demonstrations often occur at short notice and can hinder road travel. During these demonstrations, it is best to avoid the areas and stay in sight of the police.
Precautions to maintain health and safety
Whether you’re planning a visit to Panama or just considering a trip to the country, you’ll need to take precautions to keep your health and safety intact. While this Central American country is considered a safe and beautiful place to visit, there are some things you need to keep in mind before relocating.
You should avoid traveling to the areas that are known to have high crime rates. You should also take precautions in major cities, especially Panama City. Violent crime is a common problem, and you should always stay vigilant.
You should also keep your valuables by your side at all times. Don’t flash your money or valuables on the street, and never leave a drink unattended.
It’s also a good idea to get travel insurance. This will cover the cost of medical care and lost or stolen possessions. You can get a travel insurance policy online from anywhere in the world.
While Panama is considered one of the safest countries in Central America, there are some risks you should keep in mind. These include hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. There are also insect-borne diseases such as dengue and Zika.
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