Panama Closes Border with Colombia

colombia-panama

Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela announced the closure of Panama’s border with Colombia. “We have taken the difficult decision to close the borders with Colombia to confront the passage of irregular immigrants,” he tweeted on Monday. Over the last year, Cuban immigrants have flooded Panama, hoping to reach fast-track residency in the United States by flying…

Nidal Waked to be Extradited to U.S.

Nidal Waked, a prominent businessman deeply invested in Panama. will be extradited to the United States, Colombia’s Counternarcotics Police confirmed. Waked, age 44 and a Panamanian-Colombian national, was arrested at the Bogota airport on Wednesday night on charges of money laundering and bank fraud. Now considered one of the biggest money launderers in the world, he served as president of the…

U.S. Goes After Waked Family in Panama

The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed Kingpin Act sanctions on the Waked family in Panama. On Thursday, the Treasury said it is targeting the Waked Money Laundering Organization and its leaders, Nidal Ahmed Waked Hatum and Abdul Mohamed Waked Fares, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, as well as six associates and 68 companies tied to the drug money…

Mystery Bird Observed in Panama

Photo by Jan Axel - Wikimedia CC 3.0

A new research study confirms the link between the Sapayoa bird in Central and South America and its closest evolutionary relatives in Asia and Africa. How it crossed the ocean remains a bit of an enigma, although the small, olive-colored bird’s ancestors may have crossed to South America across  the Western Antarctica Peninsula. Observed in Panama’s Darien National Park by a team led by Cornell…

Oldest Monkey Fossil Unearthed in Panama Canal

“Cebus capucinus,” the species of Cebus common in Panama today. (Photo by Sean Mattson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute)

Seven fossil teeth uncovered by the Panama Canal expansion project are the first evidence of a monkey on the North American continent before the Isthmus of Panama connected it to South America 3.5 million years ago. The new Panamacebus transitus species is believed to be 21 million years old and related to the capuchin and squirrel monkeys found in Central and…

50 Dolphins Found on Tonosi Beach

Fifty dolphins appeared on Tonosi’s Ostional beach in the province of Los Santos this week. Area residents and environmental officials helped the mostly bottlenose mammals back into the Pacific Ocean, but as many as 10 of the dolphins died. Both the cause of death and how the animals came to the beach are still unknowns. The MiAmbiente organization…