Panama Increases Deportations, Expulsions and Voluntary Returns in 2017

Over 5,500 foreigners in Panama returned to their countries voluntarily and involuntarily in 2017. Of these, 554 people were deported, 435 permanently expelled and 4,560 returned voluntarily for either overstaying, entering illegally, working without a permit, living in Panamanian penitentiaries or constituting a threat to national security, according to a National Migration Service report. Most…

US Ambassador to Panama Resigns

The US ambassador to Panama has resigned from his post citing personal differences with the Trump administration. John D Feeley was sworn in as ambassador in January 2016 and submitted his letter of resignation in December 2017, which indicates that he cannot perform his duties given current US policy. In an excerpt from his letter read…

Basic Food Basket Price Still Variable

Although one of President Juan Carlos Varela’s first actions as President was to freeze the prices of basic food products, consumers are not seeing cost savings. The basic food basket includes 50 items and costs about $316, but prices are fixed on only 22 of these including milk, medium-sized eggs, vegetables, rice, tuna, processed American cheese,…

Saturday Water Cuts

Water service will be cut to parts of Panama City on Saturday, January 6, from 8 am to 5 pm. According to The National Institute of Aqueducts and Sewer Systems (IDAAN), cuts are due to the work on an 8-inch valve in Via Transistmica near Grupo Mon. Affected neighborhoods include El Ingenio, Betania, Ls 200 and 400, Area…

Panamanians Get a Raise in 2018

Panama has a new minimum wage. As of January 1, 2018, workers will now earn an average 6.5% more in large companies in Region 1 or a minimum wage of $721 if the math is correct. Employees of small businesses – those with 10 or less permanent or plant workers in agricultural, livestock or service…

Fire in the Colon Free Zone

A fire broke out around 12:15 am and raged for more than eight hours in the Colon Free Zone on Saturday . The flames consumed a Panama International Tire warehouse and part of another storage facility in France Field, requiring hundreds of units from Panama and Colon fire departments to extinguish the blaze, a task complicated…