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Thread: Attacks On Gringos

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    Attacks On Gringos

    This comes on the heels of many other attacks. Never forget that in Panama you are always a target because you are a gringo!!!! Pacific Beach Community Meeting In Response To Recent Violent Crime
    Monday, February 18 2013 @ 02:28 PM EST
    Contributed by: Don Winner

    By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A group of armed robbers assaulted the expat owned Rancho Los Toros bar and restaurant on Friday night, 15 February 2013. There were about fourteen people there at the time. All but two of them were tied up. The crooks were there for a total of about two hours, and everything of value was stolen, including the personal items belonging to the customers and staff, as well as a relatively large sum of money from the owners of the restaurant.

    This is only the most recent of a series of violent crimes that have been perpetrated against the members of the English speaking community of expatriates who live in the Pacific beach communities - including Coronado, Gorgona, Chame, Decameron, Playa Blanca, and San Carlos - in recent weeks. It has become fairly clear that, as usual, the "gringos" are being targeted again, with more frequency.

    In response, the members of these communities are organizing a meeting which will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday morning, 20 February 2013, at the La Ruina restaurant in Gorgona. I received the following press release last night;



    "PRESS RELEASE - Please be advised that the Nuevo Gorgona Vecinos Vigilantes is holding a meeting on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10 am at the La Ruina Restaurant in Gorgona. In attendance will be high ranking officials from the police department, DIJ, Don Winner, and other VIP's. The subject matter will be the recent armed robberies in the beach communities, victim information and personal safety. Residents from Punta Chame to Rio Hato will be in attendance. President James Rizik, Nuevo Gorgona Vecino Vigilantes, 6590-3308, jwr2001@msn.com."



    So, you're all invited. Anyone living in any of the beach communities between Chame to Rio Hato as well as those who have in interest in security issues in this area is invited to attend. I've shot out some invitations to some Panamanian government officials, so let's see who shows up on short notice. Please spread the word. See you there. Thanks.

    Copyright 2013 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Comment on this story at
    Pacific Beach Community Meeting In Response To Recent Violent Crime - Panama Guide

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    A robbery takes 2 hours in a public place....where were the cops? Paid off? Sleeping? Do they have a donut shop in town? Sad.....

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Not disagreeing with you at all or making any excuse but the place mentioned is a beautiful property but pretty remote. Its a fairly large property that the owner has built up without anything else around him. Its not like a highrise in the middle of the city.

    Still no excuse as it sounds like this is not the first time this has happened in the Coronado area but I have not heard about any arrests or even leads

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    You are right Gringos are targets if they allow them selves to become one. There are ways to prevent it. #1 never flash your cash, or carry large sums of money as we Gringos often do... I have dealt with all types of people here, I realize, most here can not afford fire arms, let alone ammo, and if armed, by a rusty table knife.
    The Police here are harsh on those who carry weapons.
    Keep in mind, I don't live in a nice protected area, I'm coming @ ya, from (Calle 8) Colon, Colon.
    So live afraid, or live free.

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by Isthiswhower View Post
    You are right Gringos are targets if they allow them selves to become one. There are ways to prevent it. #1 never flash your cash, or carry large sums of money as we Gringos often do... I have dealt with all types of people here, I realize, most here can not afford fire arms, let alone ammo, and if armed, by a rusty table knife.
    The Police here are harsh on those who carry weapons.
    Keep in mind, I don't live in a nice protected area, I'm coming @ ya, from (Calle 8) Colon, Colon.
    So live afraid, or live free.
    That is a way to help reduce becoming a victim not prevent it. The tactic being used in this article is next to impossible to avoid unless you simply don't come to Panama. Groups are taking over entire resorts, not mugging some drunk idiot in a ally way

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Reminds me of this: Robbery At The Bongo Restaurant in El Cangrejo - Panama Guide

    Place closed quickly after that.

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Correct, I did mis use my words, which often happens when I've avoided Gringos for the last 20 years such as you. Being stupid and Drunken in an ally way, and also the only dumb Gringo Ambulance driver in the country for the Red Cross.
    So blend in and learn to get along, or become a victim at your resort.
    Please excuse me, for I must go down this ally no other gringo would ever dare go or survive over 2 minutes, and drink awhile. Meto!!!

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Kinda silly to come to a gringo forum when you seem to have worked hard for the last 20 years to avoid us but welcome to the forum anyhow and thanks for bumping all those dead threads. Your advise to blend in or get robbed AT a resort is truly insightful. A resort is after all where people stay when they are away from home, and often not from the country so to blend in seems so obvious now that you have pointed it out. I know you are on vacation but dont buy a round of margaritas for you and your friends since that is not blending in.

    I am sure it was some silly gringo walking around paying for his meal or buying some trinket that lead them to the resort vs the thieves simply targeting the resort for its location and typical inhabitants. You could make a fortune consulting with Banks that get robbed by telling them to blend in more and stop holding so much cash.

    While the advise to blend in is decent within reason, this is not one of those situations.

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Gringos are known to be unarmed, uniformed and easy targets. If one person had a gun they could have laid some Pana scum down!! The police are not interested in helping solve or prevent crimes here especially if it is a gringo victim. Arm yourself you are now on the pana menu to be eaten if you are in Panama!!!

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by GuidoB View Post
    A robbery takes 2 hours in a public place....where were the cops? Paid off? Sleeping? Do they have a donut shop in town? Sad.....
    Expect no help in Panama from the police or anyone else. This is the wild west here folks and there are 2 types of people survivors and victims. decide which you want to be before coming to Panama. There is a history of immigration officials calling their criminal buddies when a tourist declares cash or items of value at Tocumen. they are robbed on the freeway and left naked before they even make it to the city. Don't listen to the Intl living crowd, listen to the real boots on the ground reports!!!

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    WikiLeaks: Panama to protect US borders by cleaning up Tocumen smugglers den | Bananama Republic "That scheme – customs tipping off highway robbers – is as old as the cash reporting requirement, and a great example of how anti-money laundering financial regulation provokes more and new crimes, while doing very little to stop the cash smuggling itself, as the cable implicitly admits."

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Here are some experiences other gringos have suffered at the hands of Panamanians......"Tourists are targeted by thieves all the time in Panama City. I was robbed and my husband was dragged off and swarmed by 5 men and beaten severely and robbed. All of this in plain view of many average looking Panamanins. Not one person came to our aid. When we tried to tell the police they were not interested and simply walked away even though my husband was clearly injured and bleeding There is an apalling lack of police presence, except around the banks. The Caledonia area is a dangerous place to stay and I would advise anyone to take this into consideration. We have heard of other tourists being attacked with box cutters after leaving the ATM, and literally having their clothes slashed off them". tourists are major targets for thieves - Panama City Forum - TripAdvisor

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    "American Couple Brutally Assaulted And Robbed On Their Sailboat Near Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro, Panama"....By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A pair of armed and dangerous assailants brutally attacked an American couple last night aboard their sailboat anchored in the "South Anchorage" of the Bocas Marina, next to Isla Colon in the province of Bocas del Toro in the Republic of Panama. The attack started after midnight last night, during early morning hours today, Sunday, 8 July 2012. The assailants pulled up next to the couple's sailboat at 1:00 am early this morning in a typical Panamanian wooden cayuco. The two assailants boarded the sailboat, held the couple at gunpoint, and tied them up. They ransacked the boat and stole everything of value, including cameras, electronics, a computer, cash, and jewelry. The attack lasted at least two hours, during which time the victims were assaulted and brutalized. The victims were finally able to put out a call for help on the radio at 3:30 am in the morning, after the assailants had left. American Couple Brutally Assaulted And Robbed On Their Sailboat Near Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro, Panama - Panama Guide Notice how this attack also lasted for over two brutal hours!! Don't expect any help here folks, be prepared to defend yourself from the Pana threat!!!!

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    I spend quite a bit of time in several different Latin American countries- most of it in Panama. The violence directed towards gringos in Panama and the violence in general towards non-drug dealer and criminal types is quite low in my opinion. Don't forget, there has been a huge surge in gringos moving to and visiting Panama over the last 5 years or more. it is only natural the number of attacks on gringos will increase as their proportion of the population increases. While for sure gringos have been killed by locals, most of the incidents I'm familiar with involves gringos being killed by other gringos or foreigners.

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by globaltreker View Post
    "American Couple Brutally Assaulted And Robbed On Their Sailboat Near Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro, Panama"....By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A pair of armed and dangerous assailants brutally attacked an American couple last night aboard their sailboat anchored in the "South Anchorage" of the Bocas Marina, next to Isla Colon in the province of Bocas del Toro in the Republic of Panama. The attack started after midnight last night, during early morning hours today, Sunday, 8 July 2012. The assailants pulled up next to the couple's sailboat at 1:00 am early this morning in a typical Panamanian wooden cayuco. The two assailants boarded the sailboat, held the couple at gunpoint, and tied them up. They ransacked the boat and stole everything of value, including cameras, electronics, a computer, cash, and jewelry. The attack lasted at least two hours, during which time the victims were assaulted and brutalized. The victims were finally able to put out a call for help on the radio at 3:30 am in the morning, after the assailants had left. American Couple Brutally Assaulted And Robbed On Their Sailboat Near Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro, Panama - Panama Guide Notice how this attack also lasted for over two brutal hours!! Don't expect any help here folks, be prepared to defend yourself from the Pana threat!!!!
    Globaltreker (or Panamabasher, I would say), your selective quoting makes me very suspicious of your motives. From the same source that you've taken the above you carefully chose not to include this:

    "Let's not get carried away with this, now. With any tour youwill be safe. It is like anywhere in the world, be cautious of yoursurroundings in any city you are foreign to; especially if you don't speak thelanguage of that country.It is important to do alittle research before any travel to find out what is a safe area, what is not.
    I feel much safer in Panama (allover) than any of the cities I have to fly out of; i.e. Jacksonville, Miami, New York. To say an entire city is unsfebecause of your incident is ludicrous."

    Or this:

    “Wow, I'm so sorry.. that is crazy, I can't believe thathappened! When I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina my friend got held at gun point androbbed, but they didn't hurt him... is your husband ok?
    I agree that tourists aretargets everywhere, but I think some places are more dangerous than others.When I was inValparaiso, Chile, we always had to be on ourguard, as we were obviously gringos and therefore much more vulnerable totheft.. but I NEVER even thought of there being a threat of bodily harm. Sure,my valuables could get stolen, but beaten? And no Chileans would help me? Idkabout that...”

    Or this:

    “Would you expect people to help you if you're being mugged in the subway in NYC? Didn't think so.”



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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by honeywater View Post
    Globaltreker (or Panamabasher, I would say), your selective quoting makes me very suspicious of your motives. From the same source that you've taken the above you carefully chose not to include this:

    "Let's not get carried away with this, now. With any tour youwill be safe. It is like anywhere in the world, be cautious of yoursurroundings in any city you are foreign to; especially if you don't speak thelanguage of that country.It is important to do alittle research before any travel to find out what is a safe area, what is not.
    I feel much safer in Panama (allover) than any of the cities I have to fly out of; i.e. Jacksonville, Miami, New York. To say an entire city is unsfebecause of your incident is ludicrous."

    Or this:

    “Wow, I'm so sorry.. that is crazy, I can't believe thathappened! When I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina my friend got held at gun point androbbed, but they didn't hurt him... is your husband ok?
    I agree that tourists aretargets everywhere, but I think some places are more dangerous than others.When I was inValparaiso, Chile, we always had to be on ourguard, as we were obviously gringos and therefore much more vulnerable totheft.. but I NEVER even thought of there being a threat of bodily harm. Sure,my valuables could get stolen, but beaten? And no Chileans would help me? Idkabout that...”

    Or this:

    “Would you expect people to help you if you're being mugged in the subway in NYC? Didn't think so.”

    I only posted the facts about the attack not the opinions posted afterward. I can see you are just another apologist for Pana behavior, like we need another one of those here!!

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    so does anyone think that someone got robbed , raped or killed in north america or europe today ? i have read where the gangs are doing the group robbery in places like LA and vancover bc , thats in town not out at some beach eatery , expats that are living here need to do what they have to do to protect themselves , tourists , well it is harder for them . expats can fight , flee , or beg , the choice is up to you .

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    > as well as a relatively large sum of money from the owners of the restaurant.

    Lesson: don't eat at restaurants where the owners are stupid enough to have large amounts of cash on hand.

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by nakedguydb View Post
    so does anyone think that someone got robbed , raped or killed in north america or europe today ? i have read where the gangs are doing the group robbery in places like LA and vancover bc , thats in town not out at some beach eatery , expats that are living here need to do what they have to do to protect themselves , tourists , well it is harder for them . expats can fight , flee , or beg , the choice is up to you .
    As a Gringo can I protect myself with a handgun?

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by oneway View Post
    As a Gringo can I protect myself with a handgun?
    Yes, you can get a handgun permit if you have residency status. But don't ask me the legal particulars of self defense here. I would think one would need to be very judicious.

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos


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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    I personally feel safe in Panamá City but there are some who may say that they do not feel safe outside the city or in certain areas of the city. In general, Nicaragua is the 'safest' country in Central America.

    Meet the region

    There were actually more kidnappings in Panamá in 2010 than in El Salvador. However, Panamá is certainly safer than El Salvador overall. More than anything, disorganized crime seems to be prevalent here. I would love to see a demographic breakdown of robberies & crime with regards to expats.

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    this seems to be a revenge
    not a robbery
    the gringo is mostly the predator

    +

    Quote Originally Posted by globaltreker View Post
    This comes on the heels of many other attacks. Never forget that in Panama you are always a target because you are a gringo!!!! Pacific Beach Community Meeting In Response To Recent Violent Crime
    Monday, February 18 2013 @ 02:28 PM EST
    Contributed by: Don Winner

    By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A group of armed robbers assaulted the expat owned Rancho Los Toros bar and restaurant on Friday night, 15 February 2013. There were about fourteen people there at the time. All but two of them were tied up. The crooks were there for a total of about two hours, and everything of value was stolen, including the personal items belonging to the customers and staff, as well as a relatively large sum of money from the owners of the restaurant.

    This is only the most recent of a series of violent crimes that have been perpetrated against the members of the English speaking community of expatriates who live in the Pacific beach communities - including Coronado, Gorgona, Chame, Decameron, Playa Blanca, and San Carlos - in recent weeks. It has become fairly clear that, as usual, the "gringos" are being targeted again, with more frequency.

    In response, the members of these communities are organizing a meeting which will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday morning, 20 February 2013, at the La Ruina restaurant in Gorgona. I received the following press release last night;



    "PRESS RELEASE - Please be advised that the Nuevo Gorgona Vecinos Vigilantes is holding a meeting on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10 am at the La Ruina Restaurant in Gorgona. In attendance will be high ranking officials from the police department, DIJ, Don Winner, and other VIP's. The subject matter will be the recent armed robberies in the beach communities, victim information and personal safety. Residents from Punta Chame to Rio Hato will be in attendance. President James Rizik, Nuevo Gorgona Vecino Vigilantes, 6590-3308, jwr2001@msn.com."



    So, you're all invited. Anyone living in any of the beach communities between Chame to Rio Hato as well as those who have in interest in security issues in this area is invited to attend. I've shot out some invitations to some Panamanian government officials, so let's see who shows up on short notice. Please spread the word. See you there. Thanks.

    Copyright 2013 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Comment on this story at
    Pacific Beach Community Meeting In Response To Recent Violent Crime - Panama Guide

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by jonr View Post
    > as well as a relatively large sum of money from the owners of the restaurant.

    Lesson: don't eat at restaurants where the owners are stupid enough to have large amounts of cash on hand.
    thats not the answer because if you have 50 bucks in your pocket that is large sums of cash to a guy making 15 a day

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by macssam View Post
    this seems to be a revenge
    not a robbery
    the gringo is mostly the predator

    +
    i dont understand how you think it a a revenge thing and not a robbery ?

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by panamane View Post
    I personally feel safe in Panamá City but there are some who may say that they do not feel safe outside the city or in certain areas of the city. In general, Nicaragua is the 'safest' country in Central America.

    Meet the region

    There were actually more kidnappings in Panamá in 2010 than in El Salvador. However, Panamá is certainly safer than El Salvador overall. More than anything, disorganized crime seems to be prevalent here. I would love to see a demographic breakdown of robberies & crime with regards to expats.
    also remember most killings are drug gang related , the more gated communities they build the more robbery we will see , it will be like mall shopping for the home burglar , and remember the armed guard at the enterance has lots of friends .so he might not be the guy to tell anything to ,
    Dgmtexas likes this.

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by macssam View Post
    this seems to be a revenge
    not a robbery
    the gringo is mostly the predator

    +
    Please expound on 'the gringo is mostly the predator' and 'this seems to be revenge.' How have gringos affected you personally? And how does this story sound like revenge? IMO it sounds like a band of robbers tied up 12 people and stole their valuables. Maybe I'm missing something....

    I'd love to hear more about these predatory gringos....were you tied up and robbed by a gringo?

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    The perpetrator of any crime is almost exclusively from an innocent or other historically poorly treated minority. In Panama the minority is 90 % of the population so it's a bit different, but still the same.

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by macssam View Post
    this seems to be a revenge
    not a robbery
    the gringo is mostly the predator

    +
    Your statement illustrates a perfect example of an archetype of the Panamanian mentality.

    If I stumbled upon a news story about a Panamanian restaurant owner in the US who was seized by a group of armed thugs that tied up everyone in the restaurant and made off with their valuables, my first inclination would be to feel empathy for the victims. It would never enter my thought process to blame the Panamanian restaurant owner or assume that he deserved it due to some sort of vendetta. In fact, there would likely be a public outcry to help him and his family.

    You obviously have a different take on it. This lack of empathy is rampant here and I cannot figure out from where it stems. So, we had a military base here for many years and we built and controlled the Canal. In light of the fact that this canal is a major source of revenue for this government, do you not think it was worth it? Aside from these two issues, what have gringos done to Panamá? Other than to complain about the inefficiencies here, how has the gringo affected you personally? This is a serious question; please enlighten me. To clarify, are you Panamanian?

    It's unfortunate that you get some of the more unsavory expats down here in Panamá. The US (and every other country in the world) gets some of the more unsavory elements of the majority of countries worldwide -- the world is turning into one big melting pot for good or for worse. The US also gets some of the best people from all of these different countries, people that work hard and open honest restaurant businesses to support their families. That's been one of the keys to American success. In fact, it has also been one of the keys to Panamá's success, no?

    If I read a news story like this in the US and told everyone that this brutal robbery was likely due to a vendetta because 'Panamanians are the predators', I would be labeled a racist. Why is this lack of empathy prevalent here? I'm looking for answers in earnest. This lack of empathy is the reason so many choose to come to this forum and vent. Let's try to come to a consensus on this so we know exactly what we're dealing with here. How can I, as a gringo, improve our relations so that we don't get anymore of these 'revenge' attacks?

    Please don't ever let me get so jaded that I start wishing ill will of Panamanians. I would never wish harm on anyone here; I simply want to know why so many (but certainly not all) lack manners, pride, empathy, and in some cases, common decency. Yes, you can say the same about many Americans -- but when you go to the US (or most any other country in Latin America, or the world for that matter) you are not immediately taken aback by this prevalent attitude. Panamá is the only place I've experienced this and perhaps maccsam is the key to getting to bottom of this.....

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    Re: Attacks On Gringos

    Quote Originally Posted by holl1 View Post
    The perpetrator of any crime is almost exclusively from an innocent or other historically poorly treated minority. In Panama the minority is 90 % of the population so it's a bit different, but still the same.
    Is this an issue of disparaged classes and race? Well, I guess it's always an issue of disparaged classes. What types of people are committing most of the crimes here? I assume it's largely the ambiguously mixed mestizo and Afro-Caribbean populations, which together make up 80+% of the country.

    Panamá is 15% white (Italian & Spanish heritage, etc.), 70% mixed descent (mestizo, black & white, black & indian, etc), 10% black (Afro-Caribbean), 6% native (Kuna, Emberá, etc)....is the broad mixed mestizo population segmented into smaller minorities? And does this broad category see itself as a minority in this country? I guess that might be a silly question, but the mixed mestizo population seems to be well integrated and well represented (PRD).

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