1. A republic on the Isthmus of Panama.
2. City in Iowa (USA); zip code 51562.
3. Town in Oklahoma (USA).
4. Village in Illinois (USA).
5. Village in Nebraska (USA).
6. Village in New York (USA); zip code 14767.
Country in Central America, on a narrow isthmus between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, bounded W by Costa Rica and E by Colombia.
The constitution was revised 1983, when a new, single-chamber legislative assembly of 67 members, elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term, was created. The president, similarly elected for a five-year term, is assisted by two elected vice presidents and an appointed cabinet. The country is divided into nine provinces, each with its own governor, appointed by the president. There are also three Indian reservations, which enjoy a high degree of self-government.
For early history, see Native American. Panama was visited by Christopher Columbus 1502. Vasco Núńez de Balboa found the Pacific from the Darien isthmus 1513. Spanish settlements were sacked by Francis Drake 1572–95 and Henry Morgan 1668–71; Morgan destroyed the old city of Panama, which dated from 1519. Remains of Fort St Andrews, built by Scottish settlers 1698–1701, were discovered 1976. Panama remained part of the viceroyalties of Peru and New Granada until 1821, when it gained independence from Spain; it joined Gran Colombia 1822.
Panama achieved full independence 1903 with US support. At the same time the US bought the rights to build the Panama Canal and was given control of a strip of territory 16 km/10 mi wide, known as the Canal Zone, in perpetuity. Panama was guaranteed US protection and an annuity. In 1939 Panama's protectorate status was ended by mutual agreement, and in 1977 two treaties were signed by Panama's president (1968–78), General Omar Torrijos Herrera, and US president Carter. One transferred ownership of the canal to Panama (effective from 1990) and the other guaranteed its subsequent neutrality, with the conditions that only Panamanian forces would be stationed in the zone, and that the US would have the right to use force to keep the canal open if it became obstructed.
deterioration of economy.
The 1980s saw a deterioration in the state of Panama's economy, with opposition to the austerity measures that the government introduced to try to halt the decline. The center-right National Democratic Union won 40 seats in the 1984 general election; the center-left Democratic Opposition Alliance won 27 seats. After a close result, Dr Nicolás Ardito Barletta, the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) candidate, was declared president, but in 1985 he resigned amid speculation that he had been forced to do so by the commander of the National Guard. Relations between Panama and the US deteriorated with the departure of President Barletta, and the Reagan administration cut and later suspended its financial aid.
Barletta was succeeded by Eric Arturo del Valle, but the country was, from 1983, effectively ruled by the army commander in chief, General Manuel Noriega. Although the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Canal Treaties specified that US forces in Panama were present purely to defend the canal, Noriega cooperated in allowing the US to use Panama as an intelligence, training, resupply, and weapons base for the Reagan administration's campaigns in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
accusations against Noriega.
In 1987 Noriega was accused of corruption, election rigging, involvement in the cocaine trade, and the murder of a political opponent. Noriega's forces were allegedly responsible for up to a dozen political killings between 1983 and 1989. Political parties, labor and student unions, and business groups united as the National Civic Crusade to campaign for his removal; demonstrations were suppressed by riot police. In July 1987 Noriega successfully resisted calls for his removal, despite the suspension of US military and economic aid. He declared the May 1989 assembly elections invalid and in Sept Francisco Rodríguez, with army backing, was made president. In the following month an attempted coup against Noriega was put down.
In Dec 1989, US president Bush ordered an invasion of the country with the intent of arresting Noriega. Several hundred people were killed during the operation. Noriega sought refuge in the Vatican embassy but eventually surrendered and was taken to the US, where he was convicted 1992 of charges relating to drug trafficking. Guillermo Endara became president and worked to balance Panama's aims against pressures from the US, its most important partner, in such areas as banking. In Oct 1991 an attempted antigovernment coup by former officers loyal to Noriega was thwarted. Constitutional amendments approved by the assembly 1991 included abolition of the army and, although this was rejected in a referendum 1992, in 1994 the army was formally banned as a constitutional entity. A withdrawal date of 1999 was set for US troops stationed in Panama since the 1989 invasion.
In May 1994 Ernesto Pérez Balladares of the center-left Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) was elected president.
Država u Srednjoj Americi.