Timeline Panama

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In Panama the indigenous Teribe Indians live near the border of Costa Rica and number about 2,500. They are led by King Santana, the only monarch in the western Hemisphere.
    (SFC, 7/4/97, p.A12)

1503        Jan 9, Christopher Columbus returned to the mouth of Rio Belen (western Panama), where he built a garrison.

1503        Apr 6, Christopher Columbus fended off an Indian attack at his garrison at Rio Belen (Panama).

1503        Apr 16, Christopher Columbus abandoned the garrison at Rio Belen (Panama) and sailed for home (Hispaniola) with 3 ships.

1509-1520    The Spanish colonized the area of Nueva Granada (modern Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela).

1513        Sept 25, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Spanish explorer, crossed the Isthmus of Panama and claimed the Pacific Ocean for Spain. He was named governor of Panama and the Pacific by King Ferdinand. In 2004 Hugh Thomas authored “Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire from Columbus to Magellan."
    (HFA, '96, p.38)(TL-MB, 1988, p.10)(SFEC, 9/21/97, p.C7)(WSJ, 6/2/04, p.D12)

1514        1,500 Spanish settlers went to Panama.
    (TL-MB, p.10)

1519        Aug 15, Panama City was founded.
    (MC, 8/15/02)

1624        May 3, Spanish silver fleet sailed to Panama.
    (MC, 5/3/02)

1631        Jun 17, The Spanish galleon San Jose smashed into rock off the Pacific coast of Panama. It was overloaded with 200 passengers and 700 tons of cargo. Silver coins and bars were lost over a 40-mile trail.
    (http://tinyurl.com/hmy8v7f)(SFC, 12/1/15, p.A7)

1739        Nov 22, Adm. Edward Vernon captured the Spanish city of Portobello, Panama, with a force of 6 British ships.
    (PCh, 1992, p.292)

1573        Feb 11, Sir Francis Drake 1st saw the Pacific Ocean from Panama.
    (MC, 2/11/02)

1595        Construction of San Lorenzo Castle began. It was planned as a depot for gold shipments to Spain.
    (AM, 7/00, p.23)

1671        Jan 27, Welsh privateer Sir Henry Morgan (1635-1688) landed at Panama City and attacked the city the following day.

1696        The Company of Scotland began raising money for a colony at Darien on the Isthmus of Panama. The venture collapsed after 4 years and only 3 of 13 ships returned home.
    (Econ, 8/28/10, p.74)

1698        Jul 14, The first Company of Scotland expedition of five ships (Saint Andrew, Caledonia, Unicorn, Dolphin, and Endeavour) set sail from the east coast port of Leith to avoid observation by English warships, with around 1,200 people on board. After calling at Madeira and the West Indies, the fleet made landfall off the coast of Darien on 2 November. The settlers christened their new home "New Caledonia."

1700        Apr, A siege by Spanish forces shut down a Company of Scotland colony called "New Caledonia" on the Isthmus of Panama. As the Darien company was backed by nearly half the money circulating in Scotland, its failure left the country, which had suffered a run of bad harvests, completely ruined and was an important factor in weakening resistance to the Act of Union (finally consummated in 1707) among the political elite.

1848        Dec 26, The 1st California-bound gold seekers arrived in Panama enroute to SF.
    (MC, 12/26/01)

1849        Feb 28, Steamboat service began from Panama City to SF. Pacific Mail Steamship Co. sent the steamship California to SF with American gold-seekers and 50 Peruvian miners.
    (AP, 2/28/98) (SFEC, 1/11/98, DB p.40)

1850        Panama’s city of Colon was founded as the isthmus of Panama became a route for the California gold rush.
    (Econ, 5/17/08, p.47)

1855        The US completed the Panama Railroad.
    (SSFC, 5/14/06, p.G4)(SFC, 10/3/20, p.B4)

1870-1914    In 1977 David McCullough authored "The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914."
    (ON, 1/00, p.3)

1873        May 7, US marines attacked Panama.
    (MC, 5/7/02)

1880        Jan 1, The building of the Panama Canal was symbolically begun under the direction of French diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps. Actual construction began a year later. In 2007 Matthew Parker authored “Panama Fever: The Battle to Build the Canal."
    (http://www.ared.com/history.htm)(Econ, 2/24/07, p.96)

1880        Mar 8, President Rutherford B. Hays declared that the United States would have jurisdiction over any canal built across the isthmus of Panama.
    (HN, 3/8/99)

1880-1902    Panamanians staged a number of rebellions to gain independence.
    (ON, 1/00, p.2)

1881        Mar 3, The Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique was incorporated under French law. On Feb 4, 1889, it was declared bankrupt and dissolved by Tribunal Civil de la Seine.

1884        Philippe Bunau-Varilla (25), a French engineer, went Panama to work on a canal being constructed under Ferdinand de Lesseps.
    (ON, 1/00, p.1)

1889        Feb 4, Ferdinand de Lesseps (d.1894) abandoned his Panama Canal project. Over 5,000 French people died working on the project. In all over 25,000 people died during 8 years of work, mostly from malaria and yellow fever.
    (www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/185.html)(Econ, 2/24/07, p.97)

1894        Philippe Bunau-Varilla became a major stockholder and spokesman in the New Panama Canal Company. He then offered to sell the company’s assets to the US for $109 million and later reduced the price to $40 million.
    (ON, 1/00, p.1)

1901        Nov 18, The 2nd Hay-Pauncefote Treaty was signed. The U.S. was given extensive rights by Britain for building and operating a canal through Central America.
    (HN, 11/18/98)

1902        Jan 4, The French offered to sell their Nicaraguan Canal rights to the U.S.
    (HN, 1/4/99)

1902        Jan 18, The Isthmus Canal Commission in Washington shifted its support to Panama as the canal site.
    (HN, 1/18/99)

1902        May, The Momotomba volcano erupted.
    (ON, 1/00, p.2)

1902        Jun 19, The US Senate voted in favor of Panama as the canal site. US support for a $40 million purchase was based on Congressional acceptance for a canal in Panama rather than Nicaragua, and the acquisition of land to serve as a canal zone.
    (ON, 1/00, p.1)

1902        Jun 28, Congress passed the Spooner bill, authorizing a canal to be built across the isthmus of Panama. The US purchased a concession to build Panama canal from French for $40 million.
    (HN, 6/28/98)(MC, 6/28/02)

1902        Sep 17, U.S. troops were sent to Panama to keep train lines open over the isthmus as Panamanian nationals struggled for independence from Colombia.
    (HN, 9/17/98)

1903        Jan, The Hay-Herran Treaty with Columbia would have given the United States the land and the right to build a canal across Panama, but Columbia refused to ratify the treaty.
    (HNPD, 11/18/98)

1903        Mar 14, The Senate ratified the Hay-Herran Treaty which guaranteed the U.S. the right to build a canal at Panama. The treaty promised Colombia $10 million plus $250,000 annually for a zone 6 miles wide.
    (HN, 3/14/98)(ON, 1/00, p.2)

1903        Oct 10, Philippe Bunau-Varilla met with Pres. Roosevelt in Washington and told him that a group in Panama was planning a rebellion. He asked that the US prevent any Colombian troops from landing to break the rebellion, but received no specific answer.
    (ON, 1/00, p.2)

1903        Nov 3, There was a Revolution in Panama composed of Panamanian fired departments and some 500 Colombian mercenary troops purchased for some $100,000 by Philippe Bunau-Varilla’s Panama Canal Company. Panama proclaimed its independence from Colombia. The US created Panama so that a canal could be built and maintained
    (HFA, '96, p.42)(SFC, 6/2/97, p.A8) (AP, 11/3/97)(ON, 1/00, p.2)

1903        Nov 4, After a one-day coup, in which an American warship offshore prevented Columbia from quelling the revolt and the only casualty was a Chinese shopkeeper and a donkey, Panama declared her independence. A jubilant President Theodore Roosevelt recognized the new republic three days later. The Panama Canal, a cornerstone of Roosevelt's aggressive foreign policy, was completed in 10 years.
    (HNPD, 11/18/98)(ON, 1/00, p.3)

1903        Nov 6, Panama declared its independence from Colombia.
    (ON, 1/00, p.3)

1903        Nov 7, President Theodore Roosevelt recognized the new republic. The Panama Canal, a cornerstone of Roosevelt's aggressive foreign policy, was completed in 10 years.
    (HNPD, 11/18/98)(ON, 1/00, p.3)

1903        Nov 18, The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty was signed, granting the United States a strip of land across the Isthmus of Panama and the right to build and fortify the Panama Canal. A jubilant President Theodore Roosevelt, at a Panama Canal construction site, recognized the new republic three days later. The Panama Canal, a cornerstone of Roosevelt's aggressive foreign policy, was completed in 10 years.
    (HNPD, 11/18/98)(ON, 1/00, p.3)

1904        Feb 3, Colombian troops clashed with U.S. Marines in Panama.
    (HN, 2/3/99)

1904        Feb 23, US acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.
    (MC, 2/23/02)

1904        May 4, The United States took over construction of the Panama Canal.
    (AP, 5/4/08)

1904        Oct 21, Panamanians clashed with U.S. Marines in Panama in a brief uprising.
    (HN, 10/21/98)

1904        Panama adopted the US dollar as its currency.
    (WSJ, 1/18/98, p.A1)

1904-1913    William Crawford Gorgas (1854-1920), US Surgeon-Gen, served as the chief sanitary officer of the Panama Canal.
    (WUD, 1994 p.610)(MC, 10/3/01)

1906        Nov 9, President Theodore Roosevelt left Washington D.C. for a 17 day trip to Panama and Puerto Rico, becoming the first president to make an official visit outside of the US. His trip popularized the Panama hat, a product actually made in Ecuador and shipped since the 1840s to prospective gold diggers in Panama. The toquilla straw hats had been made in Ecuador as long ago as the 17th century.
    (HN, 11/9/98)(Econ, 7/19/14, p.33)

1907-1914    George Washington Goethals, US major general and engineer, was the chief engineer of the Panama Canal.
    (WUD, 1994, p.606)

1909        Aug 24, Workers started pouring concrete for Panama Canal.
    (MC, 8/24/02)

1912        Panama Canal workers rioted on Independence Day.
    (SFC, 3/3/09, p.E10)

1912        Engineers dammed the Chagres River to create the Panama Canal’s main water supply. The submerged town of Matachin ("kill the Chinese") had been named after hundreds of Chinese railway workers committed suicide over a period of several months.
    (SSFC, 10/20/02, p.C5)

1913        Sep 26, The first boat was raised in the locks of the Panama Canal.
    (HN, 9/26/99)

1913        Oct 10, Panama Canal was completed when President Woodrow Wilson triggered a blast which exploded the Gamboa Dike by pressing an electric button at the White House in Washington, D.C.
    (MC, 10/10/01)

1913        Nov 17, The first ship sailed through the Panama Canal. In 1940 Helen Nicolay authored "The Bridge of Water: The Story of the Panama and the Canal."
    (HN, 11/17/98)(ON, 1/00, p.3)

1914        Jun 7, The first vessel passed through the Panama Canal. [see Aug]
    (HN, 6/7/98)

1914        Aug 15, The Panama Canal opened to traffic. The Panama Canal, a 52-mile waterway, was completed. Some 5,000 workers, just 350 of them white, perished in the American effort. In 1977 David McCullough authored "The Path Between the Seas," a definitive account of the building of the Panama Canal. In 2009 Julie Greene authored “The Canal Builders: Making America’s Empire at the Panama Canal."
    (WSJ, 7/22/96, p.A11)(SFEC, 11/3/96, p.A16)(HN, 8/15/98)(WSJ, 10/17/02, p.A18)(SFC, 3/3/09, p.E10)

1914        Nov 17, US declared Panama Canal Zone neutral.
    (MC, 11/17/01)

1914-1916    George Washington Goethals served as the governor of the Canal Zone.
    (WUD, 1994, p.606)

1928        Howard Air Force Base was constructed by the US.
    (SFC, 11/2/99, p.A14)

1934        Jul 11, President Roosevelt became the first chief executive to travel through the Panama Canal while in office.
    (AP, 7/11/97)

1936        Aug 29, John McCain, later Arizona Senator and 2008 US presidential candidate, was born at the Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone.

1936        The 16,000-mile Pan-American Highway project began. It left a 54-mile gap in the jungle of the Panamanian province of Darien.
    (Econ, 10/2/04, p.38)

1940s        The US military tested weapons in Panama.
    (SFC, 3/6/98, p.A12)

1946        Mar 1, Panama accepted its new constitution.
    (SC, 3/1/02)

1946-1983    The US Army School of the Americas trained Latin American military officials. The school was converted for eco-tourism in 2001.
    (SSFC, 1/21/01, p.T4)

1955        Jan 2, Jose Antonio Remon, president of Panama (1952-55), was assassinated.
    (MC, 1/2/02)

1959        Apr 20, British ballerina Margot Fonteyn (1919-1991)) was arrested and briefly detained in a Panama prison. She and her diplomat husband, Roberto Arias, had sought Fidel Castro's help in a revolution that failed because of a last-minute blunder. Fonteyn, born Peggy Hookham, went on to reach even greater creative heights through her acclaimed partnership with Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev. She returned to Panama with her husband years later and died there.
    (AP, 5/27/10)

1959        Apr 26, The Panamanian gov't reported 'suppression' of attempted guerilla invasion from Cuba.
    (DBD, p.824)

1959        Apr 27, US State Dept. announced small arms stored in Canal Zone will be provided to Panamanian forces to repel Cuban invaders.
    (DBD, p.824)
1959        Apr 28, Organization of American States voted unanimously to send a commission to Panama.
    (DBD, p.824)

1959        Apr 29, Premier Castro denied any Cuban role, direct or indirect, in a Panamanian invasion.
    (DBD, p.824)

1959        May 1, Some 87 guerillas, mostly Cubans, surrendered without resistance to Panamanian troops at the village of Nombre de Dios in response to appeals by Castro.
    (DBD, p.824)

1963        Feb-Mar, The US military, while conducting biological weapons tests, sprayed Bacillus globigii from aircraft near Fort Sherman Military Reservation in the Canal Zone.
    (SFC, 11/1/02, p.A3)

1964        Jan 9, Anti-US rioting broke out in the Panama Canal Zone, resulting in the deaths of 21 Panamanians and three US soldiers. US forces killed 6 Panamanian students protesting in the canal zone. Violent clashes between Panamanians and American soldiers, which resulted in the deaths of 21 Panamanians and four American soldiers, began when US students’ attempted to raise the American flag at the Canal Zone high school.  An order banning the flying of any flags in front of Canal Zone schools had been issued on December 30, 1963, because of Panamanian sensitivity to US control of the Zone. These events led to attempts to renegotiate the Canal Zone’s status.
    (HN, 1/9/98)(AP, 1/9/99)(HNQ, 6/10/99)

1964        Jan 10, Panama broke ties with the U.S. and demanded a revision of the canal treaty.
    (HN, 1/10/99)

1967        The US CIA put Manuel Antonio Noriega on its payroll and continued paying him to 1988. During Ronald Reagan’s presidency Noriega was an invaluable conduit of cash and weapons to the Nicaragua contras.
    (Econ 6/3/17, p.82)

1968        Oct 11, Pres. Arnulfo Arias was ousted in a coup by Gen’l. Omar Torrijos. Arias was the founder of Panama's special security system and opened the vote to women before he was ousted. Arias went into exile.
    (WUD, 1994, p.1687)(SFC, 1/2/97, p.A20)(SFC, 4/29/99, p.D5)(SFC, 9/1/99, p.A14)

1968        Oct, The MH-1A, a US converted Liberty Ship named Sturgis, began supplying electricity to the Panama Canal Zone using a 10MW nuclear reactor. Operations continued to 1975.
    (Econ, 4/26/14, p.79)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MH-1A)

1969        Arnulfo Arias (67) married his secretary Mireya Moscoso (23) in Miami.
    (SFC, 9/1/99, p.A14)

1970        May, In Panama leftist activist Heliodoro Portugal was kidnapped. His remains were found in 1999 near a military barracks outside Panama City. In 2009 the government accepted responsibility for Portugal's disappearance and agreed to pay his family $256,000.
    (AP, 5/27/10)

1977        Aug 10, US and Panama negotiations for a Panama Canal Zone treaty, begun on February 15, were completed [see Sep 7].

1977        Sep 7, Pres. Carter and Gen'l. Torrijos signed the Panama Canal treaties (the Torrijos-Carter Treaties) in Washington, DC. The 2 treaties abrogated the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty of 1903 and called for the US to eventually turn over control of the waterway to Panama. The US Southern Command was scheduled to withdraw to new Miami headquarters by the end of 1999. The US agreed to clean up its bases before turning them over. The deal was negotiated by Sol Linowitz (d.2005).
    (AP, 9/7/97)(WSJ, 3/21/05, p.A1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torrijos-Carter_Treaties)

1977        Gabriel Lewis Galindo (1928-1996) was appointed ambassador to the US with the hope of negotiating the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama.
    (SFC, 1/2/97, p.A20)

1978        Apr 18, The U.S. Senate voted 68-32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on Dec. 31, 1999.
    (AP, 4/18/98) (HN, 4/18/98)

1978        Jun 16, President Carter and Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos exchanged instruments of ratification for the Panama Canal treaties.
    (AP, 6/16/98)

1979        Oct 1, The 1977 Panama Canal Treaties entered into force. The US returned the Canal Zone, but not the canal, to Panama after 75 years.

1979        Panama gave refuge to the ousted Shah of Iran.
    (WSJ, 3/5/99, p.A1)

1979-2002    Munitions explosions from the 44,000-acre former US firing range left 24 fatalities over this period. 100,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance were estimated to remain in the ranges named Empire, Piña and Balboa West.
    (SFC, 5/27/02, p.A3)

1981        Jul 31, The leader of Panama, General Omar Torrijos, died in a plane crash. Michael Harari, a former Israeli Mossad agent, reorganized, renamed and trained the Panamanian Defense Forces when Gen. Manuel Noriega succeeded Torrijos.
    (SFC, 1/2/97, p.A20)(AP, 7/31/99)(http://tinyurl.com/nmduqua)

1982        Apr 1, The U.S. transferred the Canal Zone to Panama.
    (HN, 4/1/98)

1983        Aug 12, General Manuel A. Noriega (b.1938) assumed command of Panama’s National Guard.

1984        May 6, Nicolas Ardito Barletta was elected president of Panama. Gen. Manuel A. Noriega reportedly rigged the elections.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicol%C3%A1s_Ardito_Barletta_Vallarino)(Econ 6/3/17, p.82)

1984        The US Army School of the Americas (b.1946), a training center for Latin American military officers, was moved from Panama to Fort Benning, Ga.
    (SFC, 9/21/96, p.A3)(SSFC, 1/21/01, p.T4)

1985        The film "The Return of Ruben Blades" was made by Robert Mugge.
    (SFEM, 9/26/99, p.12)

1985        Manuel Antonio Noriega overthrew Pres. Barletta.
    (SFEC, 6/8/97, Z1 p.3)

1985        In Panama Hugo Spadafora, a dissident leader, was decapitated. Manuel Noriega was later sentenced to 20 years for the murder.
    (SFC, 1/25/07, p.A14)

1987        Jan 22, France named Manuel Noriega, head of Panama, a Commander of the Legion of Honor (Legion d’Honneur).

1988        Feb 5, A pair of indictments were unsealed in Florida, accusing Panama's military leader, Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, of bribery and drug trafficking. Noriega had used Panama to ship cocaine to the US from Colombia taking some $200-$300 million for himself.
    (AP, 2/5/97)(Econ 6/3/17, p.82)

1988        Feb 25, Panama's civilian president, Eric Arturo Delvalle announced the dismissal of Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega as commander of the country's Defense Forces. The next day, Panama's National Assembly voted to oust Delvalle.
    (AP, 2/25/98)

1988        Feb 26, Eric Arturo Delvalle, ousted as president of Panama by the country's National Assembly, called for a national strike to repudiate Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega.
    (AP, 2/26/98)

1988        Mar 11, Pres. Reagan directed that actions be taken to suspend trade preferences available to Panama under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the Caribbean Basin Initiative.

1988        Mar 18, The government of Panama, controlled by Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, declared a "state of urgency" in a move apparently aimed at forcing the reopening of banks and other businesses that closed during Panama's economic and political crisis.
    (AP, 3/18/98)

1988        Apr 8, Pres. Reagan issued Executive Order 12365 ordering the immediate blocking of all property and interests in property of the Government of Panama.

1988        Apr 30, Gen. Manuel Noriega, waving a machete, vowed at a rally to keep fighting U.S. efforts to oust him as Panama's military ruler.
    (AP, 4/30/98)

1988        Arnulfo Arias (86), former 3 time president, died.
    (SFC, 9/1/99, p.A14)

1989        May 7, Both sides claimed victory in Panama's national elections, with the opposition also charging a pattern of fraud. Panamanian voters rejected dictator Manuel Noriega's bid for reelection. Backed by a coalition of civilian parties, Guillermo Endara (1936-2009) overwhelmingly won the presidential election, but Noriega refused to recognize the results and unleashed a wave of repression against his opponents. 
    (AP, 5/7/99)(AP, 9/29/09)

1989        May 8, Former President Carter, a leader of an international team observing Panama's elections, declared that the armed forces were defrauding the opposition of victory.
    (AP, 5/8/99)

1989        May 9, President Bush complained that Panama's elections were marred by "massive irregularities," and he called for worldwide pressure on General Manuel Antonio Noriega to step down as military leader.
    (AP, 5/9/99)

1989        May 10, In Panama, the government of Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega announced it had nullified the country's elections, which independent observers said the opposition had won by a 3-1 margin.
    (AP, 5/10/99)

1989        May 11, President Bush recalled the US ambassador and planned to dispatch about 1,700 soldiers and 165 marines in phases to reinforce troops already in Panama.

1989        Oct 3, Troops loyal to Panamanian leader General Manuel Noriega crushed a coup attempt by rebel mid-level officers. The officers, including Maj. Moises Giroldi, who led the failed coup against Noriega were later executed. Noriega was convicted in absentia in 1995 and in 1999 Panama sought his extradition to face trial.
    (AP, 10/3/99)(WSJ, 4/7/99, p.A1)(SFC, 1/25/07, p.A14)

1989        Dec 20, The United States launched Operation Just Cause, sending troops into Panama to topple the government of Gen. Manuel Noriega. Guillermo Endara replaced Noriega. The US ended on Feb 13, 1990. It cost $182 million and left 23 US casualties with 320 wounded. A 1997 book: "The Memoirs of Manuel Noriega" by Noriega and Peter Eisner told his version.
    (SFEC, 4/13/97, BR p.3)(AP, 12/20/99)(WSJ, 9/22/99, p.A8)(HN, 12/20/99)

1989        Dec 24, Ousted Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega, who had succeeded in eluding US forces, took refuge at the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Panama City. It took weeks of negotiation and loud rock music played incessantly outside the embassy by American forces before Noriega agreed to give himself up.
    (AP, 12/24/99)

1990        Jan 3, Ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican's diplomatic mission.
    (AP, 1/3/98)

1990        Jan 4, Deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega was arraigned in federal district court in Miami on drug-trafficking charges.
    (AP, 1/4/00)

1990        Jan 6, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney told CNN the U.S. invasion of Panama should not be viewed as a new "Bush doctrine" inclined toward military intervention in countries where democratic elections had been subverted.
    (AP, 1/6/00)

1990        Jan 17, A federal judge in Miami set March 1990 for the trial of ex-Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega on drug trafficking charges. After initial delays, Noriega was tried and convicted of racketeering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison, later cut to 30 years.
    (AP, 1/17/00)

1990         Mar 2, A grenade attack in downtown Panama killed a U.S. soldier and injured 28 other people at the My Place discotheque on Via Espania and Calle 50.
    (AP, 3/2/00)

1991        Jan 18, The US acknowledged that the CIA and US Army paid Panama’s military leader Manuel Noriega $322,226 from 1955-1986. Noriega began receiving money from the CIA in 1976.

1991        Apr 22, Sixty people were killed when a strong earthquake shook Costa Rica and neighboring Panama, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage.
    (AP, 4/22/01)

1991        May 15, Defense lawyers released docs claiming Noriega is "CIA's man in Panama."

1992        Apr 4, Jury deliberations began in the Noriega case in Florida.
    (MC, 4/4/02)

1992        Apr 9, Former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega was convicted in Miami of eight drug and racketeering charges; he is serving a 40-year prison sentence.
    (AP, 4/9/97)

1992        Jun 10, In Panama US Sgt. Zak Hernandez (22) was killed by gunfire from a passing car that sprayed the military vehicle in which he was riding. Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, son of a Gerardo Gonzalez who is the President of Congress and leader of the PRD, was arrested and charged along with two others for the killing. They were found not guilty in 1997.
    (SFEC, 11/2/97, p.A19)(www.forusa.org/programs/panama/archives/1297-1.htm)

1992        Jun 11, President Bush's stopover in Panama en route to the Earth Summit in Brazil was disrupted when riot police fired tear gas at protesters, preventing Bush from speaking at a rally praising the revival of democracy in Panama.
    (AP, 6/11/97)

1992        Jul 10, A federal judge in Miami sentenced former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, convicted of drug and racketeering charges, to 40 years in prison. However, a judge in March, 1998, cut Noriega's sentence by ten years, meaning he could be eligible for parole in 2000.
    (WSJ, 3/28/96, p.A-1)(AP, 7/10/99)

1993        Nov 21, Three former Panamanian soldiers were found guilty of involvement in the previously unsolved 1971 murder of Hector Gallego, a Colombian Roman Catholic priest.
    (AP, 11/21/02)

1994        Jul 7, President Clinton, visiting Poland, assured the parliament that the U.S. would "not let the Iron Curtain be replaced by a veil of indifference."
    (AP, 7/7/99)

1994        Jul 7, Panama withdrew its offer to the United States to accept thousands of Haitian refugees.
    (AP, 7/7/99)

1994        Jul 19, A bomb ripped apart a Panama commuter plane, killing 21, including 12 Jews.
    (AP, 7/19/99)

1994        Ruben Blades recorded "Buscando America."
    (WSJ, 11/13/02, p.D10)

1994        Ernesto Perez Balladares campaigned for the presidency at the head of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and was elected. He was later accused of accepting $51,000 in drug money in the campaign.
    (SFC, 9/1/99, p.A14)

1994        Ruben Blades, singer and actor, ran for the presidency and came in 3rd.
    (WSJ, 11/13/02, p.D10)

1995        Manuel Noriega was convicted in absentia for the 1989 murder of officers involved in a failed coup.
    (WSJ, 4/7/99, p.A1)

1996        Jun 24, A coalition of human rights groups called for early elections saying that the president and his party have lost authority to rule. Attorney General Jose Antonio Sossa said that the law for punishing individuals who accept drug money in political campaigns was not yet in effect when drug money went to Pres. Balladares.
    (SFC, 6/25/96, p.A10)

1996        Jul 4, In Panama police arrested Jaime Revello, a top Columbian drug lord, and seized 4.5 tons of cocaine.
    (SFC, 7/5/96, p.A13)

1996        Oct 1, The 207-acre Fort Amodor was transferred to Panama.
    (SFC, 10/2/96, p.A8)

1996        The population of Panama was about 2.5 million.
    (SFC, 10/2/96, p.A8)

1997        Jan 16, Panama's Law No. 5 was passed and confirmed a deal in which Hutchison Whampoa, a Chinese Hong Kong corporation, agreed to pay $22.5 million a year plus what one Panamanian called "bucket loads of money" under the table.

1997        Aug 13, Pres. Balladares gave journalist Gustavo Gorriti until the end of the month to leave Panama. Mr. Gorriti had published investigative articles detailing the financial dealings of the president’s election campaign, his allies and gentlemen of questionable character.
    (WSJ, 8/13/97, p.A1)

1998        Mar 6, It was reported that Panama hired a Canadian Indian tribe, the Tsuu T’ina, to clean out unexploded bombs and shells from an area of Empire Range, which US military forces abandoned.
    (SFC, 3/6/98, p.A12)

1998        Oct 22-1998 Nov 9, Hurricane Mitch was one of the Caribbean's deadliest storms ever causing at least at least 9,000 deaths in Central America. The storm hit Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Jamaica, and Costa Rica. Later reports put the death toll in Honduras to 6,076. In Nicaragua the deaths reached 4,000, in Guatemala it was157, and in El Salvador it was 222. The storm parked over Honduras and rain poured for 6 days straight.  Aid of $66 mil was ordered from the US, $8 mil from the EU, $11.6 mil from Spain along with pledges from other countries and private organizations.
    (SFC, 11/4/98, p.A9)(SFC, 11/6/98, p.A14)(AP, 9/11/04)(www.wunderground.com)

1998        Mark Falcoff authored "Panama Canal: What Happens When the United States Gives a Small Country What It Wants," a study of the implications of the canal turnover.
    (WSJ, 12/30/98, p.A9)(SFEC, 6/6/99, Z1 p.7)

1999        Mar 11, The US Rodman naval base was transferred to Panama.
    (WSJ, 3/12/99, p.A1)

1999        May 2, In Panama presidential elections were scheduled. Martin Torrijos, son of Gen'l. Omar Torrijos, was favored over Mireya Moscoso (52), wife of the late Arnulfo Arias. Moscoso led the vote in early returns.
    (SFC, 4/29/99, p.D5)(SFC, 5/3/99, p.A12)

1999        Sep 1, Mireya Moscoso began serving as the 1st female president.
    (SFC, 9/1/99, p.A14)

1999        Nov 1, In Panama the US handed over Howard Air Force Base, Fort Kobbe and the Farfan residential zone.
    (SFC, 11/2/99, p.A14)

1999        Nov 2, In Panama suspected Colombian rebels hijacked 2 helicopters.
    (SFC, 11/3/99, p.C2)

1999        Dec 14, In Panama former US Pres. Jimmy Carter symbolically turned over the Panama Canal. The official ownership transfer date was Dec 31.
    (SFC, 12/15/99, p.A16)

1999        Dec 31, The US was by a 1977 treaty required to give up control of the Panama Canal and withdraw its forces by this date. The treaty also required the US to pay for environmental cleanup.
    (SFC, 10/2/96, p.A8)(SFC, 10/15/98, p.C5)

1999        France tried Manuel Noriega, former dictator of Panama, in absentia on money laundering charges. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

2000        Nov 17, In Panama Luis Posada, an anti-Castro terrorist, was arrested along with 3 others Cuban-Americans for an assassination plot against Fidel Castro at a regional summit. They were convicted of endangering public security.
    (SFC, 11/22/00, p.A19)(SFC, 5/18/05, p.A9)

2000        Nov, Panama planned $5.9 billion project to enlarge the Panama Canal to meet demand.
    (SFC, 11/9/00, p.C2)

2001        May 14, Panama agreed to suspend a 66% increase in bus fares for 7 months following protests and riots in which over 100 people were injured.
    (WSJ, 5/15/01, p.A1)

2001        Jun 14, In Panama it was reported that 5 patients died from radiation therapy when incorrect data was punched into a computer program.
    (WSJ, 6/14/01, p.A1)

2001        Feb, The Panama Canal Railway began coast to coast passenger train service. A container service followed in Nov.
    (SSFC, 10/20/02, p.C5)

2003        Jan 8, Manuel Ciervides Lacayo, the Panamanian consul to Guayaquil, Ecuador, was shot and killed while vacationing in Panama.
    (AP, 1/9/03)

2003        Oct 30, In Panama more than 20,000 teachers and construction workers stayed off the job, staging a daylong strike to demand that the government retain control over the country's social security system.
    (AP, 10/31/03)

2003        Nov 7, The defending champion US baseball team failed to qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics, losing to Mexico 2-1 in the quarterfinals of a qualifying tournament in Panama City, Panama.
    (AP, 11/7/08)

2003        Dec 25, A strong earthquake shook the border of Costa Rica and Panama, killing an infant and leaving dozens of others with mainly minor injuries.
    (AP, 12/26/03)

2004        Jan 7, Panama plans for a canal upgrade in order to accommodate new and larger container ships was estimated at $8 billion.
    (WSJ, 1/7/04, p.A1)

2004        Jan 10, Panamanian officials arrested Arcangel de Jesus Henao Montoya, a top leader of the Colombian Norte de Valle drug cartel, in the southern city of Torti and took him to Panama City. He was soon handed over to US officials.
    (AP, 1/11/04)(SFC, 1/15/04, p.A1)

2004        May 2, Martin Torrijos (40), son of former military dictator Gen’l. Omar Torrijos, was easily elected as Panama's next leader in its first presidential vote since the handover of the Panama Canal and withdrawal of US troops in December 1999. Torrijos promised to tackle vested interests.
    (AP, 5/3/04)(Econ, 1/19/08, p.39)

2004        Jul 2, In Panama a US-registered small jet crashed into an airport hangar during takeoff and burst into flames, killing seven people.
    (AP, 7/3/04)

2004        Aug 26, Cuba broke diplomatic ties with Panama after the outgoing Panamanian president Mireya Moscoso pardoned four Cuban exiles, including Luis Posada Carriles, the communist government accuses of trying to assassinate President Fidel Castro.
    (AP, 8/27/04)(SFC, 5/18/05, p.A9)

2004        Sep 1, Martin Torrijos, the son of a former dictator, took office as Panama's president promising jobs, better relations with Cuba and a referendum on a proposed $8 billion expansion of the Panama Canal.
    (AP, 9/1/04)

2004        Nov 19, Cuba and Panama agreed to restore consular relations, taking a step toward renewal of full diplomatic ties at a meeting on the sidelines of an Ibero-American summit.
    (AP, 11/19/04)

2005        Mar 3, The seven Central American nations (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) agreed to create a rapid-response force to combat drug trafficking, terrorism and other regional threats.
    (AP, 3/3/05)

2005        Apr 4, Evergreen Int’l., a Panamanian shipping line, pleaded guilty to over 2 dozen counts of illegal dumping around the US. It was ordered to pay a fine of $25 million, one of the largest ever imposed for polluting the ocean.
    (SFC, 4/5/05, p.B8)

2005        May 25, Riot police in Panama City fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse people throwing bottles and rocks during a protest by an estimated 10,000 workers and students against proposed changes in the country's pension system.
    (AP, 5/26/05)(WSJ, 5/26/05, p.A1)

2005        Jun 30, In Honduras Central American leaders agreed to create a regional special forces unit to fight drug trafficking, gang violence and terrorism within their borders. The 2-day regional meeting included the presidents of Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama.
    (AP, 6/30/05)

2005        Jul 28, In Panama a 2-day summit started for 25 members of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Venezuela said it will continue offering crude on favorable terms, and even in barter trades, to countries in the region. Thirteen of the 15 members of the narrower Caribbean Community group, or Caricom, mainly island nations, have already signed onto Venezuela's oil initiative.
    (AP, 7/29/05)

2005        Jul, US Embassy officials in Panama said in a confidential diplomatic cable that they had "credible and compelling information" that Panama Supreme Court Justice Winston Spadafora took bribes to influence court cases. The cables were only made public in 2011 by the WikiLeaks organization.
    (AP, 6/1/11)

2005        Aug 20, Cuba and Panama restored diplomatic ties, one year after they were broken off in a dispute sparked by the decision by Panama's previous president to pardon four Cuban exiles accused of trying to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro.
    (AP, 8/20/05)

2005        Nov 7, President Bush met with Panamanian President Martin Torrijos in Panama City, Panama, where they discussed a free trade agreement. President Bush, in Panama, defended US interrogation practices and called the treatment of terrorism suspects lawful, saying, "We do not torture."
    (AP, 11/7/05)(AP, 11/7/06)

2005        Nov 30, In Cuba Panama's President Martin Torrijos greeted dozens of his compatriots as they arrived in Havana for free eye operations, the latest sign of warming relations between the two countries.
    (AP, 12/01/05)

2006        Jan 10, Panama's agricultural minister resigned, accusing the US of pressuring the Central American country to accept lower agricultural inspection standards.
    (AP, 1/10/06)

2006        Jan 27, A Panamanian ship collided with two other vessels near the Peruvian port of Callao, splitting in two and leaving one sailor missing.
    (AP, 1/27/06)

2006        Jul 11, Central American presidents agreed on a plan to ease border controls and install a common customs system on the way to negotiating an eventual free-trade agreement with the EU. The agreement signed by Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize would allow residents to cross borders without passports or visas.
    (AP, 7/11/06)

2006        Oct 9, Panamanian authorities said they suspect a medicine taken to treat high blood pressure may be among the factors leading to the deaths of 21 people since July who have succumbed to a mysterious illness that triggers kidney failure. Panama's health minister stopped sales of the medication, Lisinopril Normon, on Oct 6 and began removing it from pharmacy shelves. About 9,000 Panamanians were taking the medicine. Total deaths eventually reached at least 116 from contaminated medications [see Oct 18].
    (AP, 10/9/06)(AP, 5/10/08)

2006        Oct 18, Panamanian authorities said that 26 people had died after drinking tainted cough medicine, and five people had been detained on suspicion of selling contaminated material to a factory that produced the medication. Panama set up 34 round-the-clock clinics across the nation to identify the sick and perform blood tests for kidney damage. The contaminated medicines contained a chemical cousin of antifreeze, diethylene glycol, which is used to keep glue and cosmetics moist. Officials believe it turned up in 100,000 bottles of cough syrup, 20,000 of which have not been recovered. In 2007 it was reported that a Chinese factory was the source of a counterfeit chemical that killed dozens of people in Panama after it was used in human medications. Total deaths reached 116 from contaminated medications.
    (AP, 10/19/06)(AP, 10/27/06)(AP, 5/6/07)(AP, 5/10/08)

2006        Oct 22, Voters in Panama approved a $5.25 billion referendum, pushed by Pres, Torrijos, to expand the Panama Canal. The project was expected to take 8 years and provide some 7,000 jobs.
    (AP, 10/23/06)(Econ, 7/21/07, p.39)

2006        Oct 23, In Panama mechanical problems triggered a fire that raced through a bus in Panama City, killing at least 18 people, injuring 25.
    (AP, 10/23/06)

2006        Nov 1, Venezuela and US-backed Guatemala agreed to withdraw from the race and support Panama, a compromise reached after voting in the UN General Assembly dragged through 47 rounds of balloting.
    (AP, 11/2/06)

2006        Nov 3, Latin American and Caribbean nations unanimously endorsed Panama for a seat on the UN Security Council after Guatemala and Venezuela agreed to withdraw to break a deadlock that dragged on through 47 votes in the General Assembly.
    (AP, 11/3/06)

2006        Nov 7, Panama won a seat on the UN Security Council on the 48th ballot after US-backed Guatemala and Venezuela, led by leftist anti-American President Hugo Chavez, dropped out to end a deadlock.
    (AP, 11/7/06)

2006        Nov 24, Panama’s government said heavy rains and flooding have left at least eight people dead and damaged hundreds of homes.
    (AP, 11/24/06)

2007        Mar 18, Panamanian police working with agents from the US Drug Enforcement Agency seized a boat off the nation's Pacific coast carrying 21.4 tons of cocaine in one of the biggest maritime cocaine busts anywhere on record.
    (AP, 3/19/07)

2007        Apr 10, In Panama the charred and mutilated body of Staten Island businesswoman Toni Grossi Abrams (57) was found on the outskirts of Panama City. Debra Ann Ridgley (56) of Pennsylvania, was later arrested as a suspect in the killing but had not been formally charged. Police searched for two other suspects identified as Colombian men, one of whom has previous drug charges against him.
    (AP, 4/16/07)

2007        Jul 4, A top Panamanian prosecutor said tests show at least 94 people have died from taking medicine contaminated with diethylene glycol since July 2006 and that 293 more deaths are under investigation. Total deaths reached 116 from contaminated medications.
    (AP, 7/4/07)(AP, 5/10/08)

2007        Jul 20, China said it had shut down several firms at the heart of food and drug safety scares, including a chemical plant implicated in the deaths of 94 people in Panama. China also said that it "strongly opposed" decisions by the United States to initiate anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of some woven sacks and steel pipes from China. Total deaths in Panama reached 116 from contaminated medications.
    (AP, 7/20/07)(Reuters, 7/20/07)(AP, 5/10/08)

2007        Aug 27, Panama’s cabinet resigned after a tainted medicine scandal and the government’s failure to implement construction safety standards.
    (WSJ, 8/28/07, p.A1)

2007        Sep 1, In Panama Pedro Miguel Gonzalez Pinzon, a man wanted in the US on charges of involvement in the killing of an American soldier 15 years ago in Panama, was elected president of that country's congress.
    (AP, 9/1/07)

2007        Sep 3, Panamanian President Martin Torrijos celebrated the start of construction on two wider sets of locks being added to both sides of the Panama canal.
    (AP, 9/3/07)

2007        Dec 25, In Panama the bodies of Michael Klein (37), a California hedge fund manager, his daughter Talia Klein (13) and pilot Edwin Lasso (23) were found in an uninhabited region known as Las Ovejas on the slope of the Baru volcano. Francesca Lewis (12) survived the Dec 23 crash, but cold, wet weather prevented authorities from evacuating her immediately.
    (AP, 12/26/07)(SFC, 12/26/07, p.A4)

2008        Apr 4, In Panama Cecilio Padron (66), a Cuban-American businessman tied to an influential anti-Castro organization, was kidnapped. He was released on Feb 23, 2009 following a $3 million ransom. Three national police officers and two civilians were later detained in connection with the kidnapping. The police were accused of handing Padron over to his kidnappers in exchange for $500 each.
    (AP, 3/4/09)   

2008        May 29, Chile's national police chief and 10 other people were killed when the aging Panamanian government helicopter they were riding in crashed into a three-story building in the heart of Panama City.
    (AP, 5/30/08)

2008        Jun 9, Panama security forces found 6 tons of cocaine in 273 packets on board three boats off Coiba island. Police were searching for 15 people who escaped the raid.
    (AP, 6/11/08)

2008        Jul 1, Panama's Supreme Court overturned a presidential pardon of four Cuban emigres accused of plotting to kill Fidel Castro, including former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles. The court ruled that 180 pardons granted in 2004 by outgoing President Mireya Moscoso, including those the four Cubans, were unconstitutional.
    (AP, 7/2/08)

2008        Aug 20, Panama’s President Martin Torrijos signed an executive order creating a new intelligence agency and a border police force to combat growing drug crimes. This prompted concerns of a return to its militarized past.
    (AP, 8/21/08)

2009        Feb 28, In Panama Tomas Altamirano Mantovani (49), a prominent ruling party lawmaker and son of a former vice president, died in a traffic accident.
    (AP, 2/28/09)

2009        Apr, The OECD included Panama on its “grey list" of countries that show insufficient financial openness. Panama with its lax corporate laws allows companies to be created in minutes and registers over 45,000 new offshore companies a year.
    (Econ, 10/31/09, p.46)

2009        May 3, Panama held elections. Ricardo Martinelli (57), a conservative supermarket magnate, was favored to win the presidential elections. Martinelli won the election in a landslide, promising to guide the country through the world economic crisis and an ambitious expansion of the Panama Canal. A leaked cable from the US embassy later revealed that Martinelli requested help in the wiretapping of his political opponents.
    (AP, 5/3/09)(AP, 5/4/09)(Econ, 11/24/12, p.40)

2009        May 29, The nonbinding New York Declaration, an agreement between the signatory flag states which condemns acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels and seafarers, was originally tabled by The Bahamas, the Republic of Liberia, the Republic of Marshall Islands and the Republic of Panama, four nations that account for more than half of global shipping.

2009        Jul 1, Businessman Ricardo Martinelli (57) was sworn in as Panama's new president, promising to start the biggest job-creation push ever in the country. Martinelli said he wants to make the nation of 3.3 million inhabitants the best place to do business in Latin America.
    (AP, 7/1/09)

2009        Aug 11, Canada signed a free trade deal with Panama and said it wanted to conclude more such agreements, given that talks to open up the global trading system were going nowhere.
    (Reuters, 8/11/09)

2009        Sep 28, Guillermo Endara (73), Panama’s former President (1989-1994), died. He led Panama to democracy after the US invasion that toppled dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega.
    (AP, 9/29/09)

2009        Oct 31, In Playa Blanca, Panama, 2 teenage boys wounded an American and a Russian tourist in a botched robbery attempt. Police announced the arrest of the 2 teenagers on Nov 3.
    (AP, 11/4/09)

2009        Nov 2, Panama's government said it is building four air and sea monitoring stations on its Pacific coast to fight trafficking of drugs, weapons and migrants. Assistant Interior Minister Alejandro Garuz said the sites will be manned by the national police, border agents and other government agencies.
    (AP, 11/2/09)

2010        Jan 14, In Panama former Pres. Ernesto Perez Balladares (194-1999) was put under house arrest while authorities investigate accusations that he laundered money.
    (AP, 1/15/10)(SFC, 1/15/10, p.A2)

2010        Jan 27, Panama's national police force killed three guerrillas from a Colombian rebel group in a confrontation along the sparsely populated frontier between the two countries. Two others were captured while and one escaped.
    (AP, 1/27/10)

2010        Mar 21, In Panama Cheryl Lynn Hughes (50), an American, went missing in western Bocas del Toro province. Police on July 20 found her body and the skeletal remains of another person buried in the back patio of a hotel owned by William Adolfo Cortez, of Texas.
    (AP, 7/24/10)(www.panama-guide.com/article.php/20100721130055598)

2010        Apr 30, Panama police found an arsenal of assault rifles, grenades and almost a half million rounds of ammunition at the home of Professor Vinicio Jimenez, a Guatemalan-born sociology professor. Their raid netted 47 assault rifles, 24 machine pistols, 487,900 rounds of ammunition and almost 4,000 grenades and grenade-style munitions.
    (AP, 5/1/10)

2010        Jul 2, A Panamanian court dropped money laundering charges against former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman. The court argued the charges against Aleman were similar to charges he has faced in Nicaragua.
    (AP, 7/9/10)

2010        Jul 7, A French court convicted Manuel Noriega of money-laundering and sentenced Panama's former dictator to seven years in jail after he spent two decades in a US prison.
    (AFP, 7/7/10)

2010        Jul 8, In western Panama striking banana plantation workers and police clashed, leaving one man dead and 100 people hurt. A 2nd man was killed by police on July 10.
    (AP, 7/8/10)(Reuters, 7/10/10)

2010        Jul 26, In Nicaragua William Adolfo Cortez of Texas and his wife Jane, an American couple wanted in Panama in the March 21 death of a US woman, were arrested by the Nicaraguan army at the border with Costa Rica.
    (AP, 7/28/10)

2010        Jul 30, In Panama William Dathan Holbert, a jailed US man, admitted killing five other Americans so he could take over their businesses and other properties in a Panamanian resort area. Laura Michelle Reese, his wife, refused to talk. Holbert said his first killings in Panama occurred about three years ago, when he fatally shot a US citizen named Mike Brown, his wife and small son in the head.
    (AP, 7/31/10)

2010        Aug 3, Authorities in Panama said they recovered three more bodies on property owned by a jailed US man who prosecutors say has confessed to killing five fellow Americans to get their money and property in a Panamanian resort area.
    (AP, 8/3/10)

2010        Dec 8, In Panama historic flooding forced the closure of the Panama Canal for the first time in 21 years.
    (SFC, 12/9/10, p.A2)

2010        Dec 10, Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli said he will declare a national state of emergency allowing the government to mobilize more resources for affected areas. Heavy rains and flooding in Panama have killed 10 people and forced more than 4,700 from their homes.
    (AP, 12/10/10)

2011        Feb 10, Panamanian lawmakers repealed a law preventing foreign government investment in mining, clearing the way for Canada's Inmet Mining to build the largest copper mine in Central America.
    (Reuters, 2/10/11)

2011        Feb 24, In Panama Rene Sanabria, a retired Bolivian police Gen., was arrested at Washington's request and extradited to the US. He had an initial federal court appearance in Miami the next day on charges he ran a cocaine trafficking ring. Sanabria headed the FELCN counternarcotics police in 2007-2008. Other alleged members of the trafficking organization were identified by Bolivian authorities as Col. Milton Sanchez Pantoja, Maj. Edwin Raul Ona Moncada and Capt. Franz Hernando Siles Rios. On Sep 23 Sanabria was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
    (AP, 2/27/11)(SFC, 9/24/11, p.A4)

2011        Feb 25, Panama customs director Gloria Moreno de Lopez said that nearly a half ton (421 kilos) shark fins were found at Panama's international airport in a shipment labeled as dried fish. She says the container originated in Ecuador and was bound for New York City.
    (AP, 2/26/11)

2011        Jun 22, In Guatemala the World Bank unveiled a billion-dollar plan to fund security measures in Central America, amid other hundred-million-dollar pledges from donors bidding to cut a wave of drug gang-related violence sweeping the region. The announcement came as leaders of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama attended the Central American Security Conference aiming to curb crime fueled by a spillover from Mexico's war on drug cartels.
    (AFP, 6/22/11)

2011        Jul 30, Panamanian police seized more than half a ton of heroin inside an abandoned truck parked along a road in the remote coastal town of Gobea. It was the largest seizure of the drug in the country's history.
    (AP, 8/1/11)

2011        Aug 2, French authorities agreed to extradite Manuel Noriega back to Panama.
    (SFC, 8/3/11, p.A2)

2011        Sep 5, Authorities in Panama arrested 80 Panamanians and Colombians breaking up a major cocaine trafficking organization that moved drugs from Colombia to Panama and then north to Mexico and the United States.
    (AP, 9/7/11)

2011        Sep 16, Authorities in Panama said they have found five bodies buried under the floor of a house and believe the remains are of young people of Chinese origin who were kidnapped for ransom in the past two years.
    (AP, 9/16/11)

2011        Oct 12, The US Congress approved free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, ending a four-year drought in the forming of new trade partnerships and giving the White House and Capitol Hill the opportunity to show they can work together to stimulate the economy and put people back to work.
    (AP, 10/13/11)

2011        Oct 21, Pres. Obama signed free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
    (Econ, 11/12/11, p.49)(http://tinyurl.com/78rfnuz)

2011        Nov 23, A French court ruled that former dictator Manuel Noriega can be extradited to Panama to serve time for past crimes, more than 20 years after being ousted and arrested in a US invasion.
    (AP, 11/23/11)

2011        Dec 3,     In Panama a small plane, piloted by a US citizen, crashed about 50 miles west of Panama City, killing pilot Monty Polo and Panamanian passenger Josue Cedeno.
    (AP, 12/3/11)

2011        Dec 11, Ex-Panama dictator Noriega was flown home for new punishment after 22 years in US, French jails.
    (AP, 12/11/11)

2012        Jan 30, In western Panama members of the Ngobe-Bugle Indian tribe began blocking the Pan-American Highway to protest changes that the government made to a mining law and its plans to build dams in their territory.
    (AP, 2/17/12)

2012        Feb 5, Panama police fired tear gas to clear blockades of the Pan-American highway by indigenous groups protesting changes to the mining law. One person was killed and 39 injured in the resulting clashes.
    (AP, 2/6/12)

2012        Feb 17, In Panama members of the Ngobe-Bugle Indian tribe again blocked the Pan-American Highway after a breakdown in negotiations with the government over new dams.
    (AP, 2/17/12)

2012        Mar 9, In Panama Michel Smith, a fugitive wanted in Canada for 22 murders, was detained in the Playa Coronado tourist region. Canadian police have been looking for Smith, suspected of ties to the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, since a massive 2009 gang sweep in the province of Quebec.
    (AP, 3/12/12)

2012        Jul 5, In Panama the International Whaling Commission rejected a request from Denmark for a whaling quota for indigenous groups in Greenland. Two days earlier it approved the renewal of bowhead whale quotas for indigenous subsistence whaling in Alaska and Russia and for St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. The United States says it doesn't support a South Korean plan to restart whale hunting for purportedly scientific purposes.
    (AP, 7/6/12)

2012        Jul 6, Japan, Norway and their allies blocked a bid to give the UN a greater role in protecting whales, as sought by conservationists frustrated by deep polarization over whaling as the International Whaling Commission closed its latest annual meeting in Panama marred by intense divisions.
    (AFP, 7/6/12)

2012        Oct 26, Panama's government said it will cancel plans to sell state-owned land in a duty-free zone on the Panama Canal following a week of sometimes violent protests in which a 10-year-old boy and two adults died.
    (AP, 10/26/12)

2012        Dec 12, Spanish authorities said they have arrested a Panamanian woman arriving at Barcelona airport from Bogota, Colombia, with 1.38 kg (3 pounds) of cocaine concealed in breast implants.
    (AP, 12/12/12)

2012        Dec 19, A new Gallup poll said seven of the world’s 10 countries with the most upbeat attitudes are in Latin America with Panama and Paraguay at the top. The people least likely to report positive emotions lived in Singapore.
    (SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)

2013        Jul 15, Panama's president said the country has seized a North Korean-flagged freighter carrying what appeared to be ballistic missiles and other arms that had set sail from Cuba. North Korea and Cuba said the weapons were antiquated and were being sent for repair. North Korea called for the release of the ship and its and 35 crew members.
    (AP, 7/16/13)(SFC, 7/18/13, p.A4)(SFC, 7/19/13, p.A2)

2013        Jul 17, Robert Seldon Lady (59), a former CIA base chief convicted in the 2003 abduction of a terror suspect from an Italian street, was detained in Panama after Italy requested his arrest in one of the most notorious episodes of the US program known as extraordinary rendition. After barely a day in detention, he was put on a plane to the US by the Panamanian government.
    (AP, 7/18/13)(AP, 7/19/13)

2013        Oct 11, A Panamanian official said two Cuban fighter jets seized from a North Korean ship in July were in perfect condition to operate and the 15 plane engines that were found along with them were relatively new and could be used as replacements.
    (AP, 10/11/13)

2013        Oct 18, In Panama the 23rd Ibero-American summit opened. Half the presidents of member nations failed to show for the 2-day meeting, revealing the foundering direction of the annual forum. At the close instead of meeting annually, they decided to get together every other year instead.
    (AP, 10/19/13)(AFP, 10/19/13)

2013        Oct 26, Panama granted asylum to an Ecuadoran opposition politician sentenced to prison last month for his role in a multiple homicide case, finding that he was subjected to political persecution. Tito Galo Lara Yepez (45) was convicted on Sep 2 as an accomplice in the murder of an Ecuadoran couple and their four-year-old child and sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison.
    (AFP, 10/26/13)

2013        Nov 27, Panama said it is freeing most of the 35 North Korean crew members it detained more than four months ago for smuggling Cuban weapons aboard a ship.
    (Reuters, 11/27/13)

2014        Jan 30, Panama’s judicial authorities ordered the release of 32 of 35 crew members of a North Korean ship detained last July for carrying hidden arms from Cuba. The Chon Chon Gang was carrying Cuban fighter jects and missiles. Owners this month agreed to pay a $670,000 fine.
    (SFC, 1/31/14, p.A2)

2014        Feb 5, A planned extension of the Panama Canal, one of the world's most important shipping routes, was thrown into doubt after a group of companies, led by Spanish builder Sacyr, said its talks with Panama's government over how to expand the canal had fallen apart. Panama Canal Authority head Jorge Quijano said the expansion project will be completed in 2015 with or without a Spanish-led consortium.
    (Reuters, 2/5/14)

2014        Mar 5, Venezuela broke ties with Panama. President Nicolas Maduro said he was breaking diplomatic and commercial relations with the Panamanian government due to a "conspiracy" against him.
    (Reuters, 3/5/14)(Econ, 3/8/14, p.40)

2014        Apr 5, Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli inaugurated Central America's first subway system, the most-emblematic project of a five-year term marked by fast economic growth and more than a hint of hubris.
    (AP, 4/5/14)

2014        May 4, Panamanians voted in presidential elections. Conservative Juan Carlos Varela won the election easily defeating Jose Domingo Arias, Pres. Martinelli's hand-picked successor 39% to 32%.
    (AP, 5/4/14)(AFP, 5/514)(SSFC, 7/6/14, p.A4)

2014        Jun 22, In Panama US Master Sgt. Omar Velez-Pagan (37) ran his girlfriend Vanesa Rodriguez (25) over with a truck and hid her body. On March 29, 2016, Velez-Pagan was sentenced in North Carolina to 30 years in military prison by a jury of five military officers.
    (http://tinyurl.com/jn8ks38)(AP, 3/30/16)

2014        Jun 27, A Panamanian judge acquitted and ordered the immediate release of the last three of 35 North Koreans detained last year for trying to transport undeclared Cuban weapons through the Panama Canal. The decision was based on the fact that the incident "was of international character and outside Panamanian jurisdiction."
    (AFP, 6/28/14)

2014        Jul 1, Panama’s Pres. Juan Carlos Varela gave a speech following his inauguration and issued a decree to freeze the price of 22 staple goods. He also announced amnesty to some 200 gang members who surrender their weapons.
    (SSFC, 7/6/14, p.A4)

2014        Nov 23, In Belize the body of Panamanian diplomat Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa (64) was found near a highway on the outskirts of Belmopan with cut wounds on his head and neck. On Nov 26 Wilsner Echeveria (19) was charged with the murder. Relatives claimed Echeveria had been defending himself against a sexual attack by De la Rosa.
    (AP, 11/27/14)

2015        Jan 31, Panama expelled a former Colombian intelligence chief, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, to face charges at home of illegally intercepting phone calls from opposition Colombian lawmakers.
    (Reuters, 1/31/15)

2015        Jan, Panama’s Supreme Court voted to launch an investigation into former Pres. Ricardo Martinelli’s role in a corruption case involving a $45 million program to deliver dried food to the poor.
    (Econ, 2/7/15, p.33)

2015        Mar, A judge in Las Vegas ruled that Panama-based Mossack Fonseca and MF Nevada were one and the same. Under American law this allowed any investigator anywhere in the world to subpoena Mossack through the Nevada subsidiary for information relevant to cases in any country.
    (Econ, 4/16/15, p.61)

2015        Apr 7, Panama's Electoral Tribunal lifted former President Ricardo Martinelli's immunity from prosecution, clearing the way for authorities to investigate him for alleged corruption.
    (AP, 4/8/15)

2015        Apr 10, President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shook hands at the opening of the Summit of the Americas in Panama, a symbolically charged gesture as the pair seek to restore ties between the Cold War foes.
    (Reuters, 4/11/15)

2015        Apr 11, President Barack Obama met Cuban President Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas in Panama in the highest-level talks between the two countries in nearly 60 years. The two men agreed to push ahead on improving relations after decades of hostility.
    (Reuters, 4/11/15)

2015        May, In Panama investors and residents of the 70-floor Trump Ocean Club overwhelmingly rejected a Trump-backed proposal to recoup more than $2 million of building administration debt through a special assessment of owners. Trump’s management company was soon ousted. Donald Trump later demanded as much as $75 million from condo owners alleging that his managers were wrongfully fired.
    (SFC, 11/5/15, p.A6)

2015        Aug 26, Panama's top court canceled a $120 million government contract to purchase a radar system from Italian industrial giant Finmeccanica due to corruption concerns. A government lawsuit argued that the contract signed by former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) was the product of bribes and kickbacks.
    (AP, 8/27/15)

2015        Dec 21, Panama’s Supreme Court ordered the detention of Pres. Ricardo Martinelli for allegedly intercepting communications of at least 150 people during his 2009-2014 administration. Martinelli said he would stay outside the country while fighting the charges.
    (SFC, 12/23/15, p.A2)

2016        Apr 3, A year-long worldwide media investigation into a trove of 11.5 million documents, leaked from Panama-based from legal firm Mossack Fonseca with offices in 35 countries, exposed a tangle of offshore financial dealings by the elite, from Russia’s Pres. Putin's aides to relatives of Chinese President Xi Jinping, sports celebrities and screen stars. The files had been anonymously passed to Suddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper and emerged in an investigation published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The “Panama papers" unveiled the offshore holdings of 140 politicians and officials, including twelve current and former presidents, monarchs and prime ministers.
    (AFP, 4/4/16)(Reuters, 4/4/16)(Econ, 4/9/16, p.14, 59)

2016        Apr 4, Norway's government invited the heads of top company boards to talks on corruption as offshore banking revelations added to a string of allegations over the ethics of some of the country's largest firms. The invitation followed the leak of more than 11.5 million documents from the files of a Panama-based law firm, allegedly showing how clients avoided tax or laundered money.
    (Reuters, 4/4/16)

2016        Apr 5, French finance minister Michel Sapin said France will put Panama back on its blacklist of uncooperative tax jurisdictions, after media revelations about a Panamanian law firm specialised in setting up offshore firms.
    (Reuters, 4/5/16)

2016        Apr 8, Authorities in El Salvador raided the local offices of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, seizing documents and equipment.
    (Reuters, 4/9/16)

2016        Apr 12, Panamanian authorities raided the head offices of law firm Mossack Fonseca regarding recently leaked documents about offshore firms it had helped create.
    (Econ, 4/16/16, p.60)

2016        May 4, Colombian authorities in Bogota arrested Nidal Waked (46), a prominent Panama businessman sought by the United States, and dismantled an empire of businesses that the US says were part of a top worldwide money-laundering organization for drug traffickers.
    (AP, 5/6/16)

2016        Jun 26, Panama formally inaugurated the newly expanded locks of the Panama Canal. The $5.25 billion project was initially scheduled for completion in October 2014, but was delayed by slow approvals for concrete to use in the locks, labor strikes and leaks detected late last year.
    (AP, 6/26/16)

2016        Jul 7, Brazilian police seized documents and questioned suspects to investigate Panama's FPB Bank in connection to a sweeping graft probe of political corruption at state-run companies.
    (Reuters, 7/7/16)

2016        Aug 9, Panama promised to help hundreds of migrants who have crossed its jungle border from Colombia to carry on toward the United States.
    (AFP, 8/9/16)

2017        Feb 9, Panamanian prosecutors took law firm partners Ramon Fonseca Mora and Jurgen Mossack into custody and searched their offices. The Mossack-Fonseca firm has been accused of setting up offshore accounts that allowed the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht to funnel bribes to multiple countries. On April 21 Mora and Mossack were released on bail.
    (SSFC, 2/12/17, p.A4)(SSFC, 4/23/17, p.A4)

2017        Feb 13, Former Panamanian Vice-President Ricardo Arias Calderon (83) died. He had served under President Guillermo Endara after President Manuel Noriega was ousted in a 1989 military invasion.
    (AP, 2/14/17)

2017        Mar 5, In Panama a bus carrying farmworkers went off a highway in Anton killing 18 people and injuring 37 others.
    (SFC, 3/6/17, p.A2)

2017        Apr 15, In Panama international soccer player Amilcar Henriquez (33) was shot and killed in Colon province. Another two people were wounded.
    (AP, 4/15/17)

2017        May 29, Manuel Noriega (83), Panama’s de facto ruler from 1983 to 1989, died at home in Panama. He spent all but the last few months of his final years in a Panamanian prison.
    (AP, 5/30/17)(Econ 6/3/17, p.82)

2017        Jul 1, In Costa Rica a 5-hour power blackout affected some five million people. The power outage plunged millions of people across Central America into darkness, as authorities from Panama to Costa Rica to El Salvador scrambled to restore electrical service. Authorities pinned blame for the power outages on a downed Panamanian transmission line that adversely affected the power supply for much of the region.
    (AFP, 7/1/17)   

2017        Nov 14, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela departed on his first official visit to China after establishing diplomatic ties with the country five months ago.
    (AP, 11/14/17)

2017        Dec 5, The European Union put 17 non-EU countries on a blacklist of those it deems guilty of unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes. They Included: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St. Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates. Over 40 more were put on a "grey list" to be monitored until they are fully committed to reforms.
    (AP, 12/5/17)

2018        Jan 23, European Union finance ministers agreed to remove eight jurisdictions from the bloc's blacklist of tax havens, one month after the list was set up. Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates joined Panama as jurisdictions delisted following commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU concerns.
    (Reuters, 1/23/18)

2018        Mar 5, In Panama City executives of a luxury Trump hotel were ousted after a Panamanian judicial official and police backed Orestes Fintiklis, the hotel’s majority owner. Lawyers for the Trump organization held that their management contract was still valid. In 2017 Fintiklis signed an agreement not to challenge Trump’s management contract, but changed course arguing mismanagement.
    (SFC, 3/6/18, p.A5)

2018        Jun 11, The US extradited former Panamanian Pres. Ricardo Martinelli (66) back to Panama to face political espionage and embezzlement charges.
    (AP, 6/11/18)

2018        Sep 8, It was reported that the United States has recalled its envoys to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Panama after decisions by those nations to cut ties with Taiwan in favor of diplomatic relations with China.
    (AP, 9/8/18)

2018        Sep 23, Panama's maritime authority said it has begun procedures to remove the registration of Aquarius 2 after Italy complained the boat's captain failed to follow orders to return rescued migrants to Libya. Humanitarian groups described Panama's move as shameful.
    (AP, 9/24/18)

2018        Dec 31, A Panamanian car carrier heading from Japan to Hawaii caught fire. Nearby merchant vessels rescued 16 crew members. Three were found dead in the water and two were missing.
    (SFC, 1/3/19, p.A6)

2019        Jan 24, Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela met with Pope Francis at the presidential palace. The Pope insisted that public officials live simply, honestly and transparently as he opened a visit to Panama and a region that has been rife with corruption scandals.
    (AP, 1/24/19)

2019        Jan 25, In Panama Pope Francis brought World Youth Day to the Las Garzas de Pacora detention center so that its inmates, even behind barbed wire fencing, could participate in the Catholic Church's big festival of faith.
    (AP, 1/25/19)

2019        Jan 27, In Panama Pope Francis celebrated mass with hundreds of thousands of young pilgrims as he wound up a five-day visit during which he defended Central American migrants and acknowledged the Church had been hurt by sex abuse scandals.
    (AFP, 1/27/19)

2019        Mar 22, Prosecutors said Panama's ex-president Ricardo Martinelli faces up to 21 years in jail for spying on political foes, reporters and business leaders while in power.
    (AFP, 3/23/19)

2019        Apr 2, Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela visited Hong Kong amid ambitious plans and proposals for Chinese-built bridges and rail lines in pan in Panama.
    (AP, 4/2/19)

2019        May 5, Panama held presidential elections. Social democrat Laurentino Cortizo (66), a veteran politician and former agriculture minister, won the presidential election.
    (Reuters, 5/05/19)(AFP, 5/06/19)

2019        Jun 12, A Panamanian court ordered former President Ricardo Martinelli (67) to be transferred from jail to house arrest following his completion of a one-year term.
    (AP, 6/12/19)

2019        Jun 25, A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the Costa Rica-Panama border around midnight. Seismologists said the disaster was "potentially widespread".
    (AFP, 6/26/19)

2019        Jun 28, Panama inaugurated a visitors' center to improve access to the colonial-era San Lorenzo Fort. Due to neglect it came to be placed on a UNESCO list of sites at risk. The fort was built in the late 16th century to defend the mouth of the Chagres River.
    (AP, 6/29/19)

2019        Jul 19, Panama's maritime authority began the process of withdrawing the registration of an oil tanker called MT Riah, which was towed to Iran after it disappeared from ship tracking maps in the Strait of Hormuz on July 14. The authority said an investigation has determined the tanker had "deliberately violated international regulations" by not reporting any unusual situation.
    (Reuters, 7/20/19)

2019        Jul, Panama became the first Latin American country to outlaw plastic bags.
    (Econ, 7/27/19, p.57)

2019        Aug 9, A Panamanian court declared former president Ricardo Martinelli not guilty of charges that he spied on 150 people, including politicians, union leaders and journalists during his 2009-2014 presidency, and ordered his release.
    (Reuters, 8/9/19)

2019        Dec 17, In Panama at least 12 people were killed and another 13 were injured during a shootout among inmates at La Joyita prison near Panama City.
    (Reuters, 12/17/19)

2020        Jan 13, In Panama seven villagers were slain by “The New Light of God" religious cult, while 14 more were rescued the next day by police who found them bound and beaten in a temple in El Terrón. Nine villagers were soon arrested and charged with murder.
    (AP, 1/19/20)

2020        Mar 9, Panama confirmed its first coronavirus case.
    (Reuters, 3/10/20)

2020        Mar 27, The Seattle-based Holland American cruise line, owneed by Carnival Corp., said four passengers have died aboard the Zaandam now anchored off the coast of Panama. Two people have tested positive for the coronavirus and more than 130 have reported flu-like symptoms. The ship carried 1,243 guests and 586 crew.
    (SFC, 3/28/20, p.A2)

2020        Mar 30, The MS Zaandam exited the Panama Canal. At least 189 people aboard the Holland America Line cruise ship were suffering flu-like symptoms and four people have died.
    (Good Morning America, 3/30/20)

2020        Mar 31, Panama announced strict quarantine measures that separate citizens by gender. From April 1 for 15 days, men and women will only be able to leave their homes for two hours at a time, and on different days.
    (AP, 3/31/20)

2020        Apr 17, It was reported that Bogota, Colombia, has joined Panama this week in instituting a gender-based virus protection measure designed to limit the number of people in the streets. Men can leave the house for essentials on odd-numbered days and women on even-numbered days. Exceptions were made for people in critical industries.
    (SFC, 4/17/20, p.A5)

2020        May 14, The government of Panama said 43 migrants have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and 119 others who came in contact with them are in quarantine at a relief station near the border with Colombia.
    (AP, 5/14/20)

2020        Jun 27, It was reported that new daily coronavirus cases in Panama have nearly trippled from below 200 per day and that deaths this month were coming twice as fast.
    (SFC, 6/27/20, p.A6)

2020        Sep 15, It was reported that authorities in Panama have discovered a mass grave they believe contains the bodies of people tortured and killed by a religious cult. The deceased victims included a pregnant mother and her five children, and the family’s teenage neighbor.
    (The Independent, 9/15/20)

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