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Elcira Maimone of Cubitá Group – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Layout of Cubita development with stores and services nearby, Chitre,  Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPanama in general is a very safe place. When you come to Chitré, where I am from here in Panama, you will find that it is safer compared to other places in Panama. Our development, Cubitá, is located in Chitré. If you are going to Cubitá, you will have to go through a guarded gate. The security guards will first check if you are a property owner there and if not, they will make a phone call to verify if you have the right to pass through the gate.
 
If you are just walking around or if you are going to the mall on your own, you don’t have to worry about anything because Panama, and especially Chitré, is a safe place. In Cubitá, there are salons and supermarkets within walking distance from the villas and condos so most people just walk to these places and they don’t have any problems doing that.
 
I used to live in Panama City, but when we started the project in Cubitá, I loved it immediately, so 4 years ago, we decided to move to Chitré, which is around 3 hours away from Panama City. I really loved Chitré so I decided to buy a home here. After 2 years of living in Chitré, I had the opportunity to work in the hotel in Cubitá. I live with my parents and I have a 9-year old daughter. I let my daughter walk around here on her own without worrying about here safety. The hotel where I work in the development is only within walking distance from my home. When I am at the hotel, my daughter just calls me on the phone to let me know how she’s doing but she could definitely come to the hotel on her own. I don’t have to watch her all the time. However, I don’t let my daughter walk out of the development by herself. My mom goes to the supermarket on her own without my dad and there’s nothing to worry about (although she doesn’t have to go out of the development because there is also a market inside Cubitá). In case you really want to go out of the development and go to the mall, for example, you just have to call a taxi service or if you don’t want to call, you can just hail one from the street.
 
Overall, Chitré is pretty safe. I can even walk downtown at night without worrying about my safety. I have never had any incidents here. My parents haven’t, either. I used to live in Punta Paitilla in Panama City, and I never had any incidents of crime there, either. The only place I would worry about would be Colon but in general, Panama is a safe place to live. I lived in Italy for a year and in comparison, I feel that Panama has the same level of safety as Italy.  
 
(Layout of Cubita development with stores and services nearby, Chitre,  Panama pictured.)
Duncan McGowan of Punta Pacifica Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Maracana Stadium, El Chorrillo in Panama City – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe crime rate in Panama seems to be increasing, or at least the public perception is that crime is increasing. In the past, Panama has been extremely, extremely safe. Obviously, you’ve got pockets within Panama City that would be considered dangerous—areas where you wouldn’t want to go.
 
In general, you can walk around Panama City and feel a 100% safe; no need to worry. I think most of the crimes that you’re seeing would be crimes of opportunity as opposed to crime where you are actually confronted violently. Panama is still an extremely safe country. Most of the expats aren’t affected by crime at all because the areas where the crimes occur aren’t the areas where expats would be living.
 
I feel equally safe in Panama City compared to how I felt in Toronto, where I lived for 12 years. I never really heard too much about crime personally affecting my friends in Toronto and I don’t really hear about crime personally affecting my friends in Panama City. I would hear about crimes in the news when I was living in Toronto just like I hear the crimes in the news here in Panama. Personally, I can’t really give a personal story that a friend or an acquaintance of mine was a victim of crime in Panama City.  
 
(Having fun in Maracana Stadium, El Chorrillo in Panama City, pictured.)
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Crime rate in Panamá
 
Panamanina motorcycle  police patrol – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPanamá has nine provinces and two Indian reservations.  Years ago the country's small army was eliminated.  In other words, our police force is small, compared to other's, which are much better equipped and trained.
 
But don´t get me wrong.  Panamanian police, in all their departments, including National Security, the border patrol, tourist police, juvenile police and the community police (which are the majority of the police force) are highly effective, and trained with very modern, high-tech equipment.  Also, Panamá is one of the countries that has confiscated more drugs and arms than anybody else. (Panamanian motorcycle police patrol, pictured.)
 
Because of the tenacity and extraordinary effort of each and every one of those units, they are  proud to serve.  The sacrifice of the officers is greater than any sacrifice we may do, leaving their family for months, jeopardizing their health in the woods with snakes and other animals, and getting into the jungle and inhospitable areas, just to do their job. 
 
In addition, Panamá has special elite force units, highly trained internationally and comprised of Panamanians, who risk their lives every single day to protect locals and foreigners in this country.
 
The day-to-day community police are continuously taking educational training to better serve and to do the best job they can.  Every morning, they start the day with a very singular and deep inspirational religious ceremony, asking for wisdom to perform a good job.
 
In a recent article, the Global Peace Index (GPI2014), of the Institute got Economics and Peace (IEP), stated that Panamá holds the fifth place of the most safest  countries  in Latin America, and the 57th in the world, after evaluating 162 countries, followed by Nicaragua, with the 58th. This evaluation is based in organized crime, human rights, relation with nearby countries, amount of homicides and military expenses. (The best Rank in Latin America, went to Panamá, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Costa Rica.)
 
Panamanians feel extremely safe wherever they go, of course, avoiding certain "red areas" in which drugs and other issues are around. But a person has to use their judgment and precaution as in any other place.
 
As a frequent traveler, I certainly can say that no place is safe now, other than those little isolated villages in the mountains with snow, that you read about in magazines here and there.  If you read the news, it is very scary what is happening worldwide.
 
Another reason to trust how everything is done here, is that Panamá is a neutral country, due to our Panamá Canal.  This brings maximum security and safety to the country, whether it is in the city or the countryside.
 
Besides, all Panamanians are aware of the many "crimes" produced by sensationalist reporters that magnify out of proportion the news to sell their papers or  TV news programs. Not to mention, that if they are against whichever government is in power, they will do anything to make the government look bad.   That is the negative in politics, which is very sad.
 
In summary, the Panamanian police have worked very hard through the years to become what they are now, an extraordinary force, trying to maintain peace and security for every resident.
Michael A. Martinez of B & B Real Estate Nicaragua / Panama Real Estate Information – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Playa Santa Catalina Veraguas Azuero Peninsula Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI don’t have any figures on the crime rate in Panama, but here in Veraguas, in the Western Azuero Peninsula, it is pretty crime- free. There were some incidences in the past, but they were usually between Panamanians.
 
I am sure there is petty theft everywhere. When you go to the beach on New Year’s Day, for example, there are a hundred cars parked, someone might try to steal something out of a car, but there are very few armed robberies and home break-ins. That is why people like it here in Veraguas.
 
There is only one way in and one way out here and there is a couple of police check points in between. So you could call the check point and say, “Hey, this guy robbed us, I think they have a white Toyota. There are four guys.” By the time, the thieves get to the checkpoint, they will be stopped and they will not leave the area. We have a nice net of security conditions around here.
RENE GOMEZ of SCUBAPANAMA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The crime rate in Panama City is higher now than the previous years, but that is because there are a lot more people coming into the country now. The crimes here in Panama are not necessarily crimes committed by locals. This could be because immigration laws in Panama are too flexible and because of this, there are people who come to Panama who are not really allowed to fly out of their own countries. Some of them come in by boats or by other means, just to come to Panama because they know that coming to Panama is like coming to the US. We use the US dollar and we also have a Johns Hopkins hospital here. We have everything here in Panama, so they can get these things without having to cross the Rio Grande.
 
People from adjacent South American countries who want to go to Panama can go without a visa. There is no law against them coming to Panama. People from Costa Rica, Colombia and Venezuela can come here without a visa. We have riffraff from all of these countries. They come here and mingle with the general population and now we see more crimes that are of the likes that you see in those countries.
 
The crime rate in Panama City right now is somewhere in between the crime rate in Las Vegas and Chicago. It could be greater than Las Vegas but lower than Chicago. The crime rate here may be similar to the crime rate in Miami, Florida.
 
In Panama City, you have to be cognizant. You have to be aware of your surroundings wherever you go. It is the same as it is in Italy or in San Diego, California. When you go to the interior of Panama, however, crime is almost nil; it’s almost non-existent. It is basically similar to how it is in the US, where if you are on the East coast and you go towards the center of the US, there is less crime. If you are in Los Angeles and you go east, you will find that there is less crime in the center of the US, as you get away from the larger cities.
Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There are some acts of robbery in some places in Panama that are centered around where the expats are. If you live in the middle of the country, you’re probably safer than those who are living in a closed community.
Esteban Guerra of EPA Español en Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The crime rate in Panama is a little bit higher than in Spain, where I used to live, but it is mostly because of the gangs that are committing crimes against each other and not against regular people. So we still feel safe walking down the streets of Panama.
 
Walking at night may be a different issue. I normally take a taxi or a bus at night, even if it is a little bit expensive. There are places where you can walk around, like Casco Antiguo/Casco Viejo because there are lots of police there, but if you can, it is better to take a taxi or drive your own car to get around at night.
Terry Bradford of Origen Real Estate Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

The crime rate in Panama is generally much lower than any other country in Central America. I just read an article in a magazine about two weeks ago showing that Panama has the lowest crime rate throughout the Latin American and South American countries such as Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, and Ecuador. All these countries have recorded more crimes than Panama. It also stated that Panama is the happiest of all the Latin American countries.

When we come back to the US in December, I am personally scared for my own safety because of what I see on TV. I am not comfortable in the US at all. I feel very safe here in Panama and so do the other expats. Here in Panama, we do not see crimes such as the ones we see on TV that happen in the US. You would not hear of a person who got mad and started shooting a school or a movie theater here in Panama.

The US is no longer the country that my husband and I grew up in and that we once knew. I do not feel comfortable going home to the US anymore but we have children and grandchildren that we want to visit in California and in different parts of the States. We want to spend time with them but we want to be on the next plane home to Panama. We consider Panama our home now, and where we feel safe.

Sieg Pedde of Helix Courier Limited – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
In general, the crime rate in Panama is very low although occasionally there’s some sort of a crime situation that becomes high profile, I think largely because it is so unusual and it involves expats or tourists. These things get a lot of media coverage and you can almost draw the conclusion that there’s a lot of crime from reading these things in the newspapers or watching videos of them. However, the reality is quite different. In other larger cities abroad, it’s almost certain that they have much more crimes than you will ever encounter in Panama.
 
I’ve traveled everywhere in Panama except for the areas bordering Colombia (since I tend to go to places that no person would go to because I have this sort of unbridled curiosity that makes me do that), yet I’ve never been harassed.  The only things I’ve encountered are when a police officer would say, “perhaps this is not the best place to be” and then I stay away from those places. So generally, the country is very safe, however, as I said, there are crimes that get a lot of attention and I would like everybody to understand that this is not the norm in Panama.
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Crime rate in Panamá

 Giving a good answer to the question about crime in Panamá is difficult.  There is the local perspective, and the visitor´s perspective.
 
Panamanians are a very peaceful, warm and trusting people.  For them, crime happens for personal reasons, not as a result of what those in the US would call “organized crime”.  For example, here in Panamá  we have “crimes of passion”, including domestic abuses, especially in the "interior" (countryside, away from the capital city), where alcohol abuse, especially among the local farmers, is a problem, exacerbated, perhaps, by their economic situation.
 
In Panamá, when the Christmas Holidays or Carnival approaches, robberies increase as a result of the season, so at these times, people must be extra careful.  There are always small occurrences of crime, of all kinds here and there, but not enough to declare it to be a major problem.
 
With the influx of foreign visitors to Panamá, and new immigration new laws accepting certain nationalities with no visa, of course, the same way excellent people come into Panamá with good intentions, there are also people who enter the country with bad intentions, and do things totally unknown to the locals, with new and modern techniques.
 
It’s the same with "certain groups".  Because they are restricted in some other countries, with the "boom", growth and economic super standards in Panamá, they want to make sure they have their "opportunity", which is what happens in any other cosmopolitan city.
 
But these newcomers are terribly surprised when they find that Panamá has very strict regulations and standards in security and safety.  It is here in Panamá where most of the illegal drugs circulating between regions are confiscated; is here where the “most wanted" people in the world are taken into custody; it is here in Panamá where small criminal groups, of different nationalities, are prosecuted.  And as to violent crimes, these are usually a result of illegal drug traffic and occurs between dealers, not ordinary people.
 
No system is perfect, and Panamá is not the exemption, but Panamá certainly makes every possible effort to diminish crime, and protect their boarders with a very well trained and efficient police force.
The government, through their Security Ministry and Security Land departments is always aware of the need for security, and works very hard to get the latest technology and international training in order to offer the citizens and visitors of Panamá the safest place.
 
Of course, precaution is always the best "safety rule".  Get your answers, in your embassy or hotel, before you intend to walk or drive to any unfamiliar place, so you do not end up in a bad area.
 
Just as additional information, Panamá offers a 30 day free medical assistance for visitors, courtesy of the Tourism Authority.  Ask for your brochure at your arrival.
Vannessa Solano of Activentas, S.A. – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama has been working hard on improving its security.  All around Panama we have a lot of security.  There are cases of robbery in Panama that you will find in most places around the world.  Our security is pretty good.
 
For example, comparing to New York City in Manhattan (where I have spent a lot of time; not the bad areas of New York) to the better areas within Panama City, the crime is about the same.  In the area where I live in Panama City, I feel comfortable walking at night, as a young woman, without any problem.  In the interior, nothing really ever happens, so I would definitely feel comfortable.  There are, however, places in Panama City where you would want to stay away from, which are definitely dangerous, just like in New York City.
Louis Seldon – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
It's not the crime rate in Panama, but where you go or live.  Stay out of Zona Rojos (Red Zones), live in high rises or secure areas (note most houses have bars on windows and security doors).  Recently in an ExPat blog a family living in a remote area had all their furnishing stolen by 6 men who walked into their rental property, said they were from the authorities and that the family had committed a crime and confiscated (stole) all their household contents.
 
Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
Casco Viejo is located in a previous ghetto area.  Scammers in Casco Viejo have been selling property.  Access to this point of land in the old P.C. area is through a ghetto area, one way from the old Balboa, Canal Zone area through El Chorrillo (one of the worst Zona Rojos).  Caution is the word, where you walk, what beach you visit, etc.  % of crime doesn't mean anything.
 
Note Colón on the Atlantic side by the cruise ship piers & Free Zone is a cesspool.  It's ugly now but it used to be a beautiful city.  They say there is no unemployment in Panama.  Well the majority of the population in Colón is unemployed, go figure your chances.
 
If you want to visit the old classic Hotel Washington you will have to drive right through Colón.

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