Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela - named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When the latter dissolved in 1830, Panama remained part of Colombia. With US backing, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 and promptly signed a treaty with the US allowing for the construction of a canal and US sovereignty over a strip of land on either side of the structure (the Panama Canal Zone). The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of the century. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the subsequent decades. With US help, dictator Manuel NORIEGA was deposed in 1989. The entire Panama Canal, the area supporting the Canal, and remaining US military bases were transferred to Panama by the end of 1999. An ambitious expansion project to more than double the Canal's capacity - by allowing for more Canal transits and larger ships - was carried out between 2007 and 2016.



Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica

Geographic coordinates

9 00 N, 80 00 W

Map references

Central America and the Caribbean


total: 75,420 sq km
land: 74,340 sq km
water: 1,080 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land boundaries

total: 687 km
border countries (2): Colombia 339 km, Costa Rica 348 km


2,490 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or edge of continental margin


tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)


interior mostly steep, rugged mountains with dissected, upland plains; coastal plains with rolling hills


mean elevation: 360 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Volcan Baru 3,475 m

Natural resources

copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 30.5%
arable land 7.3%; permanent crops 2.5%; permanent pasture 20.7%
forest: 43.6%
other: 25.9% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

321 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

occasional severe storms and forest fires in the Darien area

Environment - current issues

water pollution from agricultural runoff threatens fishery resources; deforestation of tropical rain forest; land degradation and soil erosion threatens siltation of Panama Canal; air pollution in urban areas; mining threatens natural resources

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note

strategic location on eastern end of isthmus forming land bridge connecting North and South America; controls Panama Canal that links North Atlantic Ocean via Caribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean

People and Society


3,705,246 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Panamanian(s)
adjective: Panamanian

Ethnic groups

mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Native American 12.3% (Ngabe 7.6%, Kuna 2.4%, Embera 0.9%, Bugle 0.8%, other 0.4%, unspecified 0.2%), black or African descent 9.2%, mulatto 6.8%, white 6.7% (2010 est.)


Spanish (official), indigenous languages (including Ngabere (or Guaymi), Buglere, Kuna, Embera, Wounaan, Naso (or Teribe), and Bri Bri), Panamanian English Creole (similar to Jamaican English Creole; a mixture of English and Spanish with elements of Ngabere; also known as Guari Guari and Colon Creole), English, Chinese (Yue and Hakka), Arabic, French Creole, other (Yiddish, Hebrew, Korean, Japanese)
note: many Panamanians are bilingual


Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%

Demographic profile

Panama is a country of demographic and economic contrasts. It is in the midst of a demographic transition, characterized by steadily declining rates of fertility, mortality, and population growth, but disparities persist based on wealth, geography, and ethnicity. Panama has one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and dedicates substantial funding to social programs, yet poverty and inequality remain prevalent. The indigenous population accounts for a growing share of Panama's poor and extreme poor, while the non-indigenous rural poor have been more successful at rising out of poverty through rural-to-urban labor migration. The government's large expenditures on untargeted, indirect subsidies for water, electricity, and fuel have been ineffective, but its conditional cash transfer program has shown some promise in helping to decrease extreme poverty among the indigenous population.
Panama has expanded access to education and clean water, but the availability of sanitation and, to a lesser extent, electricity remains poor. The increase in secondary schooling - led by female enrollment - is spreading to rural and indigenous areas, which probably will help to alleviate poverty if educational quality and the availability of skilled jobs improve. Inadequate access to sanitation contributes to a high incidence of diarrhea in Panama's children, which is one of the main causes of Panama's elevated chronic malnutrition rate, especially among indigenous communities.

Health expenditures

8% of GDP (2014)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.7% (male 504,990/female 484,338)
15-24 years: 17.11% (male 323,034/female 311,099)
25-54 years: 40.31% (male 756,400/female 737,205)
55-64 years: 7.72% (male 141,582/female 144,414)
65 years and over: 8.16% (male 138,922/female 163,262) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 53.4%
youth dependency ratio: 41.7%
elderly dependency ratio: 11.7%
potential support ratio: 8.5% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 28.9 years
male: 28.5 years
female: 29.3 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

1.3% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

18.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

population is concentrated towards the center of the country, particularly around the Canal, but a sizeable segment of the populace also lives in the far west around David; the eastern third of the country is sparsely inhabited


urban population: 66.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.07% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

PANAMA CITY (capital) 1.673 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Child labor - children ages 5-14

total number: 59,294
percentage: 7%
note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2010 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

94 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 10.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.6 years
male: 75.8 years
female: 81.6 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.33 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

52.2% (2009)

Physicians density

1.65 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital bed density

2.2 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

urban: 97.7% of population
rural: 86.6% of population
total: 94.7% of population
urban: 2.3% of population
rural: 11.4% of population
total: 5.3% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 83.5% of population
rural: 58% of population
total: 75% of population
urban: 16.5% of population
rural: 42% of population
total: 25% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.69% (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

17,100 (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

500 (2015 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne disease: dengue fever
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

26.5% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

3.9% (2008)

Education expenditures

3.3% of GDP (2011)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95%
male: 95.7%
female: 94.4% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2013)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 12.6%
male: 11.2%
female: 14.9% (2014 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Panama
conventional short form: Panama
local long form: Republica de Panama
local short form: Panama
etymology: according to tradition, the name derives from a former indigenous fishing village and its nearby beach that were called "Panama" meaning "an abundance of fish"

Government type

presidential republic


name: Panama City
geographic coordinates: 8 58 N, 79 32 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

10 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 3 indigenous territories* (comarcas); Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Embera-Wounaan*, Herrera, Kuna Yala*, Los Santos, Ngobe-Bugle*, Panama, Panama Oeste, Veraguas


3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain on 28 November 1821)

National holiday

Independence Day, 3 November (1903)


several previous; latest effective 11 October 1972; amended several times, last in 2004 (2016)

Legal system

civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Juan Carlos VARELA (since 1 July 2014); Vice President Isabel de SAINT MALO de Alvarado (since 1 July 2014); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Juan Carlos VARELA (since 1 July 2014); Vice President Isabel de SAINT MALO de Alvarado (since 1 July 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (president eligible for a single non-consecutive term); election last held on 4 May 2014; next to be held in 2019)
election results: Juan Carlos VARELA elected president; percent of vote - Juan Carlos VARELA (PP) 39.1%, Jose Domingo ARIAS (CD) 31.4%, Juan Carlos NAVARRO (PRD) 28.2%, other 1.3%
note: an alliance between the Panamenista Party and Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) fractured after the 2014 election, but a loose coalition composed of Panamenista and moderate PRD and CD legislators generally work together to support the president’s agenda

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (71 seats; 45 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - populous towns and cities - by proportional representation vote and 26 directly elected in single-seat constituencies - outlying rural districts - by plurality vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 4 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 26, CD 25, Panamenista 16, MOLIRENA 2, PP 1, independent 1; note - only 57 deputies were officially installed because fourteen runners-up challenged the election

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 9 magistrates and 9 alternates and divided into civil, criminal, administrative, and general business chambers)
judge selection and term of office: magistrates appointed by the president for staggered 10-year terms
subordinate courts: appellate courts or Tribunal Superior; Labor Supreme Courts; Court of Audit; circuit courts or Tribunal Circuital (2 each in 9 of the 10 provinces); municipal courts; electoral, family, maritime, and adolescent courts

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Change or CD [Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal]
Democratic Revolutionary Party or PRD [Carlos PEREZ Herrera]
Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement or MOLIRENA [Francisco "Pancho" ALEMAN]
Panamenista Party [Juan Carlos VARELA Rodriguez] (formerly the Arnulfista Party)
Popular Party or PP [Milton C. HENRIQUEZ] (formerly Christian Democratic Party or PDC)

Political pressure groups and leaders

Chamber of Commerce
Concertacion Nacional (mechanism for Government of Panama to formally dialogue with representatives of civil society)
National Council of Organized Workers or CONATO
National Council of Private Enterprise or CONEP
National Union of Construction and Similar Workers (SUNTRACS)
Panamanian Association of Business Executives or APEDE
Panamanian Industrialists Society or SIP
Workers Confederation of the Republic of Panama or CTRP

International organization participation

BCIE, CAN (observer), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, SICA, UN, UNASUR (observer), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Emanuel Arturo GONZALEZ-REVILLA Lince (since 18 September 2014)
chancery: 2862 McGill Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 483-1407
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8413
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Tampa, Washington DC

National symbol(s)

harpy eagle; national colors: blue, white, red

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador John D. FEELEY (since 15 February 2015)
embassy: Edificio 783, Avenida Demetrio Basilio Lakas Panama, Apartado Postal 0816-02561, Zona 5, Panama City
mailing address: American Embassy Panama, Unit 0945, APO AA 34002; American Embassy Panama, 9100 Panama City PL, Washington, DC 20521-9100
telephone: [507] 317-5000
FAX: [507] 317-5568

Flag description

divided into four, equal rectangles; the top quadrants are white (hoist side) with a blue five-pointed star in the center and plain red; the bottom quadrants are plain blue (hoist side) and white with a red five-pointed star in the center; the blue and red colors are those of the main political parties (Conservatives and Liberals respectively) and the white denotes peace between them; the blue star stands for the civic virtues of purity and honesty, the red star signifies authority and law

National anthem

name: "Himno Istmeno" (Isthmus Hymn)
lyrics/music: Jeronimo DE LA OSSA/Santos A. JORGE
note: adopted 1925


Economy - overview

Panama's dollar-based economy rests primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for more than three-quarters of GDP. Services include operating the Panama Canal, logistics, banking, the Colon Free Trade Zone, insurance, container ports, fl

Growth will be bolstered by the Panama Canal expansion project that began in 2007 and was completed in 2016 at a cost of $5.3 billion - about 10-15% of current GDP. The expansion project will more than double the Canal's capacity, enabling it to accommoda

Strong economic performance has not translated into broadly shared prosperity, as Panama has the second worst income distribution in Latin America. About one-fourth of the population lives in poverty; however, from 2006 to 2012 poverty was reduced by 10 p

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$93.12 billion (2016 est.)
$88.52 billion (2015 est.)
$83.69 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$55.23 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

5.2% (2016 est.)
5.8% (2015 est.)
6.1% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$22,800 (2016 est.)
$22,100 (2015 est.)
$21,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

41.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
41% of GDP (2015 est.)
37.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 49.7%
government consumption: 9.4%
investment in fixed capital: 43.9%
investment in inventories: 3.3%
exports of goods and services: 52%
imports of goods and services: -58.3% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 14.3%
services: 83% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp


construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling

Industrial production growth rate

4.8% (2016 est.)

Labor force

1.611 million
note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 17%
industry: 18.6%
services: 64.4% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.5% (2016 est.)
4.5% (2015 est.)

Population below poverty line

26% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.1%
highest 10%: 40.1% (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

51.9 (2010 est.)
56.1 (2003)


revenues: $11.7 billion
expenditures: $12.41 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

21.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

39.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
38.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1% (2016 est.)
0.1% (2015 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

7.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
7.46% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$8.845 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.215 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$38.97 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$36.19 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$46.85 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$42.98 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$12.54 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$10.68 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$8.348 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance

-$3.029 billion (2016 est.)
-$3.377 billion (2015 est.)


$15.19 billion (2016 est.)
$15.92 billion (2015 est.)
note: includes the Colon Free Zone

Exports - commodities

fruit and nuts, fish, iron and steel waste, wood

Exports - partners

US 19.7%, Germany 13.2%, Costa Rica 7.7%, China 5.9%, Netherlands 4.1% (2015)


$22.08 billion (2016 est.)
$22.48 billion (2015 est.)
note: includes the Colon Free Zone

Imports - commodities

fuels, machinery, vehicles, iron and steel rods, pharmaceuticals

Imports - partners

US 25.9%, China 9.6%, Mexico 5.1% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$3.878 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.378 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$22.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$21.03 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$49.79 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$45.28 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$10.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$9.755 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

balboas (PAB) per US dollar -
1 (2016 est.)
1 (2015 est.)
1 (2014 est.)
1 (2013 est.)
1 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

population without electricity: 300,000
electrification - total population: 91%
electrification - urban areas: 94%
electrification - rural areas: 80% (2013)

Electricity - production

9 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

7.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

99 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports

200 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

2.7 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

38.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

61.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2010 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

136,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

66.08 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

127,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

17 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 620,436
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 6.947 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 190 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: domestic and international facilities well-developed
domestic: mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has increased rapidly
international: country code - 507; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), the MAYA-1, and PAN-AM submarine cable systems that together provide links to the US and parts of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America; satellite earth (2015)

Broadcast media

multiple privately owned TV networks and a government-owned educational TV station; multi-channel cable and satellite TV subscription services are available; more than 100 commercial radio stations (2007)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 1.873 million
percent of population: 51.2% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 4
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 103
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 12,018,103
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 121,567,075 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

HP (2016)


117 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 57
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 30 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 60
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 51 (2013)


3 (2013)


oil 128 km (2013)


total: 77 km
standard gauge: 77 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)


total: 15,137 km
paved: 6,351 km
unpaved: 8,786 km (2010)


800 km (includes the 82-km Panama Canal that is being widened) (2011)

Merchant marine

total: 6,413
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 2,525, cargo 1,115, carrier 27, chemical tanker 588, combination ore/oil 1, container 742, liquefied gas 205, passenger 42, passenger/cargo 51, petroleum tanker 545, refrigerated cargo 191, roll on/roll off 87, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 290
foreign-owned: 5,157 (Albania 4, Argentina 5, Australia 4, Bahamas 6, Bangladesh 5, Belgium 1, Bermuda 27, Brazil 3, Bulgaria 6, Burma 3, Canada 6, Chile 14, China 534, Colombia 2, Croatia 2, Cuba 2, Cyprus 5, Denmark 41, Ecuador 3, Egypt 11, Finland 2, France 7, Gabon 1, Ger
registered in other countries: 1 (Honduras 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Balboa, Colon, Cristobal
container port(s) (TEUs): Balboa (3,232,265), Colon (2,390,976), Manzanillo (2,391,066)


Military branches

no regular military forces; Panamanian Public Security Forces (subordinate to the Ministry of Public Security), comprising the National Police (PNP), National Air-Naval Service (SENAN), National Border Service (SENAFRONT) (2013)

Military - note

on 10 February 1990, the government of then President ENDARA abolished Panama's military and reformed the security apparatus by creating the Panamanian Public Forces; in October 1994, Panama's Legislative Assembly approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting the creation of a standing military force but allowing the temporary establishment of special police units to counter acts of "external aggression"

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia operate within the remote border region with Panama

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 15,593 (Colombia) (2015)
stateless persons: 2 (2015)

Illicit drugs

major cocaine transshipment point and primary money-laundering center for narcotics revenue; money-laundering activity is especially heavy in the Colon Free Zone; offshore financial center; negligible signs of coca cultivation; monitoring of financial transactions is improving; official corruption remains a major problem