Small Wars Journal: Panama: Is Restructuring the Razor to Cut Out Corruption?

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Anthony Scheidel analyzes the reorganization of Panama’s security forces and other governmental institutions. These reforms, which began in 2008, were intended to tackle corruption and to fight rising crime. The article discusses how the changes could help the country combat the threat from trans-national organized criminal groups. Small Wars Journal is run by the Small Wars Foundation, a non-profit organization.

An extract from the article:

Although specifically detailed governmental initiatives have not been publicly released, the reorganization of the service group structure and the ministry should provide Panama with the foundation to thwart the efforts of the countless trans-national criminal organizations (TCOs) and gangs operating throughout the country. Historically, the region has been plagued by corruption at all levels. In order for these initiatives and mechanisms to move unimpeded, all efforts must be made to prevent corruption, but also deny certain bits of critical information to those who are deemed implicitly corrupt. With growing regional instability attributed to illicit trafficking operations, further exacerbated by unstable economic and political conditions, Panama must act quickly in developing and implementing initiatives to counter the actions of the TCOs and their collaborators.

Anthony Scheidel is a research analyst on Latin America related issues at the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), an open source research organization that focuses on the foreign perspective of understudied aspects of the Operational Environment. He is the assistant editor of and contributing writer to FMSO’s Latin America Military and Security Watch newsbriefs journal.

Read the full article here (pdf)

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