An Overview About Panama

Most visits to Panama are trouble free. The country enjoys revenue from the Panama Canal tolls and is the second most competitive economy in Latin America according to the World Economic Forum. The Panama Canal is a highly important and strategic waterway that could be considered a terror target for those groups targeting Western interests.

Risks and Safety Concerns

Colombian terrorist groups, drug traffickers, and the flood of illegal immigration on the Panama-Colombia border led to the border being closed in May 2016 for a period. This closure enabled the Panama government to try to stem the flow of both illegal narcotics heading north and the illegal immigration heading south.

Political demonstrations do occur (mainly around Panama University) but are mostly non-violent, the Panamanian National Police have used tear gas and/or riot control munitions in response to demonstrations. Visitors are advised not to get involved with demonstrations and are advised to leave the vicinity should any take place. Example of violent protests taking place in Panama City was in October & November 2019 during the Latin American spring when students, trade unions and social organisations protested against constitutional reforms which resulted in the violent clashes with Police and 40 demonstrators arrested.

Gang-afflicted Crimes

Gangs are often involved with organised crime, and due to the impact of COVID-19 and its effect on the economy, pickpockets & robberies at ATMs are on the rise. Tourists are advised to remain vigilant in and around bus stations and on public transport as these are areas where pickpockets and robberies occur most often and where you are most at risk.

Violent crime including gun crime is very common in Panama. Crimes against tourists are common place in Panama City, Colon, Chiriqui province, San Miguelito, El Chorillo and Juan Diaz. Care should be taken and visitors are advised to be aware of their surroundings at all times.


Do not get involved with drugs in any way, this includes being in the presence of those taking drugs. Panama has very strict laws on drug possession and trafficking; the courts do impose long sentences and it can take up to two years to even get put before a Judge.

Best practice is not to outwardly display wealth. Stay low key and ensure that valuables are secured in your hotel room and are not left unattended in vehicles.

Secure Transportation in Panama City

The standards of driving in Panama are not good compared to US or European standards. The roads are very congested at peak times and drink driving is a common cause of road traffic accidents. Panama boasts good roads within large cities and towns but in rural areas roads remain in a bad state of repair. When driving outside Panama City, the threat of criminal gangs becomes or organised crime groups increases. Avoiding night time driving is strongly encouraged.

Due to pickpocketing, the use of Public transport is not recommended.

Taxis should on the whole be avoided; the standard of the taxis and maintenance of most vehicles is not at all safe.

As can be seen from the risks listed above, it is evident that some sort of Security Awareness must be applied for International travellers to Panama. Black Mountain Solutions considers it best practice for organisations to organise a reliable vetted driver for its staff moving around the Panama City.

Security Services in Panama

Black Mountain Solutions can provide VIP Protection in Panama, Executive Transport and Security Services in Panama. Contact us for services in:

  • Panama City
  • Colon
  • David
  • Bocas del Toro

To book our security services in Panama or for more information, contact us.

Contact us

Black Mountain Solutions Ltd

Capital Tower, Calle 100 No 7-33, Torre 1 Piso. 14, Bogota, Cundinamarca, Colombia


General Enquiries

Email: [email protected]

Security Director’s:

Freddie Ellis

Tel: +57 300 432 0647
Email: [email protected]

Gordon Wells

Tel: +57 310 621 4485
Email: [email protected]