Security Alert – U. S. Embassy Panama City, Panama

Location:  Colon, Panama

Event: Civil unrest is occurring in the northern city of Colon following protests related to high unemployment rates, affordable housing, community revitalization, and insecurity.  Protesters blocked city streets in approximately six locations throughout the city of Colon, preventing vehicular traffic from entering the city from the highway and halting traffic within the city completely.  Protesters lit tires on fire and began to clash with police.  Unaffiliated criminal elements in the city began to loot stores, target drivers in traffic for armed robberies, and Panamanian police report two incidents in which police exchanged gunfire with criminals on city streets.  As of 1300 hours local time, the protests continued.  Multiple streets in Colon remain blocked as a result of the ongoing civil unrest, and protesters are calling for more demonstrations in the next 24 hours, which may lead to increased security issues as the evening falls on the city.

U.S. Embassy Panama has prohibited the travel of all Embassy personnel to Colon until further notice.

Actions to Take: Avoid the area of Colon until further notice.

Assistance: