Citation(s) from the literature library

Karp, Aaron. 2012 ‘Country Analyses: Panama.’ Measurement and Use of Statistical Data to Analyze Small Arms in the Caribbean and Latin America; Section IV, p. 26. Mexico City: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). 28 April

Relevant contents


According to Ana Yancy Espinoza, Panama had 126,908 registered civilian firearms in 2009. Previously reported registration figures are lower, but reveal an unexpected drop, from 96,614 in 2001 falling to 65,436 registered guns in 2006, before doubling three years later.(82) The totals appear erratic at best, hard to understand regardless, and should be regarded with suspicion rather than reliability. Possibly sensitive to this variability, Panama overhauled its gun legislation in 2010, greatly strengthening penalties for illegal gun possession.(83)

Panama is not often blamed for supplying illicit military weaponry into regional arms markets. The point is especially important because the country had a military with over 12,000 active duty personnel in the late 1980s. With its military eliminated following the 1989 American invasion and overthrow of President Noriega, all the remaining equipment became surplus. Maybe this gear was destroyed or removed following the invasion, a possible explanation why it does not appear in regional illicit markets.


82) 96,614 registered in 2001 from Arroyo & Espinoza in William Godnick, Robert Muggah and Camilla Waszink, Stray Bullets: The Impact of Small Arms Misuse in Central America (Geneva: Small Arms Survey, 2002), p. 4. 65,436 registered appears for 2006 in Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011. Washington, DC: Organization of American States, January 2011, p. 22. 126,908 registered in 2009 from Ana Yancy Espinoza, Arms Trafficking in Latin America: a qualitative perspective on the phenomenon - 1, unpublished manuscript for UNODC, Mexico City, 2012, p. 30.

83) Don Winner, "Translation of Gun Law Proposal", Panama-Guide, 23 June 2010.

ID: Q10419

As many publishers change their links and archive their pages, the full-text version of this article may no longer be available from the original link. In this case, please go to the publisher's web site or use a search engine.