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Government, Defense

police organization, national police, political opposition, coast guard, military force

The country’s defense is entrusted to the Public Force, a police organization that is subordinate to civilian government officials. This agency was created after the 1989 U.S. invasion to replace the Panama Defense Force, the military force that had repressed political opposition and violated human rights under the Noriega dictatorship. Personnel strength has been cut from 16,000 to about 13,000, and service is voluntary. The Public Force consists of four independent units: the national police, the national maritime service (coast guard), the national air service, and the institutional protective service (security for important officials). The Public Force absorbs 1.3 percent of Panama’s GDP.



Article key phrases:

police organization, national police, political opposition, coast guard, military force, invasion, human rights, security, agency

 
 

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