Cablegate: Panama: Farc Reportedly Loots Stores in the Darien
DE RUEHZP #0650 2181906
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 051906Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2374
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000650
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/04/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PBTS PM CO
SUBJECT: PANAMA: FARC REPORTEDLY LOOTS STORES IN THE DARIEN
Classified By: PolCouns Brian Naranjo for Reasons 1.4 (d)
1. (C) The Panamanian media reported August 3 that 60 armed
men had entered the village of BajoChiquito (est. 200
population) in the Darien Province and looted a store. They
reported that local residents of the region, which is in the
Embera-Wounaan Area Number 1, reported that there had been
several similar actions in the area over the last several
days. The newspapers reported speculation that the men were
members of the FARC's 57th Front, and increased fear in the
region, as a result of the reported threats by the group to
return to the area again in the future. Official reaction has
been muted and limited to noting that the Panamanian National
Police (PNP) had sent reinforcements into the area.
Commissioner Frank Abrego, head of the PNP's Frontier Unit
was in the area investigating. All public GOP commentary on
this incursion has refrained from mentinoing the term
"FARC," opting instead for the generic "criminal elements."
The papers reported up to 200 PNP men may have been sent to
reinforce units in the region. Comment: BajoChiquito is over
25 miles inside Panama.
2. Post will report on any further developments.