See also: Panama (homonymy)
The Panamá or Panama is a state of 75 640 km ² located at the southern end of the Central America, on the Isthmus of Panamá. It is bordering on the Costa Rica and the Colombia, of which it formed part formerly. The country is populated approximately 3,3 million inhabitants (estimate of December 2006).
See also: History of Panamá
The isthmus was colonized by the Spanish Empire at the beginning of the 16th century, which opened there commercial main roads for the Or and the money of the Peru. Included/understood in the Viceroyalty of Peru then attached to the News-Grenade, the area belonged to the Grande Colombia after the separation of Spain in 1821.
A group of freedom fighters discreetly supported by the the United States declared the independence of Panamá of Colombia the November 3rd 1903 and the sovereignty of the United States on the Canal of Panamá (of which construction was started in 1881 pennies the impulse of Ferdinand de Lesseps and inaugurated in 1914), by an agreement with perpetuity signed the same year.
Many social disturbances and policies agitated this République which knew more or less authoritative modes.
The general Omar Torrijos renegotiated in 1978 the agreement on the channel (Traité Torrijos-Casing). At its death in 1981, the general Manual Noriega, ordering the National guard (which at one period was remunerated by the CIA), was put, in the facts, to control the capacity by accentuating the populist, nationalist character and very anti-American of his policy. In July 1987, the United States tried to obtain the extradition of Noriega, for traffic of Drogue, then subjected the country to economic sanctions. Noriega, in spite of a vigorous civil opposition, was maintained with the capacity with the assistance of the Japan interested by the construction of a new channel, until the Opération Right Causes launched in December 1989 by the American Armée to capture it. It will be replaced by its competitor with the presidential elections of 1989 which were cancelled by Noriega, Guillermo Endara.
The Canal of Panamá was returned in Panamá the December 31st 1999, following the Traité Torrijos-Casing. Since October 22nd, 2006, the Panamanians decided to increase the channel, to face the rise of the traffic and to remain competitive on the transshipment.
See also: Political of Panamá
Panamá is a parliamentary republic. The vote is granted to all the citizens of more than 18 years, it is not obligatory to vote.
The president, as well as the two vice-presidents are elected for 5 years.
The legislative power is exerted only by only one Room. It counts 72 seats which are renewed every 5 years.
The current president is Martín Torrijos, leader of the democratic revolutionary Party, it was elected president of Panamá with 47,37% of the votes on Monday, May 3, 2004.
See also: Provinces of Panamá
Panamá is divided into 9 provinces and 5 comarcas (indigenous autonomous territories).
See also: Geography of Panamá
Panamá, by its situation in the isthmus connecting North America and South America, occupies a strategic situation.
A interoceanic channel long of 79,6 km and composed of 3 sets of locks (that of Miraflores comprises 2 reversed rooms, that of Pedro Miguel is composed of only one room, that of Gatún comprises three uneven rooms), crosses the country and makes it possible to go by sea-going vessel of the Caribbean (Atlantic Ocean) to the Pacific Ocean and conversely, without circumventing the South America by the south of the Chile and without making the round the world tour. This channel offers a considerable time-saver for maritime transport (the way hard from 8 to 10 a.m.).
The construction of the channel began in 1881. The project is then a French initiative after the success of the Suez Canal. In 1888, work stops because of the financial problems of the universal Company, which exploits the channel. It is only in 1914, after resumption of work in 1904, that the channel can open. The first ship to pass the channel is then the S Ancon.
The United States exploited then the rights of the channel (on 10 miles) with the treaty of Panamá and in spite of the independence of Panamá signed with Colombia in 1903. Indeed work began again thanks to the American pressure which also contributed to the revolt of Panamá towards this same Colombia.
In 1978, Panamá took again the control of the concession under the multiple interventions of the general Omar Torrijos to the capacity.
See also: Economy of Panamá
The services occupy a great part in the economy of Panama. The main activities are finances, the trade and tourism. The restitution of the zone of the channel controlled by the United States until in 1999 encouraged the launching of new projects. Panamá belongs to the flags of convenience. October 22nd, 2006, the Panamanians decided by referendum to remain competitive in the goods traffic. According to the ACP State (organization which manages the channel) the generated economic consequences will be enormous. This enlarging with a set of three locks was essential, because the traffic of container is in constant increase, moreover the two channels could not absorb the ceaseless flow of ships more. This widening will allow the boats at fort drawing from water and great tonnage not to make a turning more and thus to save time, this widening will allow an enormous time-saver, which will make it possible to garner more profit. Panamanian side, that will generate the creation of almost 40.000 direct uses and indirect and will make it possible the population of this country, of which 40% live under the poverty line, to benefit from the economic basket. That can also influence the area where the investors will be able to find conditions advantageous with their installation, to find tax rates weak and why not benefit from a free zone as one finds some at the southern border of the United States. Moreover, the one third widening is already designed to face the rise of the traffic and to remain competitive.
The currency is the Balboa. Only the coins circulate, the currency paper is the dollar of the United States.
See also: Demography of Panamá
The country counts 3.039.000 inhabitants of which approximately 850.000 even live the capital.
See also: Culture of Panamá
Spanish is the only official language, but about many people also English speaks. Spanish converted the Indians and the blacks with Christianity, aujourd´hui still very present. However remainders of Indian or African religion always exists. Panama counts many African dance d´origine
OthersPanama has as codes:
- MP, according to the List of the prefixes of codes ICAO of the airports,
- .pa, according to the List of Internet TLD (Signal level domain),
- Pa according to the standard ISO 3166-1 (code list country), code alpha-2,
- Pa according to the international Code list of the number plates,
- SIDE, according to the Code list country of the CIO
- SIDE, according to the Code list countries used by NATO, alpha-3
- SIDE, according to the standard ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 (code list country),
- PM according to the Code list countries used by NATO, code alpha-2,
Official site of the Presidency of Panamá
Beats-smg: Panama Be-X-old: Панама Simple: Panama Zh-classical: 巴拿馬 Zh-min-nan: Panamá
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