Security & Strategic Review - June 2024

Doubts over Panamanian president-elect’s pledges

José Raúl Mulino, who served as Panama’s interior and security minister under right-wing former president Ricardo Martinelli (Cambio Democrático, CD, 2009-2014), won the 5 May presidential elections for Martinelli’s new outfit Realizando Metas (RM). Here we consider two of the security-related challenges facing his new government which takes office in July: addressing public corruption – a perennial voter complaint – and tackling unprecedented migration levels through the Darién Gap, the perilous jungle border with Colombia. Both issues had proven problematic for the unpopular outgoing Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) administration led by President Laurentino Cortizo.

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