12. April 2003

The Darien Gap begins at the end of the Pan American Highway (at Yaviza, about 230 km southeast of Panama City) and ends at the Colombian border. Because of the extremely volatile situation at the border with Colombia, the Darien Gap is a "Red Zone" under Panamanian regulations. The area also includes parts of Darien National Park and privately owned nature reserves and tourist resorts. Only Panamanian police and the local indigenous population frequent this area. There have been numerous cases of deaths and disappearances in the Darien Gap. Travel beyond Yaviza is very dangerous and should be avoided.

Violent anti-government demonstrations and protest marches frequently occur in Panama City. Demonstrators, including university and high school students, labour union members and teachers, have in the past staged rallies at Panama City landmarks and public parks. Because of the unpredictable nature of these demonstrations and the potential for violence, Canadian citizens resident in or visiting Panama should exercise caution, avoid demonstrations and disturbances, and monitor news broadcasts closely.
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade




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