You are here -allRefer - Reference - Country Study & Country Guide - Panama >

allRefer Reference and Encyclopedia Resource

allRefer    
allRefer
   


-- Country Study & Guide --     

 

Panama

 
Country Guide
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belize
Bhutan
Bolivia
Brazil
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Caribbean Islands
Comoros
Cyprus
Czechoslovakia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Estonia
Ethiopia
Finland
Georgia
Germany
Germany (East)
Ghana
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Cote d'Ivoire
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Laos
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Maldives
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Nepal
Nicaragua
Nigeria
North Korea
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Seychelles
Singapore
Somalia
South Africa
South Korea
Soviet Union [USSR]
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Tajikistan
Thailand
Turkmenistan
Turkey
Uganda
United Arab Emirates
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yugoslavia
Zaire

Panama

MISSIONS AND ORGANIZATION OF THE DEFENSE FORCES

Unavailable

Figure 10. Organization of the Panama Defense Forces, 1987

Unavailable

Figure 11. Operational Organization of the Panama Defense Forces, 1987

On September 29, 1983, a new law--Law 20--created the FDP as the successor institution to the National Guard. The law simultaneously repealed all previous legislation relating to the organization, mission, and functions of the Panamanian armed forces, including Law 44 of December 23, 1953 and Law 50 of November 30, 1958. Opposition parties strongly criticized the new law, claiming that it "implies the militarization of national life, converts Panama into a police state, makes the members of the armed forces privileged citizens, and gives the commander of the National Guard authoritarian and totalitarian power." However, the Defense Forces' commander in chief, General Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno, claimed that the change in the law was necessary, in order to confront the deteriorating security situation in Central America and to prepare the military for its growing role in defending the Panama Canal.

The functions of the FDP stated in the organic law were very broad, giving it an increasing role and bringing other organizations under its control. Major functions included protecting the life and property of Panamanians and foreigners living in Panama; cooperating with civilian authorities to guarantee individual rights in the republic; preventing crime; defending the Panama Canal in cooperation with the United States as specified under terms of the treaties; regulating traffic; and cooperating with civilian authorities in the areas of drug trafficking, contraband, and illegal immigration.

The new organizational structure established by the 1983 law created a "public force" that brought a broad array of institutions under a single operational command. The FDP encompassed the General Staff, Military Regions and Zones, Ground Forces, Panamanian Air Force, National Navy, Police Forces, and National Guard. In addition, the FDP would include any institution created in the future that might perform functions similar to the institutions listed above. One effect of these changes was to reduce the National Guard to only one of a number of co-equal military institutions, within the FDP structure that was bound together, as the Guard had been, through a single command and commander in chief (see fig. 10).

Although the Constitution designates the president of the republic as the supreme chief of the FDP, this role is largely symbolic. The law specifies that he "will exercise his command by means of orders, instructions, resolutions, and regulations which will be transmitted through the commander in chief." The FDP enjoyed administrative autonomy that in effect allowed it to determine its own internal procedures in regard to personnel policies, disciplinary sanctions against FDP members, organizations created to further the social welfare of members, and recommendations for the defense budget.

Since there was no role for civilian officials in determining FDP policy and the organization was under a single military command, the law itself provided the only parameters for the commander in chief's role. The duties of the commander in chief were very broad and sometimes simply restated duties assigned to the FDP as a whole. The commander in chief was charged, for example, with adopting "measures needed to guarantee the security of inhabitants and their property and the preservation of the public order and social peace." The commander in chief was also required to keep the president abreast of any developments in the area of national security and to participate in all modifications of the law that would affect the FDP.

Within the FDP, the commander in chief was responsible for promotions, transfers, and awarding military decorations. He supervised disciplinary measures and was to improve "the moral and material condition of the institution as well as the cultural and intellectual condition of its members." The president of the republic could replace the FDP's top officer in case of retirement, death, disobedience of orders that were supported by constitutional provisions, and personal incapacity.

Data as of December 1987

Panama - TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • National Security

  • Go Up - Top of Page

    Make allRefer Reference your HomepageAdd allRefer Reference to your FavoritesGo to Top of PagePrint this PageSend this Page to a Friend


    Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


    Content on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. We accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from information published on this site. We encourage you to verify any critical information with the relevant authorities.

     

     

     
     


    About Us | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy | Links Directory
    Link to allRefer | Add allRefer Search to your site

    allRefer
    All Rights reserved. Site best viewed in 800 x 600 resolution.