PANAMA CITY (AP) — Cattleman Laurentino Cortizo was sworn in as Panama's president Monday, saying he will work during his five-year term to boost the economy and bring transparency in contracting...
Western Panama hit by 6.3 magnitude earthquake
PANAMA CITY (AP) — There were no reports of damage in Panama after a 6.3 magnitude quake rattled the country's western region near the border with Costa Rica early Wednesday.
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Anger over brazen corruption and weariness over the political status quo are widespread among the Panamanian electorate ahead of Sunday's vote to pick a successor to President...
Panama: Jailed ex-president barred from May elections
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama's electoral court has ruled that jailed ex-President Ricardo Martinelli may not participate in May general elections.
HONG KONG (AP) — Panama sees a "big opportunity" in China's massive "Belt and Road" infrastructure initiative, President Juan Carlos Varela said Tuesday during a visit to Hong Kong amid ambitious...
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Former world champion Panamanian boxer Eusebio Pedroza, who defended the featherweight title more times than any other, has died at age 62.
The Latest: Pope departs for Rome, ending Panama visit
PANAMA CITY (AP) — The latest on Pope Francis' visit to Panama and World Youth Day (all times local):
Pope Francis has left Panama, concluding his visit to the Central American nation for World Youth Day 2019.
President Juan Carlos Varela and first lady Lorena Castillo were on hand to bid the pontiff farewell at Tocumen International Airport in a red carpet tarmac ceremony Sunday.
Pope in Panama blasts corruption, walls, prays for Venezuela
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Pope Francis insisted Thursday that public officials live simply, honestly and transparently as he opened a visit to a Central America that has been rife with corruption scandals and is now coping with political upheaval in nearby Venezuela.
Amid wall debate, pope says fear of migration makes us crazy
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Pope Francis said Wednesday that fear of migration is "making us crazy" as he began a trip to Central America amid a standoff over President Donald Trump's promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and a new caravan of migrants heading north.
Francis was asked by reporters about the proposed border wall Wednesday on the way to Panama, where he is looking to leave the sex abuse scandals buffeting his papacy behind. Francis responded: "It is the fear that makes us crazy."
The Latest: Pope touches down in Panama, meets first couple
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The latest on the pope's visit to Panama (all times local):
Pope Francis has arrived in Panama where he is to offer encouragement to young people gathered for World Youth Day 2019.
The pontiff's plane touched down Wednesday afternoon in the Panamanian capital. He was met by President Juan Carlos Varela and first lady Lorena Castillo, who escorted him along a red carpet laid on the tarmac.
Pompeo meets Panama’s president about Venezuela, Nicaragua
PANAMA CITY (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is meeting with Panama's president to discuss the situations in Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Political unrest and economic problems have sparked an exodus from both countries.
Pompeo also discussed drug trafficking, migration and anti-terrorism efforts in his meeting Thursday with President Juan Carlos Varela.
Venezuela and Panama resolve rocky diplomatic feud
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Nicolas Maduro says Venezuela and Panama are restoring diplomatic and business ties cut during heightened tensions just weeks earlier.
Maduro said Thursday in a nationally televised broadcast that he and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela settled their differences by phone. The two countries agreed to return their ambassadors and resume commercial airline flights, among other measures.
LIMA, Peru (AP) — Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela says Trump Organization lawyers erred by sending a letter to his office directly appealing for help in a fight over the control of a luxury hotel in what experts say was a flagrant mixing of the U.S. president's business and government interests.
Panama bans Venezuelan airlines for 90 days
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama on Tuesday prohibited Venezuelan companies from operating flights to Panama, in retaliation for Venezuela's diplomatic and trade bans announced last week.
The office of President Juan Carlos Varela said the cargo and passenger flights would be banned for 90 days starting April 25. The measure affects 10 Venezuelan companies.
PANAMA CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump's company appealed directly to Panama's president to intervene in its fight over control of a luxury hotel, even invoking a treaty between the two countries, in what ethics experts say was a blatant mingling of Trump's business and government interests.
PANAMA CITY (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump's company appealed directly to Panama's president to intervene in its fight over control of a luxury hotel, even invoking a treaty between the two countries, in what ethics experts say was a blatant mingling of Trump's business and government interests.
Panama weighs further measures in fight with Venezuela
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama's foreign minister says her country may take further retaliatory measures against Venezuela if the neighboring nation doesn't reverse diplomatic and trade bans announced last week.
Isabel de Saint Malo said Monday that "let's hope Venezuela revises some things, because otherwise Panama will have to take coherent countermeasures."
PANAMA CITY (AP) — The text of the letter from the Britton & Iglesias law firm to Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, as translated by The Associated Press.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Panama pulled its ambassador from Venezuela on Thursday, retaliating after the South American nation banned key Panamanian businesses from operating within its borders.
Tension between the two countries began escalating in recent days when Panama put President Nicolas Maduro on a list of Venezuelan officials as being at "high risk" for laundering money.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on rising tensions between Venezuela and Panama (all times local):
Officials in Panama say they're withdrawing their ambassador from Venezuela amid heightened tensions between the two countries.
Panama announced the diplomatic move on Thursday, while demanding that Caracas withdraw its ambassador.
Panama to extradite Mexican ex-governor on graft charges
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama on Friday approved extradition for a Mexican fugitive ex-governor wanted on corruption charges in his home country, one of several former governors from Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party accused of graft.
The resolution signed by Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and Foreign Minister Isabel De Saint Malo gives Mexican authorities 30 days to repatriate Roberto Borge, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Monica De Leon said.
Panama’s president visits China following break with Taiwan
BEIJING (AP) — Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela was making his first state visit to Beijing on Friday after breaking off relations with Taiwan and establishing formal ties with China five months ago.
Varela was to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People after officially opening the new Panamanian Embassy in Beijing on Thursday.
Panama’s president makes first official visit to China
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela is making his first official visit to China after establishing diplomatic ties with the country five months ago.
Varela left for Asia on Tuesday and planned to inaugurate a new Panamanian embassy in Beijing and a consulate in Shanghai.
The Central American country switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China in June.
Pence tours Panama Canal as he wraps up Latin America trip
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence toured the newly expanded Panama Canal Thursday as he wrapped up a truncated trip to Latin America.
Pence met with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela before departing for Washington Thursday evening. Pence had originally planned to stay in the Central American country overnight but is cutting his trip short so he can attend a weekend meeting on South Asia at Camp David.
The Latest: VP Pence thanks Panama’s leader for drug fight
PANAMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Latin America (all times local):
Vice President Mike Pence is thanking Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela for his commitment to tackling illegal drugs.
Pence made the remarks following a meeting with Varela at the presidential palace in Panama City.
The two also discussed security issues and the crisis in Venezuela.
Pence describes Panama as an "invaluable partner" and says the U.S. remains committed to the region.
Trump welcomes president of Panama to White House
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump welcomed the president of Panama to the White House on Monday, pointing to the United States' role in the construction of the Panama Canal at the start of his first face-to-face meeting with the Central American leader.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Panama President Juan Carlos Varela's visit to the White House (all times local):
The office of Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela says he discussed security, economic issues and fighting drug trafficking in his White House meeting with President Donald Trump.
Varela's office says he invited Trump to visit him in Panama and the two leaders noted that Vice President Mike Pence will be traveling to the country in August.
Trump Welcomes Panama President to White House
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panamanian officials say the decision to break diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of China was put in motion nearly a month ago — though the roots go back years.
Two Panamanian officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations say the two sides began meeting a few weeks ago.
They say China agreed to solve one problem by helping about 80 Panamanians who've been studying at universities in Taiwan.
BEIJING (AP) — Panama switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China on Tuesday, dealing a major success to Beijing in its drive to isolate the self-governing island it claims as its own territory.
Taiwan warned that the move would further alienate the island of 23 million from the 1.37 billion Chinese living across the Taiwan Strait.
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, a onetime U.S. ally who was ousted by an American invasion in 1989, died late Monday at age 83.
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela wrote in his Twitter account that "the death of Manuel A. Noriega closes a chapter in our history."
Varela added, "His daughters and his relatives deserve to mourn in peace."
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama says it's halving the maximum time for tourism visits by people from Colombia, Venezuela and Nicaragua to 90 days.
President Juan Carlos Varela's announcement of the plan Friday comes amid concerns that many visitors have been staying on in Panama after coming as tourists. Panama will also seek to verify that people seeking to enter as tourists have sufficient funds.
International soccer player shot and killed in Panama
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Police officials in Panama said international soccer player Amilcar Henriquez has been shot and killed in the country's Colon province.
The Saturday killing was confirmed by Didacio Camargo, press chief for Panama's National Police.
Authorities say the 33-year-old midfielder was leaving his home when a gunman shot him several times. Another two people were wounded. Henriquez was taken to a nearby public hospital, where he died.
The Latest: Trump invites Panama, Trinidad-Tobago leaders
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times EST):
President Donald Trump discussed what the White House calls "shared priorities" in phone calls to the leaders of Panama and the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago.
Panama’s former vice-president Arias Calderon dies at age 83
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Relatives say former Panamanian Vice-President Ricardo Arias Calderon, who served after President Manuel Noriega was ousted in a military invasion, has died at age 83.
President Juan Carlos Varela said in a statement that Arias Calderon gave voice to thousands during very complicated times for the country. He died Monday night.
Arias Calderon was vice president under President Guillermo Endara after a U.S. invasion pushed military strongman Noriega from office on Dec. 20, 1989.
Panama pursues law firm connected to Brazilian bribery case
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama's Attorney General's Office on Thursday ordered a search of offices belong to a law firm it accuses of setting up offshore accounts that allowed a Brazilian construction company to funnel bribes to various countries.
Ramon Fonseca Mora, a partner at Mossack-Fonseca, responded that the firm was being used as a "scapegoat" to avoid investigating who in Panama received bribes from the Brazilian company Odebrecht.
Experts recommend reforms to Panama’s financial sector
PANAMA CITY (AP) — A panel of independent experts says Panama must improve its information sharing with foreign nations and implement internal regulations to alter its image as a paradise for tax evaders.
Panel leader Alberto Aleman Zubieta said Monday that the recommendations aim to close "gaps" in the country's financial services sector.
Panama warns France over inclusion on tax haven list
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama's president is warning France that his country will retaliate diplomatically if it is not removed from a list of tax haven countries.
President Juan Carlos Varela said Friday that France has until the end of the year to make the change.
Panama's financial system was shaken in April by the leak of a huge trove of documents detailing offshore financial dealings. Many of the documents detailed how world leaders, celebrities and businesses used tax shelters to hide money.
Panama, Colombia step up border security
PANAMA CITY (AP) — The presidents of Panama and Colombia have signed agreements to increase security along their porous border, which is used by migrants and drug traffickers.
President Juan Carlos Varela of Panama met with Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos in the jungle-clad southern province of Darien Tuesday.
The two presidents said the flow of migrants has tapered off since thousands of Cubans, Haitians and others streamed north earlier in the year.
Germany: Panama taking right steps after accounts scandal
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has praised Panama's response to the offshore accounts scandal that followed leaks of documents from a Panamanian law firm.
Following a meeting with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela Tuesday, Merkel says "Panama has taken the right steps" but that it needs to "deal clearly" with the past in order to regain trust.
Panama asks US to extradite ex-leader Martinelli
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama has formally asked the United States to extradite former President Ricardo Martinelli in connection with a phone-tapping controversy, the country's foreign ministry said Tuesday.
The case involves allegations that the phones of dozens of business, opposition and labor leaders were tapped by Martinelli's 2009-2014 government.
The foreign ministry said the extradition request was made through its embassy in Washington late Monday.