Panama declares “national mourning” on invasion anniversary

Panama’s National Assembly Dec. 20 voted unanimously to declare the anniversary of the 1989 US invasion a day of “national mourning,” and established a commission to determine how many people were killed in the episode. “This is a recognition of those who fell on Dec. 20 as a result of the cruel and unjust invasion by the most powerful army in the world,” said Rep. Cesar Pardo of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party. The measure, likely to be signed by President Martin Torrijos, also calls for a monument to honor the dead, most likely in El Chorrillo neighborhood, which was destroyed aerial bombardment.

US officials downplayed the move. “We prefer to look to the future,” said US Embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall. “We are very satisfied to have a friend and partner like Panama, a nation that has managed to develop a mature democracy.” (AP, Dec. 20)

See our last post on Panama.