According to the Panamanian government, the number of homicides reported between January 1 and May 31 2018, decreased by 8 percent in comparison to the same period in 2017. During the first five months of the year, 169 intentional homicides were reported by Panamanian police. According to the National Integrated System of Criminal Statistics (SIEC), 33 percent of homicides were linked to inter-gang violence, while 18 were linked to personal fights, and 16 percent to drug trafficking and robberies.
Panama's location, weak judicial system, and high levels of corruption have made it a major transit point for drug trafficking from South America through Central America.
Individuals present in Panama are advised to remain vigilant, follow all instructions issued by local authorities, and exercise basic security precautions (e.g. keep signs of wealth concealed, drive with doors locked and windows rolled up, etc.).