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Panama Military
 
 
 
 
 

General

Panama is one of two countries in Latin America (the other being Costa Rica) that have permanently abolished standing military forces. This came as a result of a particularly harsh military dictatorship which ruled the country from 1968 to 1989.

On February 10, 1990 the government of then President Guillermo Endara abolished Panama's military and reformed the security apparatus by creating the Panamanian Public Forces. In October 1994, Panama's Legislative Assembly approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting the creation of a standing military force, but allowing the temporary establishment of special police units to counter acts of "external aggression."

The PPF includes the National Police, National Maritime Service, and National Air Service and an armed Institutional Protection Service or SPI for protection of public buildings.

Law enforcement units that have been separated from the public force, such as the Technical Judicial Police, also are directly subordinate to civilian authorities. The public force budget, in contrast to the former PDF, is on public record and under control of the executive.

Overview

Military branches
an amendment to the Constitution abolished the armed forces, but there are security forces (Panamanian Public Forces or PPF includes the Panamanian National Police, National Maritime Service and National Air Service)

Manpower available for military service
males age 18-49: 751,065 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 18-49: 591,604 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually
males age 18-49: 29,724

Military expenditures - percent of GDP
1% (2006)

Military - note
on 10 February 1990, the government of then President ENDARA abolished Panama's military and reformed the security apparatus by creating the Panamanian Public Forces; in October 1994, Panama's Legislative Assembly approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting the creation of a standing military force, but allowing the temporary establishment of special police units to counter acts of "external aggression"