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Old March 4th, 2015, 04:02 AM   #61
Oh No He Didn't
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Originally Posted by John Maynard View Post
The perfect South American "stereotypes": Drug trafficking lords controlling entire countries, guerrillas in "Che" style hiding in the jungle, along with environmentalists who makes themselves devour by anacondas .

Nonetheless, the situation have changed dramatically since the 1990's, from a ruined state ruled fire & blood by Medellin and Cali drug barons, Colombia is now a Latin American powerhouse, quickly rising and becoming a major South American economy. Actually, drug traffickers are extremely smart, they are using the Darien Gap as a "hub", a place to hide their stuff, to pass with almost no controls, have illegal airports and ports there with illegal planes and jets (extremely dangerous for air traffic), they are very imaginative and the worldwide drug deal have never been so flourishing. It's just to say that the Gap is not reducing their activities at all, nor it is preventing them to distribute their "merchandise" North of it, quite the contrary in fact. Further, I would be more afraid by Panama's northern Central American "drug intermediary" neighbors that have much more "delicate" situation than in most of South America, are extremely violent and unstable with the highest homicide rates in the world. As for the guerrillas, they are also in Central America as well, and leaving a "no man's land" is helping them a lot, as they can hide, put in place training camps, most of all, they have an ideal location for weapons and military equipment dropping zone, as no one will bother them.
IMHO, leaving this "Gap" wild can only contribute and encourage such illegal activities, with no prospect for the future, and unnecessarily cut huge relationship potential between Latin American countries for wacky reasons.

Environmentalists are not "dictators" AFAIK, the can't impose to an entire continent "isolationism". On the other hand, seeing the Darien Gap from a map and satellite perspective, there are many places where a road could be built with low effects for the jungle. Moreover, many technical structures such as bridges and tunnels could bring to almost zero the environmental impact. Beside, techniques to build such road are existing since quite a long time. Sure it will cost money, but is this 60 miles missing link of the Panamerican Highway not worth it?
While I am in full agreement with you in that the current situation in Colombia is a far cry from the 1980's/1990's, the Darien Gap is still one of the few strongholds left for the FARC and neo-paramilitary forces in the country which makes building a road very problematic from a security standpoint.

Anyways building such a road would mean nearly 80km of bridges to deal with crossing the Atrato River in Colombia, and on the Panamanian side the terrain is very mountainous with terrain reaching from 60 meters in the valley floors to 1,845 meters at the tallest peak which means building numerous tunnels as well. Such a road would probably exceed $40 billion dollars in construction costs alone which is why there are no serious proposals.

That being said though there is option proposed that involves a short ferry link from Colombia to a new ferry port in Panama, with an extension of the existing Panama highway that would complete the highway without violating these environmental concerns, which is much more likely to gain traction as opposed to building a road straight through the Darien Gap.
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Old March 4th, 2015, 04:10 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by verreme View Post
Indeed. Panama is not El Salvador or Mexico. In 2012 it had 17.2 intentional homicides per 100,000 people, for 39.9 in Guatemala or 41.2 in El Salvador (source), and different sources state that crime is going down. It's the third safest country in Central America; which is not saying very much, but it's far from the Central American stereotype.
the numbers are interesting... 17.2 in Panama compared to 39,9 in Guatamala seems really good. Especially looking at Honduras, over 90...
Then you look, say Canada, 1.6

And amazingly, Spain, 0,8 ! (and what I thought Canadians were calm and peaceful from the cold unlike hot-blooded Spaniards )

And of course the Swiss, where everyone has an assault rifle in their closet, only 0,6... about 35% of Canada, and only 3,4 % of Panama

Nederlands is also very low but nobody can be surprised of friendly and calm, and marijuana-legal Dutch people
100 coups de fouet, si vous n'êtes pas morts de rire !
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Old April 15th, 2015, 08:57 PM   #63
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i think panama is not the problem, but colombia does

Colombia is a big country and as well as the islamics groups that have their terroristic cells, the colombians guerrillas have theirs.

The colombian goverment has shut down the guerrillas all over the country since a few years ago, however farc(guerrilla) still operating, and they have kind of its headquater in choco, colombia

The province (state) of choco is something like missisipi, is the poorest province in the country, and it seems the colombian government just forgot about them

And there is this common debate, about most of the choco population which is black, also they have the lowest dhi all over the country, it means poverty, ignorance etc etc

So this choco province is more like a protectorate, a FARC protectorate over Choco

And there is this FRENTE 47 which is kind of there most dangerous and strong cell vs Panama a country who abolished military.

Based on that, i understand panamanian authorities

America with a wall in the border with mexico, and still the mexican go thru the wall, i dont know how but they do.

For decades the guerrilla have entered in the borders (venezuela, panama, peru, ecuador, brasil) and asked for supplies and provisions to the native communities in the zone and thanks to darien gap is more difficult for them to get in panama, but that doesnt mean they have not got into the panamanian side.

Colombia has always asked to open the Darien Gap, and i dont have any doubts concerning the work of their authorities against the guerrillas but they haven´t got to the root of the problem yet, and they know it s always been choco

they attack choco, and the farc is over.

Luckyly for us (sarcasm) Choco is beside Darien..

Venezuela, Ecuador Peru or Brasil, d never had the headquater of a guerrilla in their borders

The environmentalists are the least of the problems.

i would like to see a highway between panama and colombia, in fact darien is a diamond in the rough, is the biggest province with a high level of rainfall with lots of mountain belt and there is grat demand for invest in the darien gap for dams but with the environmentalists opposse and the guerrilas issues..... is more like a dream

Choco at heart of Colombia’s guerrilla crisis

Guerrillas kidnap victims (ELN)

There was this option too, instead of a route, invest in a train between darien and colombian caribbean, which is a good idea as well

so far this is the best option

This pics are from colombia and even they, avoid to established a route thru the choco province, as u can see they also design in the graphic, a marine viaduct, it means they wanna be the most far away possible from choco province, even they are afraid of the security of the zone cuz they do not own they area they do not crontrol choco province, there s a melt of druck dealers, cartels, and guerrillas thats reckless, no man's land

Last edited by PAN-DAN; April 16th, 2015 at 02:04 AM.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 08:49 AM   #64
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Found this news item about a highway widening project west of Panama City at the Panama City Projects and Construction thread.

Originally Posted by Tutto Bene View Post
Highway to be expanded to eight lanes

The expansion will be from the Bridge of the Americas and Arraiján.

Minister of Public Works Ramón Arosemena said the tender for the expansion of the Inter-American Highway between the Bridge of the Americas and Arraiján will be expanded to eight lanes and two shoulders.

The 10-kilometer project will be done in conjunction with the construction of the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal.

The road will be configured so hat as many as five lanes can be opened in one direction during rush hour.

Once a tender is awarded, the work should be ready in two-and-a-half years.

- See more at: http://www.prensa.com/in_english/Int....dMkK02Ym.dpuf
I think the widest existing highways in Panama have only six lanes (2x3). This expanded stretch of highway may be the Panama's first eight-lane (2x4) highway, and it will have hard shoulder running.
I honestly think all development projects must be sustainable and futureproof.

You support the good projects... and oppose the bad.
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