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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little background first: I lived in Panama last summer on a study abroad trip for school. The subject of our studies was El Chorillo (which for those of you who don't speak spanish, means The Chorillo), a neighborhood that literally since the founding of the city has been a slum. When the Spaniards pre-empted the best land for their settlement which is now the Casca Viejo district of Panama City, they relegated the Indians to this patch of land outside the city walls.

As Panama's population skyrocketed after the construction of the Canal, its location directly adjacent to the canal zone proved disadvantageous, as the city grew rapidly outward in the other direction, meaning that it rapidly tumbled into a further state of disrepair and neglect.

Still, it was one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city up until the US Operation Just Cause, which targeted El Chorillo almost exclusively as it was the part of the city that Dictator Noriega's military command posts were located in (this was very deliberate; Noriega reasoned that the large civilian population of the area would make the US think twice about attacking)

Since then, El Chorillo maintains a reputation as Panama City's roughest, most dangerous neighborhood. It is believed to be a center of drug trafficking and gang activity. In our group's journeys into the area, we were always accompanied by Guardia Nacional, who fortunately proved to be uneccessary.

Anyways, here are the pictures *disclaimer* Panama City is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful, safe, and clean cities that I've been to. Keep in mind that this is a relatively isolated area of the city that's probably about a mile square.

Hope you enjoy-----

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