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About JohnF13

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    Advanced Member
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  • Real Name:
    John P. Ferguson
  • Reason for registering:
    Live and/or work in Chiriqui
  • Location of primary residence:
    In Chiriqui
  • Birth (home) country:
    United Kingdom

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  1. It is one thing to fail to prosecute crimes against Expats, but if that extended to murders against Panamanians, then this indeed must be classified as a completetly lawless Country. That would bring the attendant bad publicity that would surely destroy the tourist industry. I do not think the President had any choice but to react to reports of judge threatening. Now, let's see if there are any results instead of hiding behind process as has happened locally to the Expat community.
  2. Most modern panels range between 200 and 300 watts. My micro inverter system in Ontario had 40 panels for a total of 10 kilowatts. Efficiency is usually around 20-40%, depending on location. While prices have come down drastically in the last few years, it is still a large up front investement. Right now, I still dont think they can compete with hydro or nuclear, but that could change.
  3. Touche, Keith! Bonnie, apart from the truism that "A plan never survives first contact with the enemy" it would seem that your definition of adequate and mine differ substantially. While not a "prepper" I am a bit more cautious than most folks. Even then, I have caught myself slipping on the security side, forgetting to lock doors or turn on certain systems because one unit was malfunctioning. It gets tiring and I'm sure most folks don't really want to be bothered. Everyone prepares at their own level, that's the libertarian approach but you have to wear the consequences. This place is a lot less dangerous than some and a bit more than others.
  4. Nine year old kids shooting people are not prosecuted in a large number of Countries. In Canada, the age of responsibility is 12, meaning that a 9 year old cannot be held responsible for anything. Between 12 and 18 youths are treated differently in court than adults, ofter garnering very light sentences for major crimes. Same here, although it is a bit more extreme. Of course crime has gone up from 2000 to now, it very rarely goes down ( people get frustrated and just stop reporting, but that's another story). Any crime is upsetting, but if you expect to live in a Crime free place, then perhaps Panama is not your best choice - but neither is the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, heck, you get the point. There is nowhere in the World you can avoid crime, it is just a fact of life. Quoting individual crimes only serves to induce fear and panic. Yes, they are tragic and should not happen, but in almost all of your quoted cases you will find that a major causative factor was lack of security on the part of the victim. That isn't victim blaming, merely stating facts. The police here are less effective than most, that has to do with several factors including low pay, lousy morale and lack of direction from upper management to name a few factors. Government is doing very little to address these problems, and when the average police officer sees the scale of things such as Odebretcht it is no wonder they get discouraged. We can debate for hours about what "should" happen, but it's not going to. So, two choices, accept that it is what it is and take suitable precautions, or head off for supposedly safer places.
  5. JimandNena, Security is, indeed, the responsibility of the owner/resident. However, I think that your assessment is a little bleak. Yes, any security measure can be defeated but the all take time. The more difficult you make it to get into your premises, the more likely the maleante will go somewhere else. Unfortunately some people have a Polyanna attitude, i.e. It won't happen to me. Others either don't want to, or cannot afford to spend the money to add security systems. In my area the two houses that were invaded had little or no security and, most likely, the bad guys knew that and chose the softest target. Happens all the time with thieves, they are notoriously lazy and will always pick the low hanging fruit. You talk about the level of security as an "unknown", that is not really correct. Stage your house in circles, outer fence, dogs trained not to accept food from strangers (yes, it can be done) inner electric fence, yard alarms, lights, sirens and finally, an interior alarm, although I am not a big fan of those, too little, too late. Then on to personal security, whatever you can handle. Guns, knives, stun guns, high intensity flaslights and safe rooms. Again, yes, all of these can be defeated, but at the cost of negating the surprise factor. Do not rely on police response, they are merely after the fact report takers. Having said all of that, this place is relatively safe but, people being people, they will want what you have. A thief is merely a worker doing a different kind of work. Make it difficult for him and he will look elsewhere.
  6. Came past the Caldera checkpoint a day or so ago and noted that the relatively new Ford police cruiser had a rock under the back wheel to prevent it from rolling away. Wouldn't a bunch of the Odebretcht bribe money come in handy for vehicle maintenance?
  7. As far as the invasion of Marion's home goes and her subsequent attempted murder, I do not think anyone has been prosecured for it even though the police caught at least two of the perps. Just prior to Marion leaving the Country she was called back in by DIJ for a further "interview" and she did mention that she was uncomfortable with the way it was conducted. I would suspect, that since she has gone to Mexico, that nothing further will be done. This was my first (and so far only) introduction to Panamanian detectiving and as a retired police officer I was not terribly impressed. It seemed to me that everything was about "process" and not much about investigation. Lots and lots of police officers on scene, many at the hospital, numerous long interviews done where the preamble to the interview ( both verbal and written) seemed to take much longer than the interview itself. I couldn'd help getting the impression that everything was being done for show. Given that experience, I would not trust the Panamanian police to investigate and prosecute expat crimes. Yes, there are a ton of people in the David jail, but for what, exactly? Seems to me most of them must be on remands waiting for trial, heck if Wild Bill hasn't been tried yet after admitting murders it does not bode well for a contested prosecution. I guess all of the above can be distilled down to "you are responsible for your own safety". Indeed, this isn't Kansas, or Canada, or Britain. Look after youselves and take care.
  8. I have eaten there a couple of times sincs Chris took it over. Impressed both times, the food was good.
  9. Yes, one has to wonder about the new Kenny Seracin stadium vs. the poor condition of the schools in the area. Education es primero? Not from what I am seeing in the Potrerillos area
  10. I have to admit surprise at the number of people leaving. We have only been here 4 years but can't see us moving any time soon (except maybe to a different exotic location!). There must be "something" that causes people to come here then quickly become disenchanted, are there really a large number of people who buy the "it's a paradise here" or "God/my pastor told me to do it?" I know I read IL before coming here but I also did independent research. I wonder if some people are just lazy and accept the IL slant? Whatever it is, it is a tragedy for those that have to leave at a substantial monetary loss. I honestly believe that it is the "1 per centers" that wil thrive here, except in this case I mean those that not only have a well-developed sense of adventure but are also practical self starters. Back-to-the-landers would have been the 60's definition I suppose. Most of you try to emphasize the " come and try it" aproach, but it doesn't seem to get through to a fair percentage of folks. While being a big believer in personal responsability, I think the problems of the quick turn around people needs to be addressed somehow. I just don't know how.
  11. You can get good pre-programmed ones on fleabay for around $160. When they arrive they are plug n play.
  12. So now the elephant in the room. $80/yr for RD, $150 for AAC coverage plus donations. Seeing as I cant fly Emirates, I guess the first one is a better choice.
  13. He will be back in just over two years when the new government will forgive all his sins. Nothing changes.
  14. Dan, what do you know about linux ubuntu? Got a laptop here running it but I dont know how to get it working the way I need to. Send me a pm at johnferguson1301 (at) gmail dot com.