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Dr Sleepwell

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About Dr Sleepwell

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  • Full Real Name:
    Mark Heyer
  • Reason for registering:
    Live and/or work in Chiriqui
  • Location of primary residence:
    In Chiriqui
  • Birth (home) country:
    US

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  1. Sleepwellpanama.com The Tide of Cybercrime is Rising Fast While physical crime against expats here in Panama is diminishing, cybercrime is rising world wide. Losses from cybercrime may already be greater than physical robbery. It is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world. Cybercriminals are targeting Seniors Anyone over 60 did not grow up with computers or the Internet from day one. Many of us openly admit to computer illiteracy. Cybercriminals are specifically targeting this group, especially relatively rich North Americans and Europeans. The criminals include enterprising ten year olds cracking your passwords and selling you out to sophisticated multi-national mafia-like businesses. How to Protect Yourself From Cybercrime A good friend of mine in California, Larry Magid, is a top computer journalist who has made his career mission protecting children and now seniors from cybercrime. Download his free Seniors Guide to Online Safety. Yes, it is safe to download In the rest of this article, we will take apart a recent incident and show the dangers of being hacked, which hopefully will inspire you to take steps to protect yourself. The Anatomy of a Hacking In the last week many of us became aware that a member of our community was hacked and as a result all of the people in his address book were exposed to Internet scams themselves. We’ll Call Him Bob Many of you reading this already know the identity of the person who was hacked and that’s fine. He is not shy about what happened. If you don’t know already, it isn’t important to our story. It all started with an upgrade of several computers to Windows 10. While the upgrade want fine, a short time later Microsoft pushed an Outlook update to all his computers. While most of them were protected by a commercial anti-virus program, one was only protected by the Microsoft-provided Defender program and this computer became infected. Although we will never know for sure, apparently the attackers were ready for this Outlook update and may even have previously installed malware in his computer waiting for it to happen. Lesson #1 - Some computers are safer than others People have personal preferences for Windows PCs vs. Apple Macs and that is fine. However it is a simple fact of life that 99.99% of computer viruses and malware infect PCs, not Macs. There are technical reasons why this is true having to do with the fundamental design of the Apple OS X operating system, which like Linux and others, is based on the fundamentally secure UNIX operating system, the oldest and most widely used for secure computing platforms. The awful moment of realization After the update, Bob turned on his computer and noticed very strange behavior as his file folders first showed up as empty and then slowly came back to “normal.” When Bob went to his email he made the startling discovery that his entire email contact list, dating back to the early 90s, was simply gone. It was also gone on all his other computers, which had “synchronized” with the master list kept online, which had been deleted by the hackers. Attempts to recover his contact list from computers backed up with previous versions of Windows failed. Lesson #2 - Bob’s was using a “free” email account. Free email accounts are not secure or private You may wonder why Google, AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. are so magnanimous as to offer you free email accounts. It is because you are their product. Every email you send is read for salable information, every person in your contact list is sold to the highest bidder for advertising or whatever (IRS, NSA, front businesses for hackers, etc.). They own your contact list and as Bob found out, once deleted, it is gone forever. If you use a free email account, make sure you have a backup of your computer and an exported version of your contact list at all times. There are excellent, secure and private email services available from Godaddy and others, but they are not free. They never store your contact list, which lives on your own computer. In my view, they are well worth the extra money. Bob is now manually recreating his contact list by going through every email since 1995 and recovering the email addresses. Of course, phone numbers and physical addresses are just lost. This is what happened to Bob Once they owned his email account and armed with all of his emails, they learned about his bank accounts, which boards he sat on and much more. The hackers emailed his personal banker in the US and asked to set up a wire transfer for something in excess of $17,000. Bob’s personal banker (at the bank he used to work for and who knew him personally) replied that Bob would need to confirm the transfer by phone. Promptly she received a phone call (from Indonesia as it happened) that Bob couldn’t come to the phone because he was in a board meeting, naming the organization precisely. Fortunately the banker knew Bob and insisted that the “real” Bob call personally. When “real” Bob called with a foreign accent, she hung up and immediately called the real Bob and the scam was stopped. But is was very close. Meanwhile the scammers undertook to send scam emails to everyone in Bob’s contact list. Some claimed to be Bob who was stranded in an foreign city and needed money. Others, which many of us saw personally, were legitimate looking Dropbox documents with a secure PDF file that needed to be “signed for” with your email address and PASSWORD. Since the scammers owned Bob’s email account, when people replied asking if this was for real, the scammers pretended to be Bob and assured them that it was a legitimate email. If you fell for it, they then owned your email account and you would likely meet the same fate as Bob. Very quickly, Bob deactivated his email account, but it was too late. How not to become Bob 1. If you are on the Windows platform you have to be super-vigilant about virus and malware protection, since Windows is the primary target of hackers. 2. Internet and email scams affect every computer user whether Windows or Mac or Linux. Phishing, the practice of conning you into providing passwords to fake web sites, is very common. For example, if you get an email from Paypal asking you to verify your password, take a look at the actual email address of the sender - you will find it has nothing to do with Paypal. The same goes for websites - take a look at the URL at the top of your browser - If it is not something like http://Paypal.com, you are being phished. 3. Email addresses and passwords are regularly stolen from companies large and small. The only real protection is to eliminate the risk by using long, uncrackable passwords that are unique for every website you log into. Let’s face it, no one can remember all those passwords, so you need a commercial password manager to help out. This topic will be the subject of a detailed article to follow shortly. 4. If you think your computer has been hacked IMMEDIATELY if not sooner, disconnect it from the Internet - pull the plug if you have to. As you are sitting there gawking, the hackers may be downloading all your email or other files, preparing to wipe your computer completely or hold it hostage for a ransom. 5. MAKE SURE YOUR COMPUTER IS BACKED UP - ALWAYS. Make sure the backup system actually works. Next Up - Learning to Love Passwords Having an easy and effective password strategy is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself online. In the next article, I will talk about how to do that without pain and show an entirely new approach to generating and remembering passwords. About the Author Dr. Sleepwell, AKA Mark Heyer, has been involved in the computer industry since the 1960s. He has designed and built computer systems, written hundreds of programs, owned a computer support company for professionals working at home in the Silicon Valley and served as executive director of customer service and tech support for a national Internet provider.
  2. We were all horrified to learn of the violent attack on our friend Richard Moore on a peaceful Wednesday morning last week. I know I speak for the entire community in wishing him a speedy recovery. In the aftermath of the incident, it became common knowledge that Richard for some time had provided security assessments as a volunteer for Alto al Crimen. Some people rather insensitively commented on the irony of a security assessor becoming a crime victim. Even Alto al Crimen failed to immediately support their volunteer, only belatedly announcing that he was a former volunteer as if to distance themselves from his tragedy. It seems that Richard is another victim of the maxim, “No good deed shall go unpunished.” Somewhere in the Christian Ten Commandments, there is one about loving your neighbor as your brother. I for one am proud to defend Richard as a brother. Richard is a very good man. He and his wife are good people. They are us and we are them. Richard selflessly gave of his time to help make our community a safer place for all. What happened to him was a cruel alignment of circumstances, which, but for the grace of time, place and luck, go all of us. Richard was and is concerned with the safety of our community. I would suggest that the best way to honor his loss is to learn what we must - without judgement or criticism - from his experience and apply those lessons to make our own lives and those of our friends, more secure. The lessons about how to establish a secure lifestyle are not difficult, but we have been slow to learn them - at a terrible cost in blood and treasure. In the last year alone: Joe Potrebenko, Marion Clamp and now Richard Moore. Along with many others who we are less aware of. So thank your Richard - Thank you for your service to our community. Thank you for being a shepard and a teacher. We can only hope that your tragedy will help save many others from the disaster of violent crime in the future. It can be done and we much do it, just as you taught us. Dr. Sleepwell www.sleepwellpanama.com
  3. Looking Forward to a Safe and Secure 2016 January 1, 2015 by Dr. Sleepwell 2015 was a year of turmoil for expats in Chiriqui. However, I believe we will mark 2015 as a turning point in our collective security from crime - for the community, for us as individuals, for the police and even the politicians. Taking Responsibility The response of the community, individuals and the police to the 2015 uptick in crime (especially the violent home invasions) has been unique in our short history. Collectively, I would call it taking responsibility. As I have pointed out many times, the police can only swing into action after a crime has been committed. It is up to all of us, working individually and together, to prevent crime from happening and to actively and promptly report it when it does. Let’s take a quick look at some of the successes that made us more secure in 2015: Citizens Take Control One of the most striking advances this year is the rise of community policing in Alto Boquete and the canyon communities. Citizen leaders in Santa Lucia, los Brisas, Emerald Drive, Alto Dorado and other neighborhoods are deploying walkie-talkie networks, community camera systems and ad-hoc WhatsApp texting networks, which include the police. Suspicious cars and people are regularly photographed, reported and even followed in vehicles. Citizens are taking control of their communities. Along with much improved police presence, these steps send a clear message to the criminals: This is OUR community, we know who you are, we do not fear you and you are not welcome here. A couple of short examples demonstrate the effectiveness of the new spirit of community security: An Evening in Alto Boquete An expat and is family were enjoying an evening together when a perimeter alarm went off, followed by security lights coming on. They observed three men circling the house apparently preparing an attack, which could very well have been violent. A big alarm was set off and the invaders realized that they have been detected and disrupted. As they fled down the street, the residents observed them getting into a waiting cab at the intersection. Meanwhile, one Spanish-speaking family member called the DIJ (police investigative) office, not two blocks away. Three officers responded, intercepted the cab and took the group into custody. Video cameras at the residents’ house provided positive identification of the criminals and their intentions. Even though they weren't charged (no crime was committed), these criminals had their worst fear realized - identification. Now the cops (and the residents) know who they are and will pay them a visit any time some crime is committed in the area. The Rumble in Cuesta Piedra The scenario is familiar - a two kilometer dirt road leading to a house occupied by a single woman. On Thanksgiving night, workers living near the property observed a suspicious car with three men headed for the unoccupied house. They came out and confronted the intruders. Realizing that they have been detected and disrupted, the intruders turned the car around and attempted to flee. Finding the gate closed by the workers, they drove through a ditch to get away. Returning to the house, the workers discovered a forth burglar organizing the items to be stolen and waiting for the car that never came. He was chased down, captured and tied up. A community alert is sent out. Rodny was called to coordinate the police response. An ad-hoc WhatsApp network was activated. Thus alerted, another citizen reported seeing three suspicious men passing through his back yard. The three had ditched the car on a side road and were sneaking back to town. All four were captured by the police and reportedly confessed to other crimes in the area, including tying up residents they found at home. Under the new accusatory system, (just like in the US) they were freed on “bail” which amounts to having to report to the police twice a week. Even though they may or may not face jail time, it will be far harder for them to continue their criminal ways. From Private Investigators to Professional Police 2015 is the year when professional policing arrived in Chiriqui. Previous commissioners and officials began the process of professionalizing the police forces of Chiriqui. However, with the new administration, modernization has moved into high gear. In 2010, with a largely indifferent police force, the only hope of finding out who had stolen your stuff was to hire a private investigator. Results were, shall we say, mixed. First, information which is paid for cannot be used in a criminal prosecution. With the new accusatory system, even talking to a PI could poison a prosecution for the police. Second, any person in Panama who has knowledge of a crime is required by law to report it to the police. Thus, a PI who spends weeks developing information about a crime could himself be arrested for failing to report it promptly. The arrival of Captain Juan Arauz in Boquete has marked a sea change in our relationship with the police. The consummate professional, Captain Arauz frequently investigates crimes himself, even minor ones, leading by example and providing a commanding presence far beyond Boquete. Panama needs more like Juan. The bad old days of “We don’t have gas for our car” are gone. Now, on a busy Saturday night in Boquete, one might see the flashing lights of three new police trucks patrolling the town. Patrols in the canyon communities of Alto Boquete are now frequent, as is interaction and cooperation with the residents. Response times are down across the board and the police work with Rodny’s Helpline to further improve their performance. Dealing with gangs In 2011, the police commissioner in David told us that the only way to stop the criminal drug gangs was to provide alternative activities for young people. The gang diversion policies put in place under the Martinelli administration are being continued and strengthened under Varela. They have proven effective in the U.S. and elsewhere. The roots of the gang problem are easy to see: Panama has literally gone from 1950 to 2015 in the space of less than ten years. Eight years ago, Pricesmart was virtually unknown to Panamanians. Most of the cars on the road were old beaters. At the first parade I photographed, I was virtually the only person in the crowd with a camera. Most Panamanians didn't use WhatsApp, Facebook, texting or smart phones. Given this almost instantaneous modernization, it’s not surprising that many “old world” parents are not experientially equipped to deal with the lives that their children are facing. The nuclear family - the core of Panamanian society since the beginning - is disappearing, just as it has in other developed nations. Only much more abruptly. The Varela government is actively pursuing the gang diversion strategy - according to the new Minister of Security, dozens of gangs have been broken up and thousands of young men put to useful work, dramatically reducing the murder rate in Colon and Panama City. Efforts are under way to apply the same program to David. There is much that the expat community could do to help these youth programs, including music, sports, apprenticeship training and more. I expect this will be a topic for discussion in 2016. Looking forward to 2016 The new year will certainly bring us new challenges. However, we go into 2016 much stronger, better prepared and more confident in our ability to live safe and prosper in Panama. For more information about security methods and options, please visit: www.SleepwellPanama.com
  4. From our friends at the Panama Helpline in Coronado, T. Robb Brown presents the official list... Have a safe 2016 from the Panama Helpline...
  5. Today I had a chance to look at the screens and frames in detail. To say the least, I am impressed. They were designed from the ground up as security devices and the thoughtfulness shows. For example, the pin hinges are very robust and the pins are screwed in from the inside, so you can't just knock the pin out and take the door off. As for the light transmission, it is almost exactly like looking out of a car with tinted windows. You never even notice them. They also keep bugs out, so you could leave your windows open without sacrificing security. Based on the comments about frames, I inspected carefully. The frames are very sophisticated aluminum extrusions, designed to be mounted when possible with screws at right angles to each other. All screws are covered with trim covers that would be very difficult to remove without special tools. You can not bash through these screens with a sledge hammer and I would guess even a .22 bullet would have a hard time getting through, although this is a question for the full review. According to Betheny, almost everyone in Australia uses this type of product, so it is a mature and sophisticated technology. I'll be doing an in depth review of the Fuertech products in the near future.
  6. If anyone knows the victims, it would be good to interview them and find out what really happened.
  7. The holidays are upon us once again and there are lots of “extra” people in town and some who are looking for extra spending money. You don’t want to be their cash machine. Let’s review a few “best practices” that can reduce the likelihood of coming to grief at any time of year, but the holidays in particular. DON'T LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR CAR. This almost seems too obvious, but in his talk at the BCP theater the other day, the new Minister of Security for Panama related how he had left his laptop in his car parked on the street in Panama City and was shocked to find it gone when he returned. Shocked! And remember to lock your car as well... DO NOT OPEN YOUR FRONT DOOR OR GATE until you know FOR SURE who is out there and what they want. I received a report the other day from a resident about someone coming to her front gate and claiming to be from Cable Onda. She noticed that he did not have a car, was not in uniform and did not have a clipboard. He was sent away. Who knows what might have happened had he gotten inside. There are lots of strangers in town during this time. For maximum safety, stop them at your front gate/door. Anyone who needs to visit can call you on your phone. If they do get onto your property, pull out your phone and take their picture. Don’t be shy. Having a visible security camera that records all the goings on at your front entrance is a very good deterrent and could provide valuable information if bad guys are roaming your neighborhood. BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT CARRYING LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH - Two of the most brutal recent home invasions happened the very night that the victims had withdrawn over $1000 from the same bank. In one case, the robbers asked for the specific amount withdrawn. Not all banks are ratting out their customers, but it only takes one bad-egg, not necessarily even a teller, to ruin your life forever. Even carrying large amounts of cash from the bank to your car is a dangerous undertaking, especially if you are alone. Withdrawing large amounts of cash from the bank and taking it home with you, especially overnight, is extremely dangerous and could cost you your life. A friend just returned from Costa Rica and told me that violent home invasions against expats were very common there, and that the bank withdrawal scam was the most frequent method for setting up victims. There have been cases in Chiriqui where people sold their cars in the afternoon (after the banks had closed), for cash and had the robbers return in the night to steal it back. So if you have to receive a large amount of money from someone, go with them to your bank, receive the money in the bank and deposit it immediately while they watch. Then, if you need to pay a large bill in cash (not credit card), giving them a check is quite safe. Otherwise, go to your bank and transfer the money directly into their account. Or take them to your bank, withdraw the money and hand it to them right there in the bank. I know these are not the most cheerful of holiday messages, but if they help keep you safe, then we can all enjoy the holidays with more security and pleasure. Dr. Sleepwell www.SleepwellPanama.com
  8. Posted with permission from Rainelda Mata-Kelly, the highly regarded Panamanian attorney: The issue is that under our Constitution, a law cannot contravene a treaty signed by the Republic of Panama. It is not that the UN can threaten our sovereignty, it is that Panama as a sovereign nation has signed treaties that are commitments which are valid and binding and cannot be repealed by a law. Rainelda Mata-KellyTel (+507) 216-9299rmk@mata-kelly.com Thanks to Rainelda for adding her authority to the discussion of treaties vs sovereignty. It would seem that by voluntarily signing treaties, countries agree to give up part of what might have been considered their sovereign rights.
  9. Please note that the correct date for the Flea Market Next SUNDAY each and every one of us can go to the Chiriqui Storage Flea Market and sign a petition urging the legislators to change the criminal laws regarding juvenile offenders.
  10. Attached is the complete Powerpoint presentation used by Minister of Security Rodolfo Aguilera at the BCP Theater, Oct. 27, 2015 Presentación Asamblea Power Point.pptx
  11. This is an addendum to yesterday's report on the BCP meeting of Minister of Security Rodolfo Aguilera. I am posting this partly because of a possible misunderstanding about what the Minister said and more importantly, because the subject of juvenile crime is so much on our minds after the tragedy of Marion Clamp and others. If you would like to see these laws changed, see below. My original report stated that: "UN treaties supersede national law, so getting it changed will be difficult. " Well-informed reader Judy Sacco pointed out correctly that this is not the case: "A UN treaty does not supersede national laws. Specifically, the UN has no capacity or ability to threaten a country’s sovereignty." In the Minister's own words: "There is a juvenile crime law in Panama which is very soft - UN standards. These standards are drafted by Europeans, and..." [He jokes that he received his Master's Degree in England and that he knows how the Europeans think about these things. [In my interpretation, the Europeans do not necessarily understand the lack of "social safety nets" here in Panama] "Congressman Samil [last name unintelligible] from David is the one who is leading the path for those congressmen who are willing to change the law. It means precautionary measures to incapacitate those juvenile criminals. We have to do it because the law has become an incentive for criminal gangs, so they [the minors] become the operating arm of bigger [criminal gangs].... I cannont change the law because I am not a legislator, but I know that Athena, your [deputada] here in the Boquete, Dolega and Gualaca regions is [active in this] and my brother is the congressman for the Volcan/Bugaba area... and it's important that initiative. The problem is we have signed treaties with UN standards and Panama treaties are a higher guarantee than law - so they would have to find a way to circumvent that problem. But I totally agree with you - we need more strict rules when it comes to juvenile gangs." [what is the difference between treaty compliance and loss of sovereignty?] What conclusions can we draw? First, we are well represented here in Chiriqui (and at the highest levels of government) in regard to this problem. Second, we have an obligation as expats to participate in the process of change. While we don't vote and most don't pay taxes, there is something concrete we can do to influence change in the law. In Panama, petitions carry weight in the political process. At the recent community meeting in Potrerillos, over 165 signatures were gathered on a petition to encourage changes in the criminal laws. These were forwarded to Athena with her gratitude. Next Saturday each and every one of us can go to the Chiriqui Storage Flea Market and sign a petition urging the legislators to change the criminal laws regarding juvenile offenders.
  12. Cross posting can be good - Don Ray (OK, and my wife too) pointed out that I had neglected to mention the issue of crimes by minors. The short answer is that Panama's laws are based on a UN treaty for treatment of minors. Rodolfo got his Master's Degree in England and is quite sophisticated in his understanding of European thinking. In those countries with advanced social safety nets, minors who commit crimes are shunted to social welfare agencies. In Panama, we have none of that and they are out on the street. UN treaties supercede national law, so getting it changed will be difficult. With this in view (and the sorry state of the prosecutorial system), the gang intervention strategy looks better and better. We have to look for strategies to prevent crime in the first place. Turn the young people away from the gangs and make our houses unattractive targets. Friends don't let friends live in unsafe houses.
  13. October 27, 2015 - BCP Theater, Boquete Panama - This morning saw a much anticipated presentation by the new Minister of Security for Panama, Rodolfo Aguilera, in addition to Mayor of Boquete Emigdio Walker Vasquez and popular chief of police, Juan Arauz. This follows a meeting on Monday in David, where President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez participated on a panel to discuss revising the plans and programs for security in this region of the country. https://www.presidencia.gob.pa/Noticias/Varela-Rodriguez-revisa-planes-y-programas-de-seguridad-en-Chiriqui Rodolfo Aguilera presented a huge amount of very detailed information, of which I will summarize only a small fraction. The meeting was videotaped and I would recommend it to anyone interested. First, let me say that looking at the people on stage, the Mayor, police chief, Rodolfo and his American/Panamanian assistant, I got the very strong feeling that we are seeing a new breed of well educated, modern technocrats moving into positions of authority in Panama. Rodolfo presented for more than an hour, supported by volumes of detailed powerpoint slides, discussing types of crimes, trends by type, by province, even compared to other countries in Central America and the world. His comments pulled no punches and his answers to questions were forthright and direct. Here are some of the highlights from my notes: On the Panamanian criminal justice system Panama spends about $1 billion on criminal justice every year. And yet, it takes one year to investigate a crime, three years to bring it to trial and then 95% of the cases are dropped or found not guilty. Of those convicted and sent to prison, 65% return to a life of crime after release. The entire prosecutorial system needs an overhaul. Since Varela has taken office, new crime initiatives have reduced the gang murder and violence rates by 50% in one year, primarily in Panama and Colon provinces. After peaking in 2007, crime held fairly steady, and is now decreasing across the board, with the exception of domestic violence, for which new GPS bracelets are being introduced to keep offenders away from their victims. On Gangs With the broken prosecutorial system, they realized that a new approach to crime reduction was needed - prevention. This comes in the form of co-opting the gangs, offering them alternatives. He said that gang members know that staying in the gangs means death by age 25 and most are actually eager to get out. This approach has been used successfully in New York City and other countries. Panama is modeling its program after those successes. The program involves four steps, briefly: Subverting the gangs - offering members a way outGetting the gang members into vocational training (and dealing with mental health issues)Labor reinsertion - ten percent of public construction project labor is to be provided by the ex-gang membersMonitoring to ensure compliance and provide guidance So far more than 4,000 gang members have been recruited, mainly in Panama City and Colon. Both places have seen marked drops in murder and violence. Thousands more are entering the program in the coming year. At the same time, in 2013, 5 gangs were prosecuted and put in prison, while so far in 2015, 33 gangs have been broken up. However, using the conversion process, they have broken up more than 150 gangs, so the process is both cheaper and more effective than just incarceration. On the security budget According to Rodolfo, Varela insists on cost justifying everything. When asked to justify increased spending on security, Rodolfo said, to paraphrase, “Well you just spent $3 billion on a transit system that was number three on the concerns of Panamanians. Crime is number one - how much are you spending on that?” He also described a nationwide camera system that is being contracted for, 2000 cameras across the country, built by a British firm [the British are the video security kings of the world], which will allow police to zero in on crimes in progress, track license numbers and trace the car’s movement back through time, days or weeks before, face recognition and more. He said that the face recognition system in Tucomen airport had already caught more than a hundred criminals. Panama is not getting enough out of its police forces. Most Latin American countries have between 1.5 and 2.5 police per 1,000 people. The international norm is 3. Panama has 6 policemen per 1000 people. Many are assigned to desk duty rather than what they were trained for. So the current administration is moving them out to the streets, but it is a long process involving 30,000 public service employees and almost a billion dollar budget. On guns Rodolfo said that the ban on gun imports would be lifted in January, 2016. However, he and Varela are not totally agreed on the licensing strategy. Rodolfo said that 80% of violent gun attacks in the US are by people with a prior history of violence. Therefore, he favors a shorter registration process but much more detailed background checks. These are only a few highlights from what was a most interesting and informative presentation. I would recommend that anyone who is interested watch the entire presentation. See TV Chiriqui for the complete video presentation.
  14. The beach communities, centered on Coronado and stretching to Santa Clara in the west and Valle Anton to the north, and San Carlos in the east, have seen more than their share of violent crime emanating from their close connection to Panama City. Several extremely violent robberies, some involving Boquete residents, deeply affected the residents. In 2013, working with the new Rodny hotline service in Boquete, T. Rob Brown took the lead in founding what is now the Panama Helpline. Based on the same technology and methodology of Rodny Direct and with training from Rodny, both organizations are founding members of what is becoming the Panama Helpline Network. After innumerable feel-good meetings with the police and officials, the residents and Panama Helpline took matters into its own hands. Their story is apocryphal for us here in Chiriqui. It is presented here complete in the hopes that it will inspire those among us who will not accept the tyranny of crime in our community.
  15. Right on Brundageba. Protect yourselves now and do it now! Self delusion is deadly. As a community we need to institute a program like "Friends don't let friends become victims." Many of the victims of violent home invasions are single men and women - living in completely, utterly, insecure dwellings - and in denial. Contact me from the Sleepwell website, I'd love to share ideas. www.sleepwell.com. Anyone else too, who is willing to make a difference and end this tyrany.
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