Knowing Panama’s Conflictive Neighborhoods: San Miguelito

Panama is a country of contrasts, where areas in continuous growth and a bright future live side by side with poor areas almost socially excluded and in which problems and delinquency are a blemish at the present times.

 One of these dangerous neighborhoods is San Miguelito, known and feared in the whole country.

San Miguelito, a Dangerous Place

The district of  San Miguelito is currently divided into nine  corregimientos:

  • Amelia Denis De Icaza – Pan de Azucar.

  • Belisario Porras, Samaria.

  • Jose Domingo Espinar – La Pulida.

  • Mateo Iturralde – Paraiso.

  • Victoriano Lorenzo – Monte Oscuro.

  • Arnulfo Arias – La Felicidad, Mano de Piedra.

  • Belisario Frias – Torrijos-Carter.

  • Omar Torrijos – Los Andes No.2.

  • Rufina Alfaro – San Antonio.

It has a total area of 53 square Km, covering the areas mentioned above.

Unfortunately, San Miguelito is known by its high crime rate; its more than  300.000 inhabitants live in a context of impacting violence and danger.

The number of homicides is alarming. According to data from  2012, the number of murders borders 141. The previous year it rose to 155. These are chilling and worrisome figures for Panamanians.

Gangs are the malignant seed behind this rise in crime. Official sources have listed a total of 44 known gangs, making them the breeding ground aggravating this high crime rate.

Statistical Data on Crime in San Miguelito

According to the Comprehensive Safety Program  (PROSI),  46%  of  homicides that take place in this area are related to domestic violence, and 21% are related to the organize crime that dots the region.



82%  of the casualties were gunned down. Their ages ranged between 18 and 29, young people without the possibility of a better future. As a side note to these statistics, most of the incidents took place on a Sunday, reason why these days have been called “tragic Sundays”.

In view of this situation, the government of Panama has assigned a total of $788 millions for 2013 to fight delinquency and violence in the district of San Miguelito, as well as a set of inter-agency programs managed by PROSI in collaboration with municipal Education and Social Development entities.

Fighting these delinquency and violence hotbeds is a priority for the Panama government, in an attempt to prevent them from spreading to the rest of the Panamanian communities. The fundamental objective of the country is to move forward economically and socially for the sake of a modern future of renewal.

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