A group called "Alternative 2000" that cares for young drug addicts and prostitutes near El Dorado in the capital; the authority responsible for recieving complaints regarding police corruption (1999-2002) [PAN41880.FE]

No information on a group called "Alternative 2000" that cares for young drug addicts and prostitutes near El Dorado in the capital could be found among the documentary sources consulted by the Research Directorate. Furthermore, a switchboard operator from directory assistance in Panama, consulted on 26 August 2003, stated that there was no number listed for an organization called "Alternative 2000" near El Dorado in the capital.

With regard to police corruption, Country Reports 2002 indicated that the Judicial Technical Police (Policía Técnica Judicial, PTJ) and the Panamanian National Police (Policía Nacional de Panamá, PNP) had "offices of professional responsibility that act as internal affairs organs to hold officers accountable for their actions" (31 Mar. 2003, Sec. 1.c). Furthermore, Country Reports 2002 noted that the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman also handled complaints from civilians of violations committed by public officials, and that this office "received 62 complaints against the police for abuse of authority" in 2002 (31 Mar. 2003, Sec. 1.c).

According to its Website, the Ombudsman has offices in five cities in Panama:

1) Panama City: Avenida Nicancor de Obarrio (calle 50), Edificio Don Camilo, Planta Baja, tel.: 214-9835;
2) Colon: Calle 11 y Avenida Santa Isabel, Corregimiento de Barrio Sur (Al lado del Estadio Roberto Mariano Bula), tel.: 447-2347;
3) Santiago, Veraguas: Avenida Central y calle Novena Sur, Edificio Don Jaime, Planta Baja, tel.: 998-3357;
4) Las Tablas, Los Santos: Calle Joaquín Pablo Fanco, tel.: 994-1726;
5) David, Chiriqui: Avenida 3 de Noviembre, Edificio Plaza Las Américas, tel.: 775-5628 (Panama n.d.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2002. 31 March 2003. "Panama." United States Department of State. Washington, D.C. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18340pf.htm [Accessed 14 Aug. 2003]

Directory assistance, Panama. 26 August 2003. Consultation with a switchboard operator.

Panama. n.d. Defensoría del Pueblo de la República. "Contactenos." http://www.defensoriadelpueblo.gob.pa/Contactenos.asp [Accessed 26 Aug. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted


Dialog

IRB Databases

World News Connection/Dialog

Internet sites, including:

Alianza Ciudadana Pro Justicia

Amnesty International

Crítica Libre [Panama City]

Freedom House

Human Rights Watch

International Narcotics Control Strategy Report

Organización Internacional del Trabajo

El Panamá América [Panama City]

Panama News [Panama City]

Panama, Presidencia de la República

La Prensa [Panama City]

Transparency International

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