Spanish Bilingual: Responses to the U.S. Invasion of Panama, 1989
On December 20, 1989, at 00:45, the government of the United States carried out “Operation Just Cause,” a military occupation of the capital of Panama, Panama City, that lasted until January 31, 1990. Led by President George H. W. Bush, over 26 thousand U.S. troops invaded the country, violating the statutes of Panamanian sovereignty issued by decree in the Panama Canal Treaty—the Torrijos-Carter Treaty. Their mission was to capture General Manuel Antonio Noriega, Panama’s dictator and de facto head of state, an informant for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on Colombian drug cartel activity, in order to bring him to trial in Miami, Florida, on charges of drug-trafficking. The operation resulted in a massacre, with anywhere between 300 and 600 civilian casualties on the Panamanian side, more than 20 thousand people who lost their homes due to bombarding and had to be displaced to refugee camps, estimates of around 1.5 thousand missing persons, and famine during the subsequent economic crisis. While Noriega had indeed committed many crimes, including vote fraud during democratic elections, murder, money laundering, and using the country as a route to transport drugs coming from Colombia, the United States had no legitimate legal justifications for the deployment of a military mission of this scale. This committee will take place in the years immediately following the invasion, addressing the issues of domestic state-building—politically and economically—as well as the repercussions for the United States’ imperialist agenda, as dictated by international organizations like the Organization of American States (OAS), and humanitarian compensation for the victims of the invasion.
The background guide and character list will become available soon.
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