Abstract

Abstract:

In the early 1980s, the Government of Panama offered 360 Salvadoran refugees, over half of whom were under the age of fifteen, the opportunity to resettle along the Atlantic coast of Panama. By the end of the decade, this settlement–known as Ciudad Romero–was widely considered a success. This article examines how and why the Panamanian government provided such special treatment for this group of refugees, while simultaneously carrying out far less generous refugee policies, including the closing of the border to prevent the entry of other Salvadorans. Archival sources suggest that the Panamanian government, particularly under General Omar Torrijos, practised a calculated level of generosity to a limited number of refugee families. This was recognized by the state as strategic acts of sovereignty, nationalism, and anti-US imperialism in the context of the Cold War. Furthermore, this curated selection of mainly refugee mothers and children, created an opportunity to criticize US foreign policy in the region.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
0799-5946
Print ISSN
0047-2263
Pages
pp. 245-262
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-25
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.