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Panama has adopted a dedicated counterterrorism law, which incorporates specific provisions into the Criminal Code. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

A 2013 Law introduced new terrorism offences into the Penal Code. Terrorism is defined in broad terms as follows:

Whoever, individually or collectively, with the purpose of disturbing public peace, causes panic, terror or fear or endangers the population or a sector of it, using radioactive material, weapons, fire, explosives, biological, bacteriological or toxic substances, cyber operations, or any means of mass destruction or element that has that potential against living beings, things, public or private assets, or execute any act of terrorism according to the United Nations Conventions ratified by the Republic of Panama.Art. 293, Criminal Code of Panama.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Panama is a State Party to all of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Panama is also a State Party to the main regional treaty on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
2002 Inter-American Convention against Terrorism State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The standard penalty for terrorism is twenty to thirty years imprisonment.Art. 293, Criminal Code of Panama.The penalty is increased to a minimum of twenty-five years in prison for the leaders of terrorist organizations or cells; for any person who has assisted in the creation of a terrorist organization; or any person who caused the death of two or more persons in the course of committing a terrorist offence.Art. 293, Criminal Code of Panama.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The National Police of Panama, a paramilitary body, is the main law enforcement body for the country.


Panama 2013 Law on Terrorism (original version)

Panama Criminal Code (2016) (original version)