Back in 2009, the government of Panama decided to update and provide all law enforcement and defense agencies with new uniforms, technology and weapons.

The Republic of Panama is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south.

Panama has a tropical climate. Temperatures are uniformly high (seldom exceeding 32 degrees Celsius or 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit)—as is the relative humidity (84 percent)—and there is little seasonal variation. Climatic regions are determined less on the basis of temperature than on rainfall, which varies regionally from less than 1,300 millimeters (51.2 inches) to more than 3,000 millimeters (118.1 inches) per year. Almost all of the rain falls during the rainy season, which is usually from April to December.

Due to the combination of rainfall, high temperatures, humidity and salinity, any law enforcement weapon used in Panama must be capable of enduring the extreme conditions with virtually little maintenance, reliability and swift performance.

Better Gear

In the past, the vast majority of law enforcement personnel used .38-caliber revolvers. The switch to semi-automatic pistols needed to be as smooth as possible. The government was looking for a replacement model with easy operation, maintenance and training. The new weapon would also need few parts—allowing gunsmiths to complete repair jobs, if needed, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The weapon of choice needed to be accurate, with decent stopping power and capacity, and it needed to be lightweight for the prolonged working hours that law enforcement agents are usually subjected to.

After months of debates, deliberation and negotiations, the different security agencies of the government of Panama finally reached a consensus and approached the regional office of GLOCK Austria—namely GLOCK America, which is in charge of all the contracts for Central America, South America and the Caribbean—and informed them that after the thorough review of their submitted business proposal, the semi-automatic GLOCK pistol was selected as the standard-issue weapon of choice for all law enforcement entities in Panama.

It was a logical decision due to the unique qualities that have made GLOCK one of the preferred choices for law enforcement and personal use in countries with similar climates, such as Brazil, Suriname, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and others in Central and South America. This is a great accomplishment that speaks very highly of GLOCK products.

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