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Panama creates special gender violence police squad

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Panama creates special gender violence police squad

 

The new unit will tackle violence against women across the country, which in recent years has recorded tens of thousands of such cases.

Women stand in front of a banner that says Women stand in front of a banner that says “Defend law 38 of domestic violence” as they protest against the new human-rights head Ombudsman outside the Panamanian Congress building in Panama City, Panama. April 3, 2006. (AP Archive)

Panama’s police service said on Thursday it has created a new unit dedicated to tackling violence against women across the country, which has recorded tens of thousands of cases of domestic violence in recent years.

The 200-officer squad is specially trained to respond “promptly” to gender-based crimes and to write up reports to avoid perpetrators escaping punishment through legal technicalities, Jacinto Gomez, the deputy director of the national police, said.

The country’s National Women’s Institute (INAMU) said two years of training had gone into the program.

The new squad will also provide protection for social workers who sometimes get assaulted when they try to assist women suffering gender violence, Liriola Leoteau, INAMU chief, said.

According to Panama’s prosecutors, there have been more than 63,000 recorded cases of domestic violence in the country since 2015. Most of the victims were women.

There have also been 72 cases of women being singled out for their gender and murdered over the same period, and 37 cases of attempted murder.

Source: AFP

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