Hundreds of thousands of Panamanians and foreigners took part in this year’s carnaval celebrations across the Republic of Panama. Unfortunately, dozens of people were killed during the party and tons of garbage were left behind.
Las Tablas, in the Azuero peninsula, is one of the top carnaval destinations in the country. In this small town alone it is estimated that there were 200 tons of garbage left being by festival-goers. During the festival the streets were flooded with beer cans, water bottles, confetti and urine. By Wednesday morning, the clean up crews had done such a great job, you couldn’t even tell that hundreds of thousands of people were partying in the streets of this small town. Officials in Panama City estimate that 250-thousand pounds of garbage were being collected from the carnaval parade route.
Panama’s National Police are reporting that there were 32 deaths during Carnaval 2009, which is a 128% increase over the number of people killed during Carnaval 2008. Of the 32 deaths, 13 were murders, 8 people were killed in traffic accidents, six people drowned, one person died of accidental causes, one died as a result of intoxication, there were two suicides and one person died after being stung by bees.
At least in Las Tablas, the police did an excellent job of keeping the crowds calm and party-goers relatively safe. When entering the town park (the hub of the festivities), police inspected the bags and coolers of every person entering to ensure no weapons were being brought in to the park.
The traffic branch of the National Police report that 508 vehicles were impounded during carnaval. 266 cars were impounded after their drivers failed the breathalyzer test. 242 non-roadworthy vehicles were also impounded. Police administered 200 breathalyzer tests and handed out 4,422 tickets.
Photo Courtesy of La Prensa
|Written by Rebecca Tyre|
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