Panamanian Political Reality: The Torrijos Years

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


The dissertation is about the important political issues which most affected Panamanians in the 1968-1980 period. Part One of the research describes the nature of Panamanian political and economic reality. This is achieved by the presentation of the government's major decrees and laws in areas ranging from banking and finance, tourism, construction, manufacturing labor relations, public administration to taxation, media censorship, party organization, and others.An analysis of the economy then provides the necessary information to determine how its various sectors have performed during the last decade. Having described the major government policies and the performance of the economy, the dissertation then proceeds to document the reaction to these events by the most important political organizations in Panama.Part Two of the study analyzes the negotiating process between Panama and the United States to abrogate the 1903 Bunau-Varilla Hay Treaty and substitute it with another treaty. A historical analysis of the most important controversies and treaties between the two countries sets the tone for an analysis of Panama's canal foreign policy during the 1968-1978 period. This analysis includes a study of the final result of the negotiating process: The Panama Canal Treaty, the Treaty Concerning the Permanent Neutrality and Operation of the Panama Canal, and the treaty amendments of June 16, 1978.There is then a presentation of the various views about the canal issue held by the most important political organizations in Panama. The conclusion is a synthesis about the nature of the Panamanian political system and the efforts of Panama in negotiating for a new canal treaty.


History, Latin American

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text