Global Peace Index 2016 ranks Panama as one of 10 conflict-free countries

According to an article published by the UK news source independent, this year brings us on a whole further away from world peace than any time in the past 10 years. The 2016 Global Peace Index recently released data that indicates only 10 countries in the entire world are actually free from conflict and Panama is one of them.

The other nine conflict-free countries listed in the Independent Article “Global Peace Index 2016: There are now only 10 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict” are Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Mauritius, Qatar, Switzerland, Uruguay, Vietnam. 

Central America, and specifically Panama have improved sufficiently in the overall ranking, moving slightly above the global average in the 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI). Central America’s most peaceful regions were Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua. Panama had the greatest improvement in GPI score globally, jumping 24 places in their global ranking, reaching the 49th position. It was followed by Thailand, which rose only nine places to the 125th position. The report attributes Panama’s large jump in ranking to a decrease in the “likelihood of violent demonstrations” along with an “increases in political stability.” 

According to the GPI Panama has benefited from a more stable political environment after the February 2014 elections which contributed to this improvement in internal peace, which coincided with an initial strong support for president Juan Carlos Varela. Furthermore, this stability and internal peace could also be attributed to large infrastructure projects which it claims are currently sustaining fast growth. Finally, the GPI indicated that the increased score also came from the fact that the country also appears less militarized than in the previous years, with a reduction in military expenditure as a percentage of GDP as well as in the volume of imports of major conventional weapons.