There is no privacy in Panama.
The idea that a private matter should not be widely discussed is almost alien to Panamanians.
Everyone discusses everything here.
Perhaps you are trying to sort out a dispute with your neighbor. When an official calls you in to explain your side of the story, you will be explaining it in front of everyone else waiting to talk with that official.
Your business is everyone’s business. Confidentiality is a foreign concept here.
Say you deposit a large sum of money at your bank down the street. Chances are that this weekend the teller or bank president will tell all the people he or she is hanging out with about it. It is news.
Panama is like a small town in many ways. The whole country only has 3.3 million people. People gossip as a pastime. They like the drama of it all.
Of course it also means that rumors run rampant here.
In Panama, more than any other place I have been, the phrase, “I’ll believe it when I see it” is important to keep in mind.
Even more important is to remember that you should use extreme care if you want to keep something private here in Panama.
Don’t assume that your banker, lawyer, neighbor, or friend will keep mum about something. Most likely they will not.