To the rescue! For the cameras.

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SENAN 1
SMASH! And if it stops or slows traffic on the approaches to the Bridge of the Americas it can affect a lot of other people and ripple right though the national economy. Photo by SENAN.

A scene that our friendly air and
sea patrol cops want us to see

photos by SENAN, commentary by Eric Jackson

We see at least three things going on here:

• There has been a bad accident on the approach to the Bridge of the Americas, leaving an injured man trapped in a crumpled car. The National Aeronaval Service (SENAN) has its headquarters and many facilities in the area, at the former Rodman Naval Station and the former Howard Air Force Base. Transito they are not, but Panamanian law enforcement’s air and sea patrol is near the scene and SENAN people move in to help the man.

• We are less than 10 months and counting before a general election, so the president and his government want everyone to know that they are actually doing the things that people want and expect governments to do. And SENAN, which is not a political patronage outfit to boost presidents’ parties, has its own institutional self-promotion aims, not the least of which is recruiting bright, healthy and morally upright young people for careers in some of the more advanced law enforcement units. Pile on top of that new regulations about government radio, TV and newspaper advertising as elections approach, so somebody with a camera and an agency with a Twitter feed mean that the restrictions don’t actually amount to a wall of silence

• The Arraijan Ensanche between the Bridge of the Americas and the Pan-American Highway is a costly and maddening national traffic bottleneck. The road interchange between that and the western approach to the Centennial Bridge is a costly and behind-schedule boondoggle — although we may not hold onto that opinion after it’s done and we are used to it. Concerned faces and helping hands in this situation national security forces that keep our national culture from degenerating into all-out road rage.

They got the guy out and to medical attention. They were seen to be doing good for ordinary people. The traffic got back to what gets taken as normal these days. SENAN mission accomplished.

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