The Panamanian cédula, or personal identification card,
has undergone quite a transformation. Above is the cédula-librito
or booklet type which many of my ancestors, Westindian functionaries,
were instrumental in registering. Below is the current version of our cédula
complete with electronic bar coded information on the back.
Both images are thanks to the Tribunal Electoral.
I will admit that Spanish School had succeeded in doing one thing; it had made me more Spanish than Westindian. In those days of primary school the teachers reminded Westindian students at every turn that they should speak Spanish and not English and we all started to do just that; even to the point of denying our cultural heritage as English speaking people. Continue reading
Later in the revised 1946 Constitution some light of justice would shine through the blindfold of Señora Justicia, who, as late as 1948, stood by blindly allowing for the humiliation and harassment of little children and the outright violation of human rights. When the 1946 Constitution came along it gave an indication that there was a tiny sliver, a small crack opening beneath the blindfold for justice to have its day in the country of Panama for the Panamanian born Westindians. It would come in the form of Article 12 of the 1946 Constitution which stated in part: “the State is to make available accessibility for those proposing to obtain access to Panamanian nationality..” Continue reading
A Panamanian Passport.
Image thanks to an excellent
article over at monsterball.nl
The harsh separatism prevalent in the racially segregated Panama Canal Zone and the country of Panama inevitably resulted in a generation of Silver People as damaged and alienated as their white Gold Roll counterparts and their Canal Zone descendants. That the Silver People made of their reality a more culturally enriching experience is just one testimony to their adaptability and strength of character. Continue reading