Today seems to be the peak of search activities regarding Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers, the two Dutch co-eds who disappeared here on April 1st. The neighborhood locals have finally heard the news, and three helicopters have been overflying the town all day. If I didn't know what was going on, I'd fear some kind of militarization effort. Never realized what I was missing until I heard helicopters again after a 7 year respite from air traffic noise. I fear Boquete is changing for the worst, and my guess is these outside influences on the town's rural atmosphere will be more frequent and intrusive in times to come.
As it is today, though, I am reassured by the intense efforts that are going into trying to find these unfortunate women. It's been published the parents are in town and a dog team is being dispatched on all the local trails in hopes of catching some clue regarding their whereabouts. The news yesterday on the local expat forum was that the Dutch canine SAR unit was available and just awaiting invitation from Panamanian authorities to come to Boquete and provide services. Perhaps that's what's happening now, as my neighbors are telling me that the local news channel mentioned numerous dogs being released to search for the women.
On an even sadder note, it's been reported a 22 year old man who worked odd jobs for an expat woman was found dead here 5 days ago along the riverbank. He was nude, and had been beaten to death with rocks, as well as tortured. His funeral was yesterday. Four gang members are in police custody, but for how long is anyone's guess. (No one seems to stay in prison for long here no matter how horrible the crime.) Boquete used to be free from much of this activity.
I guess it really is impossible to find paradise. Hoping at least the families of the missing women are able to get some answers--- or better still, locate their children. The entire community feels their anxiety and concern.