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FRONTLINE; War and Peace in Panama


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War and Peace in Panama
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered January 1983 Since January 1983, FRONTLINE has served as American public television's - PBS - flagship public affairs series. Hailed upon its television broadcast debut as "the last best hope for broadcast documentaries," FRONTLINE's stature over 23 years is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human experience. Series release date: 1/1983

Program Description

Before Operation Desert Storm, there was Operation Just Cause, the 1989 invasion of Panama. FRONTLINE examines the planning and execution of the Bush administration's first war and its impact on the problems still facing Panama's fragile democracy. Begin's with an examination of US relations with dictator Manuel Noreiga and focuses on why Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Colin Powell changed the policy of his predecessor, Admiral Crowe. Powell's strategy of quick strike would prove a model for the war against Iraq. Also details how US needed to cope with heavily armed population and attempts at rebuilding of the country. Unemployment is at 20%, crime has dramatically increased, and the gap between rich and poor has not changed since Noriega was deposed. And Panama still functions and a shipment point for cocaine, and laundered money while repression of free reporting is commonplace.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Public Affairs
Chicago: “FRONTLINE; War and Peace in Panama,” 04/01/1991, GBH Archives, accessed February 29, 2024,
MLA: “FRONTLINE; War and Peace in Panama.” 04/01/1991. GBH Archives. Web. February 29, 2024. <>.
APA: FRONTLINE; War and Peace in Panama. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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