Panama will publish a “truth report” on the thousands that died during the U.S. military invasion in 1989, the country’s vice president said on Sunday to mark the 26th anniversary of the attack.
The government will form a special independent commission that will execute the parameters on the investigation of the invasion, which will be defined by the victims’ relatives together with human rights experts, Vice President Isabel De Saint Malo de Alvarado announced.
The investigation is expected to look into identifying the victims, reparations for relatives, commemorative monuments, including the events in school curriculums, and investigating the existence of graves, according to De Saint Malo.
"We have already initiated efforts to repair existing tombstones and buy them for those who do not have one," the vice president said.
The announcement was made during a ceremony commemorating the events and its victims.
On Dec. 20, 1989, over 27,000 U.S. soldiers invaded the Central American country, leaving thousands of victims in its wake. Many of the bodies remained unidentified after being burnt and piled up in the streets.
The military invasion, launched by then President George H.W. Bush, came 10 years after the small country had finally gained its independence over its canal. Wit the aim of maintaining a government that supported U.S interests, and to maintain U.S. hegemony in the region, Washington had previously tried economic sanctions, and even a failed military coup attempt, before resorting to a full-scale invasion.
Relatives of the victims have called current investigations into the United States invasion biased, alleging funding by Washington.