Well, that was fast! Florida armed militia leaders Darren K. Wilburn and his partner Amelia Foxwell are preparing to leave Bocas del Toro (and Panama) Monday or Tuesday, less than two weeks after we first published about their militia training activities and calls for torturing petty crime suspects here on these hallowed pages.
Things moved fast after our articles attracted a record number of readers. Soon, we heard that the authorities were looking for more information about Wilburn, Foxwell, and their company Z7. On the web, the duo was offering "home defense trainings" and courses in how to handle firearms. They claimed to be working with the local police as well.
At the same time, we discovered that Wilburn was telling victims of petty crime to catch whomever they suspected and "brutally beat the parties until they confess".
Then trouble started appearing on the horizon, and Wilburn wrote on his Facebook wall how he was unjustly "labeled in two countries as a 'possible' danger or threat."
In our newsroom, messages from our Bocas spies were received about how officer Quiel of the Policia Nacional wanted a word with Mr. Wilburn. Wilburn, writing on the Facebook "Bocas Crime Talk" group, claims that he "offered Sgt. Quiel the opportunity to meet at his commander's office".
Well, that's not how that works in Panama. You don't offer; they order.
Amelia Foxwell, meanwhile, was complaining on yet another Facebook group that, "the police finally want to talk with us about the crime when we are about to leave for 3 months and can't help".
But that's probably not what the police had in mind, because Wilburn relates a bit later how he was, in his own words:
".... escorted to the station and interrogated for over an hour (along with my child and her mother). Oh, did I mention they brought 6 men with AK 47s?"
He must have felt so at home! Yet, does that treatment sound to you like the police wanting to discuss with him how to reduce crime? No, we don't think so either. Sounds more like he has been read the riot act.
Another note from Wilburn on his Facebook wall:
"Bocas del Toro, the honeymoon is over. You are a treacherous and deceitful lover. I would have done anything in my power or abilities to help you."
Did Bocas leave him? Nope. They're leaving Bocas. Even those two gun punks must finally have understood that militia knuckleheads aren't really welcome in Panama.
That was further evidenced over the weekend when Hora Cero published a story by FRENADESO in which they launched the rather outlandish theory that these militia types were providing paramilitary training for the CIA in Bocas, and that it was somehow all related to a convicted CIA kidnapper who was on some mysterious private security business in Panama before being sent back to the safety of the US instead of to Italy, which had asked for his extradition. We doubt very much, however, that the CIA would send its people to Bocas to be trained by a couple of crazy wannabees. They're not that stupid.
So, the gun toting militia leaders are selling their belongings and moving back North, where they belong. Supposedly they will be back in Panama, but we don't really believe that. Writes a docile Amelia Foxwell on Facebook:
"Um, yea so public disclaimer: we will never under any circumstance be offering any kind of training here because it is not necessary"
She doesn't believe in a comeback either, and we hear echos of the riot act again in that statement... So you see, dear reader, these wacko militia thugs, they may talk tough about guns and training and beating people up and how they are all warriors and shit, but at the end of the day all you get is endless pathetic whining about how others don't like them and "label" them, and then they'll just leave the country like a couple of poodles, tails between legs, without having accomplished anything worth mentioning. Losers.
Lesson: You can’t out-thug the thugs.
Mary Not true, but close. When entering Costa Rica from Panama on the srhouetn Caribbean border, Costa Rican officials usually ask for proof of departure from Costa Rica. CR immigration officials will accept a flight out of any nearby country, I think even as far as Mexico. Conversely, when entering Panama, officials there will only accept a flight leaving from Panama. If you do not have proof, officials will likely make you buy an international bus ticket that travels between San Jose, CR, to Changuinola, Panama, which you can buy right near the immigration offices on either side. A Caribe Shuttle ticket satisfies this requirement for proof when entering Panama. However, while a ticket with Caribe Shuttle works as proof when flying into Costa Rica, the ticket does not work at the Southern Caribbean border crossing where we operate. This is a mystery to us.
Short lived indeed…!
I will say this, I am very thankful that this is the case..!
I was dreading at some time in the future having to read about someone doing something unthinkable per the “advice” given by these Reich Wing nut jobs..!
TO ALL IN BOCAS…(regardless of political affiliations)….I COMMEND YOU FOR A JOB WELL DONE…!!!
My Hat is tipped and off to you…!!!
It is clear that the ties that bind that fragile community together, and common sense saw through all of this for what it truly was (a potential nightmare in the making).
After the “Wild Bill” episode I now have a stronger faith (more so than ever before) in my friends (and even those I never got a chance to meet) and especially the community at large.
This indeed bodes VERY WELL indeed for that special and most enchanted place called:
Bocas Del Toro…!!!
I am sure that the Panamanians had enough after Wild Bill and don’t want more lunatics in Bocas.
Hey Okke…Your comment that the CIA isn’t THAT stupid? I’m not sure that I would agree with you on that. The CIA has a long and ignominious run of really, REALLY stupid decisions. But hey, at least Z7 is gone.
I guess he should be lucky that he himself didn’t get the shit beaten out of him until he confessed at the Bocas police station. How would he have liked that, I wonder?
Say Okke, do you have any idea as to why they came to Bocas? If you form a militia in Florida, why would you leave it so soon?
BTW they are not wannabes: “Wilburn, 45, is a former Army Special Forces sergeant and decorated combat veteran who is the group’s lead trainer. He works as a private detective.”
It is not unthinkable that they do work for CIA, with the whole militia thing as a perfect cover.
Interesting case, this Robert Seldon Lady. So he got arrested in Panama, released the next day and flies back to the States. But the US have and extradition treaty with Italy, and Panama does not. Or perhaps he was asked to leave?
I also fail to see what is so nutty about this particular militia:
“But compared with militias in the 1990s — when the movement peaked — the Charter Oaks militia is leaner and much more diverse. The Sarasota group has African-American, Hispanic, Jewish and lesbian members, as well as college students.
Members also have diverse political views. While most are conservative, two described their politics as far left. What unites them is a distrust of government and a feeling they must prepare because something bad is about to happen in America.”
You fail to see what’s nutty about them…… Right.
What is so nutty about the statement above, tell me.
Yes, what could possibly be nutty about organizing armed militias, talk the talk they do, and then attempt to export it to Bocas?
Distrust of the US government, I’m with them on that.
Plans to acquire arms to overthrow the government a wee bit grandiose. (The world’s shortest civil war.)
Planning for some undetermined cataclysmic event; I’d go with the Noah playbook myself.
Some recommend Apocalypses for Dummies but I found it relies a bit too much on fanciful thinking. Just my two cents, perhaps I’m too much of a realist when it comes to my cataclysm planning.
“…a feeling they must prepare because something BAD is about to happen in America.”
With Militia types (and or/other whack groups) this seems to be the operative phrase…it’s always just around the corner, maybe under the bed…who knows..!!!
Groups like this, or preppers, or end of the world’ers…folks like this very outfit PREY upon the fears of the impressionable and gullible….and they have just what you need…order now to SAVE yourself from (insert terror dijour name here)..!
It always comes at a price….and they line their pockets and laugh all the way to the bank.
I’m glad they’ve been run out of the country (so to speak)…good riddance..!
Expats from all nations come here and claim a lot of things Have you seen or verified his DD214?
@Okke: Do you trust any government?
@jc I just assume the newspaper I linked to did their due diligence. A friend of mine in Bocas believes there is CIA presence there right now, all kinds of unknown armed men.
I know its speculation but so is this whole story.
@Benfatto: I’m a journalist. So I’m not supposed to trust what authorities say or do, or what corporations say or do or what any group of people says or does.
And the same goes for these CIA stories. You wouldn’t believe the number of expats I’ve had to listen to that either claims to have been involved with the CIA or that sees CIA agents around every corner and similar blah blah. I’ll believe it when I see something that substantiates any of these stories and when someone makes a convincing case as to why CIA types would be swarming around Bocas.
Last but not least: I don’t know which story you’re referring to with your “speculation” remark, but the one I published here is entirely based on writings by the subjects themselves and first hand information from sources in Bocas.
On another thread I stated Americans do not have to ask for help when we Yankee expats are victims of crime. I was berated, told to go home’ I must clarify an important point. Because one is a citizen of a country does not mean they all agree with the politics of said country. I for one do not. and No democrats are religious zealots you have the wrong political party.. Republicans are the Christian right wing zealots., Obama is a Democrat– Bush was a Republican President.. USA is reaping what it has sown as far as wars in the middle east. Even you American haters have to admit a country that has progresed so fast in just over 200 plus years as a superpower has to be given credit. What other country has done the same in so short a time period????
The Panamanina that wrote how we Americans should go home.. let me give you a history of your canal and progress of your country. USA paid Colombia 40 million dollars to have Colombia give Panama its freedom in ordwer to build the canal that all the world uses, not just the USA
. I am quite sure you have not been taught that in school here but it is fact. Also, the canal which put your country on the map was built with the financial resources (American tax payer dollars) Your highway, roads, and a bridge over the canal, Gatun lake.. all built by the vision of Americans. Your social security system../copied from the USA.