PANAMA CITY -- Panama cannot make paymets on its $ 4.01 billion debt for at least the next several years, Controller General Ruben Dario Carles said this week.

The government owes nearly $ 2.21 billion to 187 private banks around the globe, including banks in the United States, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Europe, and Latin America. Panama owes $1.8 billion more lending to foreign governments and international lending groups.

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