Search the Archive

Canal Treaty Debate / Torrijos Family Drug Traffic Charges #52709

ABC Evening News for Tuesday, Feb 21, 1978
View other clips in this broadcast →

Material supplied by VTNA may be used for educational analysis or research only. Any editing, reproduction, publication, rebroadcast, public showing or public display may be prohibited by copyright laws.

(Studio) Secret Senator session in 1903 on debate over building of Panama Canal and present secret Senator session on Canal treaty noted.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner

(DC) Release of some DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) information discussed in secret session by Intelligence Committee chairperson Birch Bayh reported; information with regard to Panamanian drug connection and involvement of Omar Torrijos and members of his family in it quoted. Mentioned in report are Torrijos brother, Moises, and former Narcotics Bureau director John Ingersoll. Reaction of Senators to drug issue described. [Frank CHURCH - says treaty issue is one of best ints. of US, not what Moises Torrijos may have done years ago.] [Robert DOLE - thinks issue concerns whether or not United States would be propping up corrupt government if treaty ratified.]
REPORTER: Don Farmer

(Panama City, Panama) Reaction of Panamanian government officials to drug trafficking charges before Senator reported Torrijos' recent request for proof against brother, who is now ambassador to Spain, noted. United States officials' speculation that drug traffic through Panama amts. to so much that high government officials couldn't help but be aware of it cited. Background on Torrijos brothers Moises and Hugo noted. Incriminating testimony about Torrijos family given to Senator by former Panamanian intelligence agent Alexis Watson-Castillo reported Castillo's statements made in Miami news conference with regard to drug trade in Panama's free trade zone at Colon, on ships en route from Colombia to United States stated. Ease of entry of drugs into Panama, especially cocaine, through Panama Canal at Colon or at Tocumen Airport described, citing cocaine capture last year at airport which involved connection of Hugo Torrijos. Omar Torrijos' request for proof, Carter admin.'s silence and statement that treaty is what matters reported.
REPORTER: Bernard Shaw

Farmer, Don;
Reasoner, Harry;
Shaw, Bernard

Note to sponsor members: The Vanderbilt Television News Archive video player requires a modern operating system and browser to work properly. If you are experiencing playback problems, check the minimum requirements and adjust your setup accordingly. After adjustments, if you continue to experience problems, please contact us.

Welcome! Above is the abstract of the item that you're interested in viewing from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive's collection. You have three options if you'd like to view this item:

  • You may request a loan of this video by registering on our website and placing an order.
  • You may visit the Television News Archive on the Vanderbilt campus to view on-site from the Archive's collection.
  • If you are associated with a college or university, you may ask your library if they would like to become a sponsor, which would give students and faculty at your institution the ability to view items from our collection.

If you believe that you are associated with a sponsoring college or university and have received this message in error, please let us know.