Panama declares US invasion date a national day of mourning

Thursday's anniversary of the 1989 US invasion was declared a day of "national mourning" by Panama's legislature, and it established a commission to determine how many people were killed when US troops stormed the capital. The measure was unanimously approved as Panama commemorated the 18th anniversary of the day thousands of troops landed to arrest dictator Manuel Noriega on drug charges. "This is a recognition of those who fell on Dec. 20 as a result of the cruel and unjust invasion by the most powerful army in the world," said Rep. Cesar Pardo, of the governing Democratic Revolutionary Party, which holds a majority in the legislature. The measure, which requires the approval of President Martin Torrijos, also calls for a monument to honor the dead, most likely in El Chorrillo neighborhood that was destroyed by bombs during the attack.