By JUAN ZAMORANO
NICANOR, Panama (AP) — Panama has launched a security operation along its shared border with Colombia to combat organized crime groups and migrant smugglers involved in record-setting migration through the perilous Darien Gap this year. Security officials said Friday that Operation Shield is part of the agreement reached with the governments of Colombia and the United States in April to stop the flow of migrants through the border’s jungle-clad mountains. Panama will use previously U.S.-donated helicopters to increase aerial patrols of the largely roadless region, but stressed that it was a Panamanian operation. The government will also send more special border police units into the area to try to root out the criminal gangs.