World Bulletin / News Desk
The new president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, has offered an amnesty until 1 August to "more than 200 criminal gangs" operating in the country.
Mr Varela gave the gangs one month to disarm shortly after being sworn in.
He urged them to "sever links with organised crime and join civic life".
After Mr Varela was dismissed from his post as foreign minister in 2011, the two centre-right politicians fell out.
Running against a candidate Domingo Arias backed by Mr Martinelli, he won the election in May with some 40% of the vote.
Mr Varela, 50, has promised to tackle corruption in the Central American nation in the next five years.
"From today, no one in Panama is above the law," he said during the inaugural ceremony.
"Corruption will not be tolerated in our government," he added.
After Panama publicly supported outspoken opposition leader Maria Corina Machado, Mr Varela is expected to normalise relations with Venezuela.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was one the first to congratulate Mr Varela in May.
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry and heads of state from many Latin American countries attended the inauguration ceremony in Panama city.
Last Mod: 02 Temmuz 2014, 14:33