Today’s football community is in mourning, following news of Gilberto Hernandez’s sudden and tragic death at 26-years-old Panamanian defender Gilberto Hernandez from Club Atletico Independiente de La Chorrera on Sunday in Colon. Hernandez left an insurmountable hole in Panamanian football fraternity.
Hernandez made headlines with two international appearances for Panama after making his debut in March, as well as helping Real Esteli FC secure a 3-1 victory against them in the Central American Cup match on August 23rd. Many fans became excited at his prospects of success.
Panama Football League and Panama Football Federation expressed their deep sorrow in separate statements. The league extended their condolences and strongly denounced any act of violence that took Gilberto Hernandez’s life, writing: “The Panamanian Football League deeply laments Gilberto Hernandez, a player for Club Atletico Independiente who was tragically lost after an isolated act of violence took place in Colon City which also resulted in several injured parties. We offer our condolences.”
The Panamanian Football Federation extended their condolences to Gilberto Hernandez’s family, friends and the entire football community following his passing. Their statement read: “[We] express our deepest sorrow over Gilberto’s passing while also sending our deepest sympathies out to CAI and Panamanian football family members alike.
Tragic events occurred while Hernandez was walking with friends through central Colon. Police reports indicate that attackers in a taxi opened fire, resulting in his death and seven injuries to other party. Authorities have arrested one suspect while investigations into this tragic event continue.
Panama’s Colon province, home to about 300,000. has seen a disturbing upsurge in violence. Last year alone saw 102 homicides recorded; although down from previous years this remains alarmingly high. Authorities attribute much of this violence to competing drug gangs operating within its boundaries.
This tragic event brings back painful memories of another Panamanian football talent lost due to violence: midfielder Amilcar Henriquez was shot and killed in Colon province on December 5, 2017; Henriquez had played on Panamanian squad that qualified for 2018 World Cup tournament and left an indelible mark on nation’s football history.
Gilberto Hernandez’s death is not only tragic for his family and the football community; it is a stark reminder of the necessity to address violence in Panama’s communities. Football mourns his passing as fans and teammates mourn a young talent with so much more to give to this sport; his memory will live on in their hearts forever. If you like our content visit our website.