Panama: Kris Kremers & Lisanne Froon – ‘White’ Privilege – Even in Death! (3.5.2023) 

I have been aware of this case for a number of years. Two Dutch young women in their early twenties – ‘disappeared’ whilst hiking through the Panamanian wilderness. I am not going to examine the entire situation surrounding this case – but include two very good references below for those who are interested. I consider these two references to be exceptional within the myriad of the ‘true crime’ genre (and the other information that exists). As an academic, I would seek-out primary language sources, which in this case would mean Panamanian (Spanish) and ‘Dutch’ language sources. In the case of Panama there is also the vital issue of talking with the Indigenous people – placing their words into reliable (modern) written text (as I assume their indigenous languages are NOT ‘Spanish’ related). As matters stands, many people in the West simply copy one another’s work without checking the data for accuracy – and therefore pass on incorrect data and false assumptions – which accrue, take on a life of their own and generate a false narrative. 

Clear facts must be extracted from the fog of misinformation (and disinformation) so that a definite and convincing narrative (that explains what is likely to have happened) can be constructed to the satisfaction of the majority of truth-seekers – least of all the families of the two young women concerned. Of course, people die all the time – all over the world. Indeed, people can die in the most bizarre and improbable of ways. The case of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon certainly seems to fit into this category. Lightly dressed and virtually non-equipped – these two young women hiked into the local jungle – accompanied by only a dog which belonged to the local family they were staying with. When this local dog (‘Blue’) decided to ‘turn-back’ entirely upon his own recognizance – the chances are that something untoward happened! The dog made it back safely – the young women did not. Just why this dog abandoned his inexperienced human companions is something of a mystery.  

What we do definitely know is that Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon are ‘deceased’. We know this because ‘bits’ of their broken bones have been recovered, spread over a wide area. A broken pelvic girdle has also been recovered, as well a single foot still in its trainer-shoe together with a ‘roll of skin’. DNA testing has confirmed that these are the remains of the two lost women. They died and the local environmental and weather conditions quickly caused their bodies to rot, dry-out and be ‘scattered’ over a wide area. What happened before this point is open to debate, conjecture and assumption. As there is no other evidence than the physical (bodily) remains, a recovered rucksack and the 130 photographs found on the surviving camera – no coherent (or logical) narrative can be established. There is simply not enough primary data available. The women did not return (they got lost) or were unable to return (they were held captive or driven deeper into the wilderness by forces unknown). This gap in evidence is enough to ensure an entire genre of speculation. 

US neo-imperialism in the Panama region is often ‘ignored’ by most of the truth-seekers who cover this case. Wherever the US has crushed the local government (as in 1989 in Panama) – the economy of these areas remains undeveloped as the local people (and culture) are converted to serve the interests of ‘White’ (predominately ‘male’) tourists – whose dollars are so much more valuable than the local currency – meaning this money can be used to purchase virtually any commodity! Quite often, this exchange involves sex tourism – which sees local women (and quite often young girls) selling the only commodity they possess to these rich tourists – namely their bodies. This exchange is resented even as it unfolds. Some women (and girls) can make a lot of money (but most do not) – but the country itself is kept artificially poor to serve the interests of the US – and the broader ‘White’ world. Westerners also travel to an impoverished Panama to witness first-hand the undeveloped culture of the region – more or less as a form of a self-developing ‘entertainment’. Surely, this attitude of ‘White’ dominance feeds into the narrative as to ‘why’ Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon were in the area to start with.  

These two ‘White’ women were not necessarily ‘White Supremacists’ (as I do not know their politics) but their presence is indicative of a broader Eurocentric attitude that the local people both ‘resent’ and simultaneously ‘require’ – if the trickle of dollar-money is to keep flowing! The European ‘imperialist’ adventure always operates from the perspective of ‘Paternalism’ – as if a stern Victorian father is required to lay down the law and bring an unruly household into good order! The non-White population is viewed as being ‘child-like’ and always in need of a ‘help’ they are unable to provide for themselves. This attitude is both oppressive and disempowering. This demeaning Eurocentric attitude is compounded by the fact that implicit within it is the idea that those on the receiving end must be ‘grateful’ for the oppression they are receiving! Panama’s colonial past certainly includes this reality – but the US invasion of 1989 is still resented by the Panamanian people – and this act of blatant military aggression has led to local attitudes of intense hatred hidden behind Spanish (and ‘Indigenous’) modes of ‘politeness’ and ‘diplomacy’.  

I do not necessarily believe that Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon were murdered by locals – at least not deliberately. As to whether they were the victims of criminal gangs is another matter – who knows? I suspect they became lost, disorientated and disorganised. This spiralling of events cost them their lives. As tragic as this undoubtedly was – people go missing and die all the time in Panama – people of all ethnic backgrounds and cultural affiliations. Why, then, are these two women treated as if they are something ‘special’? The fawning over Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon – as if they were both Super Models – is as laughable as it is disturbing. It is as if the White community is attempting to deify these two young women – who did nothing for humanity and achieved little with their lives. This harsh assessment is dialectically required not as an attack on Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon – but rather as a ‘corrective’ to the incessant muddle-headed approach this case attracts throughout social media. It is the presence of Eurocentric racism which pushes us into this cul-de-sac of reality – from which we must collectively escape. The Panamanian victims of (historical) Eurocentric racism did not murder these two young women.   

English Language References: 

Blog: The missing Dutch girls in Panama