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Friday, August 22 2014 @ 09:44 AM EDT

Riot Police Clear Protesters From Highway in Chilibre

Protests & DemonstrationsRiot control officers of the National Police this morning cleared the road to Colon, in the area of Chilibre, closed by residents of Don Bosco who are demanding the permanent distribution of drinking water. On channel 13 In Telemetro Report it could be seen how the riot control officers cleared the roadway using tear gas and pepper spray. During the police operation a group of residents were detained. The residents complained about the use of force to clear the roadway, which they had closed starting at 5:00 am this morning. The residents of the community of Don Bosco also complain about the lack of potable water, and that the tankers being used to distribute water do not meet adequate health requirements. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Show me your receipts for paid water bills. In Panama the IDAAN is owed millions of dollars - I forget the official figure but it's a ridiculous amount - because the people who receive water service simply do not pay their bills. It's literally impossible to either maintain or expand a water distribution system if you don't have enough money to do so. There are vast areas where squatters have simply taken over and built houses on land they don't own, and then they come down and complaint that it would be ILLEGAL for the IDAAN to install a potable water distribution network for an illegally constructed neighborhood of squatters. So, the close the streets to complain. Once again, this is yet another example of what happens with the government tries to run something. If the water distribution system was privatized and run for profit as a joint venture with the government - much in the same way as the electrical and telecommunications systems are - then service would improve and the network would expand. In the meantime we continue to fight the same battles that have been fought literally for decades, with no hope of ever making a true, fundamental change for the better.

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