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Monday, September 23 2019 @ 01:24 pm EDT

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Students From The National Institute Were Protesting On The Streets Once Again

Protests & DemonstrationsOnce again, students from the National Institute decided to protest on the streets, and the authorities were not able to determine what the motive behind their demonstrations was.

So far, three students who were throwing rocks were detained by the National Police, and the authorities also seized masks and t-shirts.

The particular ingredient of this incident in this occasion was the complaints of the residents in the area who said they are tired of the demonstrations of these students, and they are tired of the tear gas too. (Panama America)

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The Doctors Blocked The Transistmica As A Protest For The Discount In Their Salaries

Protests & DemonstrationsThe medical associations of interns and residents of the Social Security Fund decided to close the four lanes of the Transístmica, because they are demanding to receive their paychecks, besides the extra hours they worked, regardless of the 34 days of strike.

Several riot police units from the National Police were at the site shortly after the medical associations blocked the road.

The protests, which have been carried out every day to request the repeal of Law 69, allowing the hiring of foreign specialist doctors, so far they had only demonstrated on the sidewalks, but today they decided to take over the road.

The strike has been going on for a month now and it doesn’t have a final date; however, during the early hours of Tuesday, the authorities of the Health Ministry and the CSS reached an agreement with the union to modify the law, which is currently in the hands of the deputies. (Telemetro)

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34th Day Of Doctor's Strike

Protests & Demonstrations

Today, Tuesday October 29th, is the 34th day of doctor's strike, and this time the Health Sector Groups decided to close one lane in Via Transistmica for half an hour.

Not even the constant dialogues and the intervention of the Catholic Church have been effective, because according to John Hoger, COMENENAL spokesman, the authorities oppose to Article 23, dealing with the "no provatization, outsourcing and provision of the health services."

By not accepting the agreement, they run the risk of the law reforms to not be taken to the three required debates and according to them this is the government's strategy.(Dia a Dia)

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Masked Students Take Over The National Institute

Protests & Demonstrations

Today, masked students of the National Institute assaulted several journalists and cameramen who were in the campus since early in the morning, covering the protest of a group of students.

The report says the students opened one of the gates of the campus by using pounders and acetylene, they're allegedly protesting because the enrollment of about 59 students was denied for the next school year.

One of the teachers of the school confirmed at least 15 masked students entered the National Institute and said the school authorities know who they are, but they don't rule out the possibility of them being former students who have been previously expelled.

Once the students managed to destroy the locks of the doors, they proceeded to close the Avenida de Los Mártires.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Education issued a statement asking for the student's parents to talk to their children because they had information stating today a group of students planned on disrupting classes and taking over the streets with violence.(TVN)

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Students Of The Instituto Nacional Made Another Protest

Protests & Demonstrations

Today, students of the Instituto Nacional made a protest while wearing masks, demanding the resignation of the school's rector, for the Minister Lucy Molinar to show up to the school and for the authorities to drop the charges made against the expelled students.

In the morning an inspector of the School prohibited the entrance of three students who had participated in past riots, infuriating a group of students.

Even though the school gate was closed they broke the locks to go out and throw stones at the Crowd Control Units of the National Police, who were guarding the campus.

Other students tried to mediate the internal conflict because they're worried about losing the school year.(Dia a Dia)

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"Hearthbroken Women" Show Their Rejection Towards Martinelli

Protests & DemonstrationsA tweet sent by President Ricardo Martinelli has unleashed a feminist movement aimed to focus on the main dissatisfactions of the citizens, in this case of women.

"I heard four women were talking really bad about me. Kisses to them,” said the president through his account @rmartinelli.

She referred to Lorena Castillo, Teresita de Arias, Idalia Martínez and the former Attorney General, Ana Matilde Gómez, who were participating in the Sunday edition of “Open Debate” in Medcom.

Lorena Castillo, the presidential candidate’s wife, reacted to this and said: “Women who stand up for themselves and have their own opinions.”

The movement of “Heartbroken Women” has already organized its first action. On Thursday they will participate in the march organized by the National Medical Committee (Comenal), identified with t-shirts, banners, and preparing stickers and other articles to be noticed and demand respect from the President.

Idalia Martínez, one of the “Heartbroken Women,” replied back to the President saying “they don’t want your kisses, what they want is the respect they deserve as women and Panamanians.”

Martínez said they are organizing the event so the President can see their position and to demand respect. (Estrella)

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Moreno Said Politics Are Not Involved In Medical Strike

Protests & DemonstrationsEach day the strike gets stronger and there are more and more doctors who are no longer caring for the insured patients, according to the president of the National Negotiating Medical Committee (Comenenal).

He said Ricardo Martinelli is lying about this strike having anything to do with politics. “This is not a politician movement but a fight for our profession and the patients,” he said.

On the other hand, Dr. Julissa Rodríguez said hiring foreign doctors is not the best solution to the lack of personnel.

She said her biggest concern is receiving inexperienced doctors in the Panamanian health system.

The doctors have been on strike for 16 days now after the law allowing the hiring of foreign doctors was approved. (Prensa)

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Students Of The Instituto Nacional Made A Peaceful Protest

Protests & Demonstrations

Several students from the Instituto Nacional came back out to the streets in a peaceful protest near the campus.

They demand explanations for the police action on Monday, in addition to the presence of the Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar.

The protest spreaded on all sides of campus and included a march to the presidency of the Republic.(Mi Diario)

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Teachers Will Support The Doctor's Strike

Protests & Demonstrations

Today, Tuesday October 8th, At least nine teacher unions announced they will support the protests made ​​by the specialized doctors to reject the Act 69.

The teacher's union leader, Luis Lopez, informed although they will join the protests in the streets and other actions taken by the health sector unions, they will not suspend classes.

Lopez stated "Right now we're just providing support for street demonstrations."(La Prensa)

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Medical Unions Were Protesting In Transistmica

Protests & DemonstrationsOn Monday, medical unions were protesting at Via Transístmica, where they were expressing they didn’t want to dialogue, they were demanding to have Law 69 repealed and to have a meeting with President Ricardo Martinelli.

This is the twelfth day in which the health professionals are protesting, who said they have not reached an agreement with the authorities and said they will continue protesting until their rights are respected.

Domingo Moreno, leader of the National Negotiating Medical Commission (Comenenal) said “we are tired of the attitude of the Health Ministry because they are pretending they are pretending they are crazy, it is obvious they do many things behind the people, we are stripping down the truth. The decision of ending with this suffering is in the hands of Martinelli.”

On the other hand, Carlos Peralta, leader of the Association of Nursing Practitioners and Technicians, said they do not agree with the regulations they are pretending to do, which is why they will continue fighting for the benefits of everyone.

During the protest, health professionals were handing out fliers, in support of the technicians and students. (Telemetro)

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A Group Of Tourism Drivers Were Protesting Outside Of The Colon Free Zone

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of Tourism drivers were protesting in front of the Colon Free Zone, after they were not allowed to enter the Zone.

According to the information we received, these drivers were not allowed in the Free Zone, therefore they had to go and protest.

However, authorities from the Free Zone said the measure was taken because they made some security changes.

“We ask to meet with manager of Puerto Colon 2000, because they have not le tus participate in their meetings, and we believe they are bringing a new company,” said one of the affected. (TVN)

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Specialist Doctor's Strike Continues

Protests & Demonstrations

Today, The doctor's strike continued despite the announcement made yesterday by President Ricardo Martinelli about increasing the salary for national specialist physicians working in remote areas.

Yesterday, the president ratified the draft bill 611, allowing the recruitment of foreign doctors to cover a shortage of specialists in the country's interior.

Carlos Peralta, who's representing nursing technicians, announced the strike will continue, he also said they demand the bill to be repealed and to have a dialogue about the issue.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Javier Diaz, confirmed approximately 6 thousand people are not being cared for due to the strike organized by specialist doctors, people claimed to be disappointed because they'll have to wait up to 6 months to be seen by a specialist.

Authorities confirmed there's an amount of 183 medical specialists missing in the country.(TVN)

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CSS Employees Made A Peaceful Protest In Juan Diaz

Protests & Demonstrations

Today, at noon, there was a peaceful protest in front of the J.J. Vallarino Polyclinic located in Juan Diaz.

It was made by a group of employees of the CSS who are opposed to the alleged privatization of the entity.

Priscilla Vasquez, president of the Association of Employees of the CSS, said the protest was also made because of the unfair dismissal of dentist Vanessa Moreno.

Vasquez also said the protest will continue until the dentist is rehired.

Moreno is the daughter of the leader of the Negotiating Medical Association, Domingo Moreno, so it's believed this could be a case of vengeance against the leader.(TVN)

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CSS Director Asks Martinelli To Delay Signing Law 611

Protests & DemonstrationsThe Director of Panama's Social Security Fund, Guillermo Sáez Llorens, asked the President of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli to delay signing the document that would allow the Ministry of Health and the CSS to hire foreign medical specialists.

"This could make the stakeholders sit down to reach an agreement. The important thing here is to be able to hire the specialist doctors to see the patients who need them most," he said.

The official said he is most interested in having this issue resolved, and therefore he is still wondering about the real reasons for the strike.

"There is no article (in the new law 611) that says we are going to privatize the health sector, we only want to be able to hire foreign medical specialists in a more streamlined manner for the interior (of the country)," he added.

When speaking on Telemetro, he clarified that in the tender (contract bidding process) for the management of services in the City Hospital will not take place tomorrow Thursday, but rather it will be held on the 7th of November.

He also said their supply of medicines is at 98%.

Sáez Llorens (left) and Fernando Castañeda (right)

For his part, the leader of the Comenenal union, Fernando Castañeda said this announcement by Sáez Llorens is nothing more than him accepting that the law is wrong, and that it has problems.

Castañeda believes President Martinelli is not aware of everything, because he has still not sanctioned (signed) the law.

Today marks the seventh day of strikes by physicians, which is gaining strength with the addition to the protest by other unions in the health sector. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: The Panamanian doctors have historically rejected and resisted any and every attempt to bring in foreign doctors to work in Panama. But at the same time the Ministry of Health and the Social Security administration offer the Panamanian doctors jobs to work as medical specialists in the positions they have open in the interior of the country, and the doctors refuse those positions. They all want to work in Panama City, but they don't want a Venezuelan doctor (for example) to work as a cardiologist in the interior, either. And the people who are getting screwed in all of this are the patients, who are always poor, and who are now forced to make the trek via bus to Panama City for their medical appointments. In my opinion the Panamanian doctors are flat out wrong on this one, and they should shut the hell up and get out of the way.

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Nurses Might Extend Their Support To The Doctor's Strike

Protests & Demonstrations

Today in the afternoon, the Association of Nurses was gathered at its headquarters to discuss if they're going to extend their support to the specialist doctor's strike.

Elidia Espinoza, representative of the association, said the bill 611 was assessed at a roundtable, however on arrival to the National Assembly it was politicized by members of the government.

The specialist doctor's strike was called by the National Medical Negotiating Commission (Comenenal) since last week and so far it's supported by many health officials.(Mi Diario)

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Doctors "Will Feel" The Discount In Their Paychecks

Protests & DemonstrationsGuillermo Sáez Llorens, director of the Social Security Fund (CSS), said approximately 6 thousand appointments in Veraguas have not been attended “this means approximately six thousand people are not being cared for due to the strike organized by specialist doctors.”

He said they have discounted five days of work from all the doctors who are on strike and “they will feel its weight on their next paycheck.” The director of the CSS said they do not want to cause harm to anyone.

According to Sáez Llorens, they do need specialists and he hopes people come back to their senses because all they want to do is hire specialists that are truly required by the Panamanian people.

"Which is why I believe they are being selfish and don’t want to do this and the worse I’ve seen is that these doctors who are on strike are telling their patients to go in the afternoon to their private clinics to receive their attention.”

He said 185 specialists are needed in the country and said they need nephrologists, which is a very limited resource they have because most of them are in Panama and they are also required in the interior.

On the sixth day of the medical strike, the official said this strike is “immoral,” through which they are requesting to veto the law that allows the Minsa and the CSS to hire foreign doctors.

“Out of 500 officials from the clinic Horacio Díaz Gómez there are only three specialists and some intern doctors who are on strike, luckily the strike has not been welcomed there; however, any specialist out of the hospital affects us,” said Llorens.

He accused the doctor Domingo Moreno, president of the National Medical Negotiating Commission (Comenenal), who organized the strike. “What I find weird about this is that doctor Moreno who is one of the doctors supporting the strike, seems to be working because I was told he went to work on Thursday and Friday because he does not want to receive a discount, which means some doctors were set up because they are on strike but other doctors who support this are not, so I believe this is unfair with people. Please stop already, those who are on strike go back to work.” (Estrella)

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37 Students From The Arte Y Oficios Were Arrested

Protests & DemonstrationsThe authorities said 37 students from the Artes y Oficios, among them 4 adults, were arrested for participating in demonstrations during the afternoon.

The arrested students were taken to the Police in San Cristobal to wait for their parents to pick them up.

According to the report, the teachers and inspectors of the school were the ones who identified the students involved in the riots, after they were arrested by the authorities.

Not so long ago, this group confronted riot police units by throwing rocks at them and even broke the windows from a Metro Bus.

The Commissioner of the National Police, Eli Miranda, confirmed the information about the amount of arrested students and said they took this measure to protect the people and the students. She explained they entered the school upon the request of the director. (TVN)

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Martinelli Says The Strike Organized By Doctors Is Unfair With The Patients

Protests & DemonstrationsPresident Ricardo Martinelli questioned the strike organized by different medical unions who reject the Law 611, which he believes is unfair with the patients.

Martinelli said through Twitter that before they went on strike they should’ve read the law.

"Before paralyzing medical service, please read the law because what your leaders are telling you is not contemplated in this law. This is unfair with the patients,” said the president.

Martinelli believes the strike is a “business of the doctors who abandon the hospitals and assist their clients at their private clinics, full of patients.”

He asked the Public Health personnel to think about this to not affect the patients because he believes this is some sort of “manipulation from certain irresponsible politicians.”

Meanwhile, the Health Minister, Javier Díaz, sustained the need of hiring foreign doctors because there are approximately 1.6 million people in the interior of the country.

Díaz said in their four years of administration, they’ve made several proposals to hire national doctors to occupy these areas and they did not receive a single candidate.

At the same time, he asked the medical unions to present the list of national doctors who are willing to provide the service at these areas.

"We are open to dialogue, talk to me because the only one affected is the people with less resources,” he said.

The draft bill 611, through which the Health Ministry (Minsa) and the Social Security Fund (CSS) are authorized to hire foreign health professionals and technicians, was approved on third hearing at the National Assembly and is in line to be ratified by the President of the Republic. (Panama America)

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Protest At The Vasco Nuñez De Balboa Monument

Protests & Demonstrations

Yesterday, Wednesday September 25th, a group of indigenous protesters showed at the Vasco Nuñez de Balboa monument, protesting against the celebration of Balboa's first arrival to Panama.

According to the protesters, an indian massacre occurred when Balboa arrived to Panama.

They demanded for their story to be written in the history books, they ensure it was a tragedy because according to them their ancestors were used and Balboa enriched himself by using their belongings.

This protest is given due to the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean.(Dia a Dia)

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Renal Failure Patients Protest For The Use Of Generic Medications

Protests & Demonstrations

Today, Tuesday September 24th, Renal Failure Patients protested in front of the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital facilities of the CSS for the use of new generic medications.

According to unofficial data, dialysis patients will also join this protest.

The protesters say doctors will use these drugs with them and because of their condition they're opposed to the use of this type of medications.(Dia a Dia)

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Via Bolivar Closed By Residents Of Calle 14 In Colon

Protests & Demonstrations

A group of Residents of the Bambu area in calle 14 of Colon closed via Bolivar in protest for the installation of sensors in the area.

The residents said they will be the ones removing the sensors if the company who placed them doesn't, according to them these sensors are very large and are activated by movement so every time the devices get activated the electricity goes down in the place.

These sensors were placed in order to prevent theft in the sector.(Dia a Dia)

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The Riot Police Confronted Nursing Technicians At The Transistmica

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of nursing technicians from the Social Security Fund were protesting in the Transistmica to demand the authorities to pay their overtime.

The nursing technicians sent a message to the administration of the hospital stating they will continue working for all of the insured citizens even though they are not getting paid for overtime.

In the protest they were also collecting money for their colleagues, because according to them their salaries are not enough to cover their expenses.

They said the authorities promised to pay their overtime on September 15 and did not meet their agreement. (Panama America)

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Residents From Punta Paitilla Request The Authorities To Suspend Zoning Changes

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of residents from Punta Paitilla in San Francisco requested the City Council to suspend zoning changes currently being planned for the residential area.

The residents were carrying signs with messages rejecting the changes. They hope the council members listen to their request.

The Mayor, Roxana Méndez, said this change is an exclusive competition of the Ministry of Housing and Regional Organization (Miviot).

On the other hand, the representative of San Francisco, Carlos Pérez, said the authorities are not consulting the residents first to conduct this type of zoning changes. (Critica)

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Officials From The CSS Were Blocking The Transistmica

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of officials from the Social Security Fund (CSS) blocked the Transistmica for half an hour at noon to demand their overtime payments.

According to what the officials explained, these overtime payments correspond to the last four months, and so far the institution has not paid them.

They said they will continue protesting if they don’t receive an answer from the authorities. (TVN)

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Residents In Paitilla Will Protest Against The Zoning Change In The Area

Protests & DemonstrationsThe construction of two 40-story buildings in Via Italia, Paitilla, in San Francisco, has caused uneasiness among the residents of this area who say these projects will affect traffic in the area which is already pretty bad.

"No to the zoning change, no more,” was the slogan of the 50 members from the Association of Residents And Owners of Punta Paitilla who during a press conference said they will protest in the streets against the zoning change approved by the Ministry of Housing and Regional Organization (MIVIOT).

Iban Blaser, president of the association, said he was worried because the authorities keep on giving permits for projects without consulting with the community. “I don’t understand how developers obtain these permits from the MIVIOT, the IDAAN, the Fire Department and the Municipality,” said Blaser, who is concerned about the convening power of these companies whenever they require construction permits.

“We will block streets and push the authorities until the Government paralyzes these projects,” said the members of the Association of Residents.

Ernesto Cordovez, who has been living in Via Italia for over 40 years, said he is not against the development of the city, but he is not in favor of traffic congestion in Paitilla

In an emergency situation, according to Cordovez, the ambulances or fire trucks will not have access to the area.

LAWSUIT

On August 2, the lawyer Erick Prado filed a lawsuit against the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) against the resolution 343 from July 5, 2013 issued by the MIVIOT, allowing to change the soil for the construction of a building project in Paitilla.

This resolution authorizes the zoning change of the lands 48, 821 and 70,625 in Paitilla, according to the attorney, who is also representing the residents.

Prado said they are not only complaining for the agglomeration of buildings, but also because this will completely paralyze traffic, clog sewers and create more waste.

After the residents form Paitilla complained about this situation, the Office of Public Relations of the MIVIOT said they will give an answer to the residents today.

According to the population and housing census from 2010, there are a total of 7,000 inhabitants in Paitilla, and this number might increase after the construction of the new buildings in question. (Siglo)

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Egyptian Community Was Demonstrating In Front Of The Egyptian Embassy In Panama

Protests & DemonstrationsThe constant clashes after the overthrow of the Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, have caused many people around the world to gather and ask for the hostile acts to end, and Panama has not been the exception.

The Egyptian community in the country was protesting in front of the Egyptian Embassy, located in Bella Vista.

A group of people went to the area at around 3:00 p.m. with signs bearing phrases such as: "No to the coup d'état in Egypt," "Free Egypt " and "Justice and Freedom."

Besides, they took the opportunity to distribute flyers to the people informing them there have been over 5 thousand martyrs in Egypt, and one third of them are children and women and the rest are young people between the ages of 17 and 30 years old.

Besides there are over 10 thousand injured, and a fourth of them are fighting for their lives with serious injuries and more than 30 thousand political prisoners who have been arrested for their opinions and opposition to the situation in the country.

The demonstrators were demanding freedom for their people and requesting international support for this crisis to finally end.

On August 14, the government assigned by the army ordered the dispersal of the forces in two plazas in El Cairo who supported Morsi, which caused a blood bath. More than one thousand people died in a week, most of them Islamic, and over two thousand members of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested, among them almost all of the leaders.

Facing the new orders of mobilization of the Pro Morsi group, the provisional government gave authorization to the soldiers and the police to open fire against any protestor who attacks public property or the security forces. (Prensa)

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The Teachers And The Meduca Reached An Agreement To Put An End To Their Strike

Protests & DemonstrationsAn agreement signed last night between the teachers and the authorities of the Ministry of Education (Meduca) finally put an end to the strike organized by nine different unions since July 30.

The document establishes there won’t be any punishment for the teachers who were on strike, and it also forces them to recover the classes they missed due to the conflict.

Another point achieved by the teachers during the negotiation is that Meduca will reimburse the days they discounted from their salaries as long as they make it up for the classes they missed. This was the issue that had the debate stuck for both parties during the discussion at the Office of the Ombudsman.

The vice minister of Education, Mirna de Crespo, said the most important thing about this agreement is that they will make it up for their absence.

Meanwhile, Yadira Pino, leader of the Association of Teachers from Veraguas, said it was important to always solve educational issues through dialogue.

After they signed this agreement, the unions said they will meet with their members to explain the agreement they reached and will ask them to go back to school from tomorrow, Monday.

Official figures show that over 20 thousand students from official schools were affected by the strike organized by 864 teachers out of the 45 thousand in the system. (Prensa)

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The Teachers' Strike Might Finally Come To An End

Protests & DemonstrationsToday at 1:00 p.m. the Ombudsman in charge, Javier Mitil, and the vice minister of Education, Mirna de Crespo, will meet with a group of leaders from different teachers’ unions to try to put an end to the protests.

Mitil said the teachers’ strike might finish today, which has been going on for 20 days now.

The Ministry of Education (Meduca) has not signed the agreement with the teachers.

Some of the terms in the agreement are not to apply any sort of punishment to the teachers such as dismissals, and discounts to their salaries, as well as setting up a negotiating board to talk about several issues. (Critica)

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Teachers Closed Calle 50 Demanding An Agreement With MEDUCA

Protests & Demonstrations

Today, The teacher's unions marched ​​to the Ombudsman's Office, where another group of teachers were meeting with the Ombudsman in charge, Javier Mitil, to try to reach for an agreement to end with the strike.

Teachers reiterated to the authorities of the Ministry of Education they need to sign the agreement in order for them to end the strike.

Meanwhile, Professor Nelva Reyes said "unfortunately nothing has been signed yet, we will continue waiting for MEDUCA to do so and if not, we will remain in strike."

Deputy Minister of Education, José Guillermo Herrera Kivers made a call on teachers to go back to work.(Panama America)

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Students Broke The Window Of A Metro Bus At The Simon Bolivar Avenue

Protests & DemonstrationsStudents from the Artes y Oficios were throwing rocks at three Metro Buses that were passing by the University of Panama in the Simón Bolívar.

According to reports from the National Police (PN), the students came running down the stairs from the pedestrian bridge located in front of the school and threw rocks at the three buses. According to the agents of the PN, this act of vandalism does not seem to be the product of a normal protest.

Two people were injured after this event. One of them was hit in the head by one of the rocks thrown at the Metro Bus by the students.

Also, five students linked to the case were arrested. Crowd management agents from the PN remained outside of the school.

Meanwhile, the company Mi Bus said this situation affected the service of the Metro Bus at the area. The company also called on sanity to avoid putting the physical integrity of other users and workers at risk, as well as the Metro Bus system itself. (Prensa)

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