Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Wednesday, June 26 2019 @ 05:49 PM UTC

View Printable Version

Over 20 Students From The National Institute Were Arrested For Causing Disturbance

Protests & DemonstrationsAt least 25 students from the National Institute were arrested during a riot on Wednesday by the streets in Avenida Los Mártires.

Earlier in the day, riot police units from the National Police confronted the students who arrived and started causing material damage in commercial establishments and vandalizing vehicles near the area. Other establishments decided to close their doors to avoid being vandalized.

After this situation, the directive of the school decided to suspend classes at the school for the day.

The students were requesting the teachers to end their strike and were also protesting against the sale of certain lands where some official schools are located in Paitilla. (Telemetro)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Teachers Declared They Will Go On Strike For An Undefinite Amount Of Time

Protests & DemonstrationsAfter a meeting celebrated on Saturday afternoon, the Association of Teachers of the Republic of Panama decided to start an indefinite strike on Monday.

The leader of the Association of Teachers of the Republic of Panama, Andrés Rodríguez, said the Minister of Education has not accepted to sign the settlement of the strike.

These groups of teachers say that even though the authorities have promised not to, they have threatened them with firing them and applying deductions to their salaries.

Rodríguez deplored that President Martinelli told the Minister to fire the teachers if she had to.

The teacher Rodríguez told parents not to send their kids to school because they will not assist them.

Rodríguez said the teachers will gather at the professional school Isabel Herrera De Obaldía starting on 10 a.m. and will protest in the streets. (TVN)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Molinar Said The Protests Are A Politician Movement

Protests & DemonstrationsThe Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, said the demonstrations organized by the teachers are all part of a politician movement and are driven by personal interests.

She said they are not looking to privatize education, but said this group of people must understand that they must abide by the law. “They requested to have this decree revoked and not to have anyone fired, but we will discount the days the teachers missed work from their salaries,” she said.

"This is a small group that wants to destabilize education in Panama, however we will not allow it because we will always defend the rights of the students,” said Molinar.

Yesterday, the repeal of the 920 decree was published in the Official Gazette. (Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Teachers Closed Calle 50 In The Afternoon

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of teachers blocked Calle 50 right in front of the Office of the Ombudsman as a protest.

The teachers, who demanded to have the Decree 920 revoked as well as signing an agreement in which the Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, would not take any reprisals against the teachers on strike, have also had several meetings in which the Ombudsman in charge, Javier Mitil, served as a mediator.

Earlier in the day, the teachers in Veraguas closed the Inter-American highway for several minutes by Viguí and the city of Santiago.

Crown Control units from the National Police used teargas to clear the road in Santiago, in which many teachers were affected by the gas. (TVN)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Teachers Chained Themselves To The Ombudsman's Office In Veraguas

Protests & Demonstrations

Two educators chained themselves at the entrance to the Ombudsman's Office in Veraguas, to demand the repeal of the Decree 920, which according to them allows the privatization of national education and may cause labor destabilization.

Then another group marched to that point and made ​​a rally in solidarity with the chained educators.

Yesterday, other group of teachers also chained themselves to the Ombudsman Office in Colon, to ask for the Ombudsman to help and to defend them.

While in Veraguas, other educators, along with some students from the Escuela Normal de Santiago were making a protest at the Ministry of Education facilities in that province.(TVN)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Teachers Marched To The Presidency

Protests & Demonstrations

Following their strike, teachers began a march from the República de Venezuela School to the Presidency of the Republic.

The march began at 4pm, educators from the West of Panama also joined the march, they're demanding to speak to members of the Government.

On Friday, August 2nd, the teacher's union leader, Luis Lopez, announced that the strike would be extended until Wednesday August 7th.(Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Union Members Are Against The Sale Of State Shares From Cable & Wireless

Protests & DemonstrationsMembers of the National Union of Employees from Cable & Wireless (Sintcswipsa) said they would go on strike if the Government insists on selling the state shares of this company.

According to Denia Power, general secretary of Sintcswipsa, the idea of selling these shares emerged once again last month, when the amendment to the law that creates the Panama Savings Fund (FAD) was surprisingly introduced in second debate at the National Assembly.

Power explained the purpose of modifying this law is to incorporate in the FAD the product from the sale of state shares in private companies.

“We will remain alert and will not allow the privatization of the company, as this would represent a blow to wallets of Panamanians,” said Power.

On the subject, El Siglo tried to know the side of the story of Ricardo Quijano, Minister of Commerce and Industries, but he did not answer his cell phone. (Siglo)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Teacher's Protest Extended Until Monday

Protests & Demonstrations

Educational Guilds announced they will be extending their strike for 48 hours more.

This will start today August 1st, until Monday August 5th, according to the teacher Luis Lopez, head of the Teachers Coordinator Unit.

"We inform all of our colleagues that we have extended the strike for 48 hours" said Lopez.

Lopez said that despite the "media campaign" and "intimidation" by the Ministry of Education (MEDUCA) they will remain firm on their strike, and invited other unions that have not made the decision to join the protest, to integrate "as soon as possible."

However, this group of teachers protesting against Decree 920, which according to them, allows the privatization of national education and may cause labor destabilization, for the "poor state of the schools in the country", and other issues, will be supported by the medical associations who will join them in protest.

The doctor, Domingo Moreno, secretary of the COMENENAL, said his decision to support teachers has to do with the health system and the "chaotic situation" of health in the country.(Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Another Blocked Road By Dissatisfied Metro Bus Users

Protests & Demonstrations

For the third time, a group of Metro Bus users closed a road, demanding a better service.

The area of the ​​San Miguelito vehicular bridge in front of the Super 99 was the one closed this time, the road was blocked despite the rain that fell in the area.

Yesterday, another group of Metro Bus users closed the roads for a short time in the area of ​​Plaza 5 de Mayo, by the poor service provided by the company Mi Bus.

It was also reported on Saturday that a group of Veranillo residents closed the vía Cincuentenario.

Users also complained about the lack of bus stops, a situation that has worsened since the beginning of the rainy season.(La Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Bus Drivers Protest In Chepo

Protests & Demonstrations

Around 20 drivers were sanctioned by the ATTT for providing services on routes where they claim they have worked for over 40 years.

In protest, the drivers closed the entrance of the village for a few minutes and showed their discontent.

The protesters said that there are buses providing the service illegally and what they want is to take them out.

The buses were placed on one side of the street, while the drivers were waiting for a reason for their fines.

After several minutes of protest, the drivers left hoping to meet on Wednesday with the ATTT director, Roberto Moreno, to find a solution.(TVN)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Doctors Will Go On Strike For 48 Hours Starting On Thursday

Protests & DemonstrationsStarting at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 1, physicians from the National Negotiating Medical Commission (Comenenal) will go on strike for 48 hours at all the health centers from the Social Security Fund (CSS).

This measure is the result of bad administration in the health services and the recruitment of foreign doctors.

The Comenenal is formed by 13 medical unions across the country such as the Association of Dentists from the CSS, the National Federation of Residents and Interns, the Panamanian Company of General Medicine, the Panamanian Dental Association, the Association of Specialist Doctors from the CHMCSS, the Association of Specialist Doctors from Veraguas, the Association of Doctors from the Regional Hospital RHL in Chiriqui, the Association of Doctors from the Pediatric Specialties Hospital OTH, the Association of Doctors from the Children’s Hospital, the Panamanian Association of Veterinarians, the Association of Doctors from Bocas del Toro, the Panamanian Association of Emergency Medicine and the Association of Professional Doctors HJDDO.

The teachers’ unions, who gathered at the Republica de Venezuela School on Tuesday, declared they would go on strike for 48 hours starting on Wednesday July 31 and Thursday August 1 to request the derogation of the Executive Decree 920, the suspension of the online employment program, the appointment of a high level commission and the restitution of teachers who have left the system. (Estrella)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Retired Workers Of The National Police Blocked The Pan American Highway

Protests & DemonstrationsFor more than 30 minutes the retired employees of the National Police (PN) closed the Pan American Highway by La Pesa in La Chorrera, demanding the government to give them all the employee benefits they are entitled to.

Carrying signs and chanting slogans through a megaphone they were demanding to receive their special pensions, supplemental funds, the return of the Savings and Capitalization System of Retired Public Officials (SIACAP) and their vacation payments.

Over 10,000 retired employees from the National Police feel deceived by this and previous governments because none of them have resolved these issues. (TVN)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Teachers Declared They Would Go On Strike For 48 Hours

Protests & DemonstrationsThe teachers’ unions declared they would go on strike for 48 hours at the official schools after a general assembly in which they decided to take this measure. They will go on strike starting today.

They reported this measure is indefinite.

EARLIER IN THE DAY

The strike organized by the teachers’ unions was ignored by the teachers from the city, according to the spokesmen of the Ministry of Education (Meduca).

Both teachers and students went to their classrooms and had their regular schedule in the city, according to the spokesmen from MEDUCA. During a tour carried out at the Republica de Venezuela School it was verified that they did have classes.

This was actually the reason why the teachers’ unions organized a general assembly and decided to apply these pressure measures.

A group of teachers were chanting slogans against the education authorities outside of the school. The activity was monitored by agents of the National Police.

Earlier in the morning, the Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, said today was a regular school day and invited the parents to send their children to their schools.

At the same time she requested the teachers that do not want to give class today to recover the lost hours on Saturday. If not, then they would have those hours discounted from their salaries. (Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Indigenous People From Ngäbe Bugle Are Venting Out With Rapporteur From The UN, James Anaya

Protests & DemonstrationsThe indigenous people of Panama started venting out with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations Organization (UN), James Anaya, who is currently in Panama. The first were the representatives of the Ngäbe Bugle region, who on Saturday presented a list to the special rapporteur of their requests for him to take them into account.

The Rapporteur Anaya traveled on Saturday to the Cerro Venado region in Chiriqui. The leader and spokesman for the indigenous people, Ricardo Miranda, told RPC Radio that among the points they gave to Anaya is the request of support in their situation of violation of the rights of the Ngäbe Bugle people and peasants due to the development of investment projects such as hydroelectric plants, case studies of Barro Blanco, Chan 75 and repressions to several indigenous people.

Miranda brought up the death of his friend Jerome Rodriguez, who died in February last year in the middle of confrontations between the National Police and the indigenous people who were protesting about the hydroelectric projects in their region.

The rapporteur had a meeting in the morning at Cerro Venado to collect information about the damages caused by the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project. He also plans to visit other communities affected by the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project, including Kia and Nuevo Palomar. (Estrella)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

The Diethylene Glycol Victims Will Go On Strike Again

Protests & DemonstrationsThe people affected by the Diethylene glycol and their relatives will go on strike as a pressure measure for the authorities not to forget about the case and to bring into Justice those responsible for the case.

Gabriel Pascual, leader of this movement revealed among their protests they will congregate outside the Supreme Court of Justice and partially close certain streets in the city.

"We have scheduled these measures so the authorities know that we have not forgotten about this, and those responsible for bringing lethal glycerin in the country must respond to the courts,” said Pascual.

The leader said they will decide on Monday what will be the exact date for these demonstrations. (Critica)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Teachers' Unions Will Meet To Decide If They Will Go On Strike

Protests & DemonstrationsOn July 11, teachers’ union leaders will meet in a general assembly to determine whether or not they will go on strike due to inattention they receive from the authorities of the Ministry of Education.

Also, Luis Lopez, National Front leader of Independent Educators (FRENEI), said by June 29, the leaders of the union will meet in the General Confederation of Workers of Panama (CGTP).

Lopez said they have been ignored by the Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, and dialogue has been unsuccessful, which is why there will be no further negotiations with her, but with the president.

"We have met with her three times and she only makes fun of us," said the leader. (Telemetro)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

A Person Was Injured in The Middle Of The Protests From The Personnel Of The Mental Health Institute

Protests & DemonstrationsRelatives of patients and personnel from the Mental Health Institute blocked the road next to Villa Lorena, in the middle of a demonstration for the sale of the lands where the facilities of this entity is located.

In the middle of this chaos someone resulted injured after the driver of a car was trying to pass through the crowd.

The woman was arrested by the National Police units, and taken to the nearest police station.

Personnel from the nursing home Bolivar are expected to join this protest as well.

After this situation was known, the personnel of this entity have asked the authorities of the Ministry of Health to sustain the true intentions behind the closure of this entity. (Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Journalist Files Criminal Complaint Against The Vice Minister Garuz For Aggression

Protests & DemonstrationsThe secretary general of the Union of Journalists of Panama, Filemon Medina, presented on Thursday, before the Public Ministry, a criminal complaint against a senior state security official for "violent assault".

"We have presented a criminal complaint before the Public Ministry (prosecutor) against the executive secretary of the Security Council, Alejandro Garúz, and others for physical and violent aggression against me," said Medina.

Medina, who requested security measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) because he fears for his life, reported he was assaulted by Garúz and several bodyguards on June 11.

The incident took place when Medina was trying to record with his phone the retention of two journalists from TVN, who at the same time were taking pictures of the Cerro Ancon, in the city.

The Police accused reporters of jeopardizing national security by recording in an area near the offices of the Security Council. This last fact has been denied by the journalists.

"We have filed this lawsuit as proof that there are people in this country who will not remain silent against abuse and violation of human rights and civil freedom," said Medina.

Days after the incident, the Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, denied that his government has "prevented freedom of expression" and justified the facts stating "in any other country in the world" these journalists "would be sentenced with many years in prison."

However, Medina believes the current government members "justify authoritarian measures and formulas to ensure they stay in power." Several journalists' associations have requested the dismissal of Garúz after the incident.

Martinelli's government has been accused by the opposition of wiretapping phones and of carrying out “dirty campaigns” against anyone who criticizes him.

During his administration the number of threats, lawsuits and criminal charges against journalists has increased, one of them even went to prison. A report from “Reporteros sin Fronteras (RSF)” said Panama went down from the 55th position to the 111th in ranking out of 179 countries regarding freedom of expression. (La Estrella)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

A Disturbance In Colón

Protests & DemonstrationsRiot Police units armed with tear gas clashed in Colon yesterday morning with residents from the shelter in Coco Solo. The heavy fighting prompted roads in the area to be closed.

Some of the residents and police were injured, but the exact numbers are unknown. The police fired tear gas and the residents responded with stones, meanwhile some truck drivers were caught in the crossfire.

Jeremías Molinar, one of the community leaders, said a group of residents were closing the road in protest, because of the materials that have been used to build the homes where they have been relocated.

He said he thinks this is the only way to get attention, but they were repressed by police officers. In addition, there were several arrests.

Deputy Commissioner Javier Rodríguez said the riot police units responded when residents started throwing stones at passing vehicles in the area, which was endangering people.

He said the protesters at first demanded the presence of the Minister of Housing, Yasmina Pimentel, but then took forceful actions.

Pimentel said the materials used for the construction of these houses, which began even before this government took office, were the same as those requested by the inhabitants themselves.

More than 150 families who lost their homes in disasters have been residing in these areas for more than 30 years, but most have agreed to move to new homes located in Buena Vista. (Dia A Dia)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Peasants From Veraguas Protest

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of peasants from Cañazas in Veraguas, began a march through the town, after completing a public forum.

This is a group rejecting the construction of mines and dams in the province.

Later, in the province, Ney Castillo reported the march heads towards the input of the hydroelectric project, and there they will subsequently hold the protest. (TVN)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Instituto Nacional Closes Due To Protest

Protests & DemonstrationsThe Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, announced the indefinite closure of the Instituto Nacional for the emergence of a violent protest led by a group of 20 students who were hooded.

Molinar said there are external groups which are prodding students to stage these protests without cause.

"We have information about who is behind this violent act, but we must have the necessary evidence to proceed against them," she stressed.

She indicated a review was detected about 9 Instituto Nacional students, who in their backpacks had stones, bottles with gasoline and other dangerous items to participate in the revolt.

The Head of Education said students which participate in the protest will be punished according to the rules of procedure.

"We can not allow outsiders to further damage the school and also to ensure the safety of other students, we are closing the campus," she said.

Crowd Control Units of the National Police were able to replicate the group of students of the Instituto Nacional, which remained for several minutes to close the road near the school.

Students threw stones and other objects at the police, however, they were neutralized with the use of tear gas.

The near by shops closed their doors when this protest of the Instituto Nacional started. (Critica)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Nurses Plan On Sueing The CSS

Protests & DemonstrationsMembers of the National Nurses Association of Panama (ANEP) will make stoppages or demands against the Social Security Fund (CSS). This is because the discounts which were applied for participation in the four-day strike held from 23 to 26 April.

According to Elydia Espinosa, president of the ANEP, this entity has overstepped discounts, so some nurses asked the union to sue the CSS for these outbursts.

According to Espinosa, nurses are angry about the stalemate in the dialogue, and today they will take appropriate action in the assembly. El Siglo tried to contact the authorities of the CSS to know their reaction on the possible lawsuit, but they did not answer calls. (Siglo)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

College Students Close Road In Tocumen

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of students of the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Panama maintain partial closure of the Vía Tocumen.

The students held placards and shouted slogans, demanding the authorities of the University of Panama to define the new headquarters of the authority, as the land which houses the faculty was sold.

College students remain concentrated on the outside of the faculty, located on the Vía Tocumen. (Critica)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Owners Of Bars And Restaurants Protested At The MICI

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of owners of bars, restaurants and canteens protested outside the headquarters of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, located in Plaza Edison building on the road of Tumba Muerto.

Protesters from Chiriquí, Coclé Chepo and other provinces require authorities to repeal the Act ICIM February 2, 2013, which forces them to pay a performance bond ranging from $ 3000 - $ 75000.

A representation of the owners of these nightlife spots would be received by the Minister and other officials of the organization to hear their claims.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI), through a press release, said they will make an amendment to Act 2 of 2013.

A group of owners of bars and taverns in Los Santos, Veraguas and other provinces brought legal remedies before the Supreme Court against the execution of the law as it affects them financially. (Critica)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Nurses Ask For A Wage Increase Of $ 50

Protests & DemonstrationsThe National Nurses Association of Panama (ANEP) considered it as disrespect when there were offered a wage increase of $ 10 which was presented by the health authorities for professionals which work in high risk areas.

According to Elydia Espinosa, president of the ANEP, yesterday in the authority's dialogue, this increase is what they can afford to pay, starting from 2015.

According to Espinosa, the Proposal of the guild was $ 50, starting with $ 25 in 2014 and the rest in 2015.

For a total of 430 nurses working in high risk areas.

El Siglo tried to find the reaction of the authorities of the Ministry of Health, but the efforts were unsuccessful. (Siglo)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Riot Police Stop A Protest In A School

Protests & DemonstrationsA protest of parents of the Río Piedra School was dissolved today by riot units of the National Police.

Parents requested the construction of a wall, which collapsed due to a landslide caused by the first heavy raining of the season, protesting because of the lack of response from the Ministry of Education.

Three riot units entered the campus and an educator moved all students of the school into a computer lab. (TVN)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

2,900 Establishments Have Not Paid Their Corresponding Fees

Protests & DemonstrationsOnly 100 out of the three thousand commercial establishments listed in the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) in the category of bars, discos and barbecue bars have canceled the payment of the compliance fee established in Law 5 from 2007, according to the director of this entity, Virgilio Sousa.

This obligation, established under the Executive Decree 249 of December 2012, sets a compliance fee from $5 thousand to $20 thousand depending on the type of service and dimensions of the establishment.

According to Sousa, the owners of these establishments should have canceled this payment by December 2012, however, the MICI granted an extension until May 31.

Given the non-payment of this fee and the protests undertaken by the owners of these businesses, MICI authorities will meet today to determine if they can set a discount on this tax.

They will also established the measures taken by the entity against those owners who do not abide by the law, said Sousa.

Regarding the law, the owners of these establishments have stated this law severely injures their economy, because municipal taxes have also been raised and they have been required to purchase cash registers.

Editza Guerra, leader in Arraijan, said they will go on strike on Wednesday at the MICI with the purpose of having this law removed.

Guerra said this law has caused the loss of sales and reduction in staff.

According to the leader, the 15,000 business owners who sell alcoholic beverages nationwide will protest throughout this week. (Siglo)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Teachers Wait Outside The Presidency Of The Republic For A Response

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of teachers came to the premises of the Presidency of the Republic to talk to the president of the nation so he could hear their version of the situation.

Since the Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar took office, we have made ​​great efforts to speak, but we have not been able to.

"What she has done during her tenure is throw us out, violating the agreements which were made in the dialogue," said the secretary general of the Association of Teachers of Panama, Andrés Rodríguez.

Rodriguez, who faces a disciplinary process, which led to his dismissal noted Decree 920 does not give educators stability and they want to repeal it Martinelli

He said if they do not receive a response from the president or other authority except Molinar, the rank and file teachers will determine whether they will go on a national strike or not. (Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Bar Owners Protest On The Vía Panamericana

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of bar owners from the interior, protested today on the Vía Panamericana about changes of business regulations.

The protesters clashed with riot police, who used tear gas to clear them from the highway.

Protester, Guillermo Batista, said it is unacceptable for the government to pass laws and then ban protests against them. Others called the reaction by police excessive because the protest only lasted 15 minutes.

The bar owners have also filed a complaint before the Supreme Court to prevent the entry into force of this provision. (Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Residents Of El Pantanal Reject The Eviction

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of residents in the community of El Pantanal # 2, Juan Díaz, left Wednesday morning to protest, rejecting against the eviction of the land they occupy.

Protesters closed the road in Juan Díaz and were repelled by Crowd Control units of the National Police, where residents said they were violated of their rights with pushes and shoves.

The representative of Juan Díaz, Javier Sucre, arrived and prevented conflicts between police and residents.

Sucre recommended residents to attend the community boards with their lawyers to give immediate attention to their situation, so it can be legally defended.

The victims explained, the land on which they built their houses was property of the state. (Critica)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks