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Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 03:44 PM EDT

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High Ranking Government Delegation Leaves Colon - No Talks Again Today

Protests & Demonstrations By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The high ranking government commission, which was in the province of Colon, has departed from the administrative offices of the Colon Free Zone after the refusal by the leaders of that province to seek a rapprochement with the government team. Government Minister Jorge Ricardo Fabrega said the consultation process is maintained, while denying that the talks between the government commission and the leaders in Colon have failed.

The Minister of Economy and Finance Frank De Lima said there is progress on the rapprochement with the leaders and the prime movers of Colon. When leaving the premises of the Colon Free Zone he refused to speak to the reporters who were at the scene.

This is the third consecutive day that the committee went to Colon to try to speak to the leaders of the protest movement, but no talks have taken place. The leaders of the demonstrations against Law 72 have repeatedly stated that first the government must repeal the controversial law - in its entirety - before they would agree to sit down for talks with the government officials.

Meanwhile, President Ricardo Martinelli is on an official tour in Vietnam, the last stop of a trip that started last Friday. He is expected to return to Panama on Saturday. His absence from the scene, combined with a lack of progress on the ground in Panama to resolve the conflict, highlights the weakness of having all political power focused on one single individual as the only valid decision maker. And of course his Vice President Juan Carlos Varela is no help, because after the breakup of their political alliance he's now batting for the other side, and launching criticisms against Martinelli at every opportunity. So while the tires burn in Colon, Martinelli is sampling the Pho Bo. Có lẽ đó là thời gian để có được trở lại Panama ...

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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Ngäbe-Bugle Close The Pan American Highway In Protest Against Law 72

Protests & DemonstrationsA group of indigenous Ngäbe-Bugle have closed one lane of the Pan American Highway at the San Felix intersection, demanding the repeal of Law 72. The protest will be peaceful and they will keep the road closed for one hour, said the indigenous leader Rogelio Montezuma, president of the Coalition for the Defense of Natural Resources and People's Rights and Peasants Ngäbe Bugle. A group of police officers are in the area, but they are just standing by. Another protests is being made in the area of Horconcito in support of the people in Colon who oppose the sale of the land in the Colon Free Zone.

Juan Carlos Varela Critical of Martinelli - The Vice President Juan Carlos Varela said on Thursday, October 25, that the Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli should have returned to the country, to address the crisis that exists in the province of Colon. Currently, the President is in Vietnam. "A country can not be governed by Twitter," said Varela, who today traveled to the city of Colon, the scene in the last days of protests against Law 72, which allows for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone. Varela said there is now a "leadership vacuum in the country." He said even several of the Deputies in the National Assembly and Ministers of State are not in agreement with the controversial law. "The whole country is waiting for the President to repeal the law," said Varela. He said the people of Colon are in the streets to demand that the law be repealed. The people in Colon are fighting for their land, he said.

"We want peace to return to Colon," said Varela, who participated in a march through the main streets of the Atlantic coast. However, later the vice president of Panama had to abandon the parade for security reasons. Many of the people from Colon who were there shouted at Varela, saying they did not want any politicians to participate in the demonstration, that had been organized by evangelical pastors. Balbina Herrera from the Democratic Revolutionary Party was also there, who said the old law governing the Colon Free Trade Zone should be restored, and then there should be a conversation about this topic.

National Assembly - Meanwhile, the National Assembly closed the permanent session. They did allow for meetings on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, if necessary. The President of the National Assembly Sergio Galvez said the Assembly does not have to wait for Martinelli to return in order to take action on Law 72. "The National Assembly has legislative initiative in making determinations on its own," said Galvez. Galvez also announced that the legislative caucus from the Democratic Change political party will meet to seek an understanding among the Deputies regarding Law 72. According to Gálvez, they seek formulas to end the crisis in Colon. "There are various opinions among the deputies," he admitted. In turn, the Commerce Commission in the Assembly is convened to consider any bill that comes up, he reported.

In Panama City a group of students protested in front of the University of Panama. Riot control officers from the National Police were at the site of the event, to prevent them from closing Via Transístmica.

Front Demands An Investigating Commission - This afternoon Edgardo Voitier, one of the leaders of the Broad Front for Democracy, demanded the formation of a commission composed of Panamanian and international human rights organizations to investigate the cases of abuse by police officers committed against the community, as well as the deaths of three people, including a nine year old child, the more than 40 people who were injured by gunfire, as well as arrests. Voitier believes this committee should gather all of the evidence to clarify these justified deaths, caused by "Martinelli's uncompromising stance." (Prensa)

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Business Activity In Free Trade Zone Comes To A Halt Because Of Protests

Protests & DemonstrationsThere has been almost no commercial movement through the Colon Free Trade Zone for the past five days, representing big losses. On this subject, Luis Germán Gómez, of the Association of Colon Free Zone Users, talked about how they have been impacted by the crisis in Colon, related to the protests and clashes that have been taking place since last week. Gomez said the situation has impacted all sectors, such as transportation, cargo, commercial, and other. In relation to the rent being paid for the lands, Gomez said the last increase was in 2009, and they are currently paying $17.20 per square meter. He said this year the Colon Free Trade Zone provided $86 million to the state. (Telemetro)

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They Ask For Law 72 To Be Repealed, And A Comprehensive Development Plan For Colon

Protests & DemonstrationsThe lawyer Luis Chifundo, who is a member of the Colon Broad Front, said the forces of the province want a dialogue, however, this cannot take place until after the Government repeals Law 72, which provides for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Zone. Chifundo said the repeal of Law 72 is not only a requirement that has been mandated by the people of Colon, but rather behind the demand they are asking for the design and implementation of a comprehensive development plan for the province. The lawyer said it is time for the Colon Free Zone to make an economic contribution to the province. "The people have a distrust over what has been expressed by the president, Ricardo Martinelli, and what his emissaries have manifested through the state ministers comprising the government delegation, who seek to sit down at a dialog table with us," he said.

Actions Of The Day In Colon - Chifundo said this morning at 10:00 am there will be a march led by the evangelical pastors from the province. He said the action is peaceful, and is a further demonstration that the people will not allow the sale of their only asset. He said at 2:00 pm this afternoon at the San José church, there will be a funeral for the 10 year old boy who died in the middle of a confrontation between the protesters and the police, which occurred last week.

Government Commission - Today it is expected that the governmental delegation will return to Colon for the third day, in an attempt to establish a dialogue with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the Colon Broad Front, and other groups that reject the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Zone. The Catholic Church is mediating between the parties, trying to bring all sides to the table, in order to restore order and peace in the province of Colon. The Ministers of State have submitted several proposals to amend the law, however, the protesters are demanding that Law 72 be repealed as a precondition to participating in talks. (Critica)

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Camacho Says All Options Are On The Table Regarding Law 72

Protests & DemonstrationsLuis Eduardo Camacho, the presidential press secretary, said the government is still dedicated to seeking a solution to the demonstrations that have been occurring in the province of Colon since last Friday, product of Law 72, which allows for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone. While he did not confirm if the controversial law would be repealed or not, he did say that once the talks start with the government representatives all options would be on the table. "I'm sure that as good Panamanians we all want peace to reach the province of Colon," he said on the Telemetro morning news program. He said the President has been following everything that is happening in Colon through the Ministers Frank De Lima, Jose Domingo Arias and Jorge Ricardo Fabrega. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: I just checked my traffic tracking services. I've been getting hits this week from Japan, and now a surge from Vietnam. Go figure...

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Indigenous Ngäbe Buglé Will Launch Their Protest Actions Tomorrow

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The indigenous Ngäbe Buglé have announced that they would start their protest actions tomorrow, in support of the diverse groups who are demanding the repeal of the controversial Law 72, which allows for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone.

This announcement should be particularly important for those who live in Chiriqui, because it's highly possible - to the point of bordering on probable - that the Ngäbe Buglé will be closing the Pan American highway at the same locations where they protested against the debates over the mining law earlier this year.

So stock up (now), fill your car's gas tank, and take a hard look at your travel plans. Hopefully the National Assembly will quickly pass some sort of repeal of Law 72, and a lot of this pain can be avoided.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Efforts To Halt Protests and Violence in Colon Have Failed

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The attempts by the Catholic church to bring the two sides together in Colon for talks have failed. The Broad Front for Colon and other groups announced they have extended their strike for another 24 hours. Tomorrow there will be a march, with the participation of evangelical churches. They continue to demand the repeal of Law 72, which would allow for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone. Also tomorrow will be the funeral of the 9 year old boy who was shot and killed in the protests.

Right Now in Panama City: There is a march that started at the Parque Porras with the participation of opposition politicians and civil society groups, to express their support for the protesters in Colon and their call for the repeal of Law 72.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Bishop Audilio Aguilar Meeting With Leaders From Colon

Protests & DemonstrationsRight now the representatives of the largest groups who are protesting in Colon are meeting with the Bishop Audilio Aguilar, to establish a dialogue with the National Government commission, composed of five ministers of state, who are waiting for them in the administrative offices of the Colon Free Trade Zone. It was learned the meeting began at 2:00 pm between Bishop Aguilar and the leaders to convince them to agree to meet and seek a peaceful solution to the conflicts that occur in the province. The talks are taking place in the facilities of the Colon Chamber of Commerce, and the leader Luis Felipe Cabezas, a member of the Colon Broad Front, is participating. The administrative offices of the Colon Free Zone is the point where today it is hoped the long awaited dialog between government representatives and the leaders from Colon will take place. (Panama America)
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Protesters Now On The Panama - Colon Highway

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - There are now reports of a small group of protesters who are located at kilometer 16 of the highway from Panama to Colon. Riot Control police officers have responded to the scene and are firing tear gas against them to disperse.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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MEDUCA Decides To Close National Institute After Clashes

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Citing security concerns, Panama's Ministry of Education has decided to temporarily close the National Institute, following the clashes this morning between high school students from the school and riot control officers from the National Police. The MEDUCA said the closure is temporary, and applies only to students, but not teachers and staff.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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Protesters Start Up Again in Colon, Police Holding Back

Protests & DemonstrationsThe city of Colon remains closed, on Ave. Omar Torrijos, Calle 16, and Central Avenue protesters returned to burn tires and throw stones at the crowd control units of the National Police stationed at the site. Young people, mostly men covering their faces, use slingshots to fire objects at the police officers, and a few Molotov cocktails.

During the morning on Wednesday the attitude of the police officers was a little different, because they have not responded to the attacks launched by the protesters. This comes after President Ricardo Martinelli announced via his Twitter account that the government will repeal the part of Law 72 which allows for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone, it that's what the people of Colon want.

Meanwhile, in the administrative offices of the Colon Free Zone, the Ministers of State Frank De Lima and Jorge Ricardo Fabrega are waiting for a response from the Colon Broad Front to start a dialog.

In the Chamber of Commerce of Colon, Bishop Audilio Aguilar is meeting with those leaders to attempt a rapprochement with the authorities. (TVN)

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Everyone Waiting To See What Happens In Colon Talks This Afternoon

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Indigenous groups are meeting to discuss their options, and to decide how they will support those who are protesting against Law 72 in Panama City and Colon. Indigenous leaders in Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro are waiting to see what happens in Colon today before making any decisions on how to proceed.

Meanwhile in the City of Colon, the leaders of the various groups who are protesting against Law 72 will be meeting at 2:00 pm this afternoon in the Chamber of Commerce, to decide whether they will sit down to participate in talks with a high level delegation of government ministers, or not.

In Panama City the National Assembly has declared themselves to be in "permanent session" as they await the results of the talks in Colon.

The church is weighing in. The Bishop of Colon Audilio Aguilar is calling for calm, and for the talks to proceed, in order to avoid more violence and deaths. He said "for the good of Colon I am prepared to do everything possible to promote dialog." Right now the Bishop is acting as a sort of "shuttle diplomat" running back and forth between the two groups, trying to bring them together for talks, in order to end the violence.

So far at least three people have been killed, including one nine year old child. As of yesterday more than 20 people have been injured by gunfire, and the police have arrested 275 people.

There was a brief skirmish at the intersection where Calle 16 in Colon intersects the main drag. Protesters had closed the street and were just standing there. Riot control officers arrived to the area but they didn't do anything. When the police officers started to shoot video and take pictures of the protesters, they responded by throwing stones at the police officers. Since then the protesters reopened the street, and the area has since returned to calm.

The group of Ministers who make up the high level government delegation departed the administration offices of the Colon Free Trade Zone, saying they were going to get some lunch. They are still waiting to see if the representatives from the various groups of protesters will sit down to talk with them.

Back in Panama City, the university students who are protesting on Via Transistmica near the University of Panama have vowed to keep the street closed, saying no one will be able to push them off, and taunting the riot control police. And of course the riot control police responded by pushing them off of the street. Exchanges of rocks for tear gas continue.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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Police Arrested 34 High School Students During Street Protests

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The National Police have announced that they arrested 34 high school students from the National Institute during the violent street protests that took place this morning along La Avenida de los Mártires, Calle J, and other streets near the school. The National Police said the students would be turned over to their parents, and it would fall to the school's principal and the Ministry of Education to take any disciplinary actions against the students.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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SUNTRACS Announces 24 Hour "Warning" Strike For Friday

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The SUNTRACS labor union has just announced a 24 hour "warning" strike, to be held this Friday, 26 October 2012, as a show of solidarity with those in Colon who are protesting against the controversial Law 72, which allows for the sale of the lands of the Free Trade Zone. SUNTRACS said they would be joined by another organization, Frenadeso.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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Riot Control Officers Now Clashing With University Students On Via Transistmica

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Riot control officers of the National Police are now clashing with university students from the University of Panama on Via Transistmica. The riot control forces in Panama City have been drawn thin by the riots in Colon, so they had to first deal with the problems on La Avenida de los Mártires with the high school students from the National Institute, and now they have apparently shifted their focus towards Via Transistmica. Running street battles continue. Expect traffic to be screwed up all over the city, all day. Once again, stay put.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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Television Cameraman Injured In Street Protests

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A television cameraman from SERTV Noticias was injured while covering the street protests, riots, and clashes between the demonstrators and the riot control officers of the National Police near the National Institute this morning. He was hit by a thrown rock, and required three stitches to close the wound. He is in stable condition. It's a tough job...

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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Protesters Reject Martinelli's Offer - And Keep Protesting Against Law 72

Protests & DemonstrationsThe sectors opposed to the sale of land in the Colon Free Zone today rejected the government's offer to repeal the section of the law that permits the sale of the land, and they said they would continue their protests, which have caused deaths and paralyzed the port city, until the entire law is repealed. Groups of demonstrators marched through one sector of the city of Colon this morning without incident, the city which houses the largest free zone in the continent, in the first of several marches announced for this day in the city. Commercial transportation and classes in schools have been suspended.

In Panama City several avenues were blocked early in the morning by members of the SUNTRACS construction union, generating strong complaints from drivers about the traffic jams through local media.  

The government said it is willing to repeal only the Article of Law 72 which allows for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Zone, the largest in the continent, explained Wednesday the Interior Minister, Jorge Ricardo Fabrega. That decision should be made in a dialog that the government insists on installing, but the sectors who are protesting are placing a condition on the talks, saying the entire law must be repealed first, before they would participate in the dialog. Fabrega said the Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli "has been very clear (...) the Government is prepared to submit a proposal to amend this section of the Law, eliminating the sale of land (...) this should be the conclusion of a broad dialogue with the people of Colon."

Martinelli wrote last night via his Twitter account that "if the people of Colon do not want the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone to be sold, the sale will be repealed." "The 100% rent increases for Colon," Martinelli said via his social network account, who is on a tour of Japan and Vietnam since last week, when the conflict started.  

Fabrega said this Wednesday a commission composed of several ministers, himself included, will travel to Colon fir a second day, and they will wait again for the trade guilds and unions who reject the law to install the roundtable for talks. "Let's put the good, the bad, and the ugly on the table, of the probabilities we are given to sell, not to sell, or to increase the rents (...) today we can all call for a return to normal" the Government minister said.

 

But the leader of the Broad Colon Front Felipe Cabezas said the forces of Colon will continue with their protests and strikes, which began on Monday, and they will not sit down to talks until after the government repeals Law 72 in its entirety. "We will not participate in any dialogue until the whole law is repealed," said said Cabezas, who reiterated the call for Panamanians to protest against Law 72.

SUNTRACS leader Saul Mendez, announced on Friday that the union convene a 24-hour national "warning" strike, to press for the repeal of the law that allows selling land in the Free Zone.  

The protests in Colon started last week and left at least three dead, one nine year old child shot dead, confirmed by the authorities, and two adults as reported by the media and unions yesterday.

On Tuesday Fabrega limited himself to recognizing that in the protests "some people have died," and he asked for people to wait until the Public Ministry can clarify the circumstances of those deaths. (Dia a Dia)

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University of Panama Students Now Also Protesting on Via Transistmica

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - In case you're keeping score, you can add University Students from the University of Panama to the ranks of the protesters who are partially closing Via Transistmica near the university. They apparently came out after the union employees started the street closure. The riot control police are tied up near the National Institute and in Colon. In short, street closures continue all over Panama City.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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National Assembly in "Permanent Session" - Awaiting Results From Colon

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Sergio Galvez, the President of the National Assembly, has declared a "permanent session" as they await the results of the attempts at dialog by the high level commission in Colon. The protesters are demanding that the entire Law 72 be repealed before they will meet with the government delegation. Right now the plan held by the administration of Ricardo Martinelli is to modify a few of the most controversial articles of Law 72 - specifically to repeal those which allow for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone. I suspect the protesters will simply stand their ground, and the National Assembly will be forced to repeal the entire Law 72, rather than just modify a few of it's Articles. In any case, the National Assembly is now standing by with the 41 votes of the deputies from the Cambio Democratico and their allies in the MOLIRENA party, to do whatever the president ORDERS. Make no mistake about it, right now Ricardo Martinelli is running all three branches of the Panamanian government, by Twitter, from Japan.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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Transistmica Closed Near University of Panama

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Protesters from the Asociación de Empleados de la Universidad de Panamá (ASEUPA) (Association of Employees of the University of Panama) have closed three lanes of traffic on Via Transistmica, near the University of Panama. You can add this one to the list of blocked streets. Traffic in Panama City is going to be impossible today. Stay home. Avoid the pain. Make brownies.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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Calle 16 In Colon Is Closed - No One Going In Or Out

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Protesters have closed Calle 16 where it intersects the "main drag" leading into the center of the city of Colon proper. No one has been able to enter or leave the city for more than 40 minutes. The high ranking government delegation is in the offices of the Administrator of the Colon Free Trade Zone, so they were able to come in through the "back way" via the streets of the zone itself. Hence, the standoff begins. The protesters have refused to sit down to dialog with the government delegation until after the National Assembly votes to repeal Law 72.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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High Ranking Government Delegation Arrives In Colon

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The high ranking government delegation has arrived in the City of Colon. They intend to discuss the most recent government plan, which is to repeal the articles of Law 72 that allow for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone. Instead, their new plan is to double the rent being paid by the businessmen in the Free Trade Zone, and put 100% of those funds into the newly created Trust Fund, to be spent in the province of Colon. Some of the leaders of the protests said they would not be willing to meet with this delegation until the National Assembly repeals Law 72.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Protesters Block Road Leading To City of Colon

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Protesters have closed the road leading the entrance to the city of Colon. There are currently ongoing confrontations between protesters and riot control officers of the National Police. This action is probably related to the arrival of the high ranking delegation from the government that is enroute to Colon, with the intention of seeking a dialog with the leaders of the protesting groups. At least one of those leaders has said they will not participate in any talks or dialog, until the National Assembly repeals the controversial Law 72, which allows for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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At Least Ten National Institute Students Arrested In Protests (Photos)

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Mi Diario is reporting that at least ten high school students from the National Institute have been arrested by the National Police, as the result of running battles with riot control officers. The newspaper published the following photos. These girls don't seem to be the same as the young males who were throwing rocks with their faces covered by masks, so they are probably the only people the cops could catch.





Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Ave. Balboa Closed By Protesting Nurses - No Cops In Sight

Protests & Demonstrations By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A large group of protesting nurses have apparently come out of the Santo Tomas hospital in Panama City and are protesting by blocking Ave. Balboa. Thus far, no police officers have responded to the scene, and traffic is backing up. Right now the national police forces have been spread thin due to the problems in Colon, the protests by the SUNTRACS construction workers this morning, and the protesting high school kids. So anyway, as if things weren't bad enough already, you can add Ave Balboa to the list of places to avoid. I bet those brownies are sounding pretty good right about now, eh?

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Riot Control Police Throwing Rocks Back At The High School Students?

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Right now the high school students from the National Institute are in running battles against the riot control officers of the National Police on the Ave. de los Mártires, Calle J, and the other streets in the surrounding area. Apparently the television cameras from channel 13 Telemetro captured images of the riot control officers actually throwing the rocks that had been thrown at them by the high school students, back at the students. Yup, eye for an eye, stone for a stone.

This might sound like a good plan to the riot control officers at first glance, because they have the advantage of wearing helmets and other protective equipment. But, sooner or later one of those stones is going to hit a kid in the head, and either kill him or cause brain damage. Dumb. Unprofessional. Not thought through. Bad plan. They should stick to rock salt and tear gas...

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Colon Leaders Refusing To Meet With Government Delegation

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The union leader in Colon David Niño said the government will have to first repeal the controversial Law 72, and only then will they sit down to talks with the high ranking government delegation that is currently enroute to Colon. He said they would not participate in talks until after Law 72 has been repealed.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Government Delegation Enroute To Colon

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A high level delegation of government ministers is currently enroute to the province of Colon, with intentions of meeting with the primary forces behind the violent street protests. They intend to try to negotiate a peace and an end to the violent protests, based on the decision made last night to suspend Law 72, and to repeal the articles of the law which would allow for the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone. The government's newest plan is to double the rent being paid by the Free Trade Zone users, and to place 100% of the money into the new Trust Fund created by Law 72, to be spent on projects that would benefit the people of Colon. The high ranking government commission has not yet arrived in Colon, and it is unknown if they will be received, or if any sort of dialog will take place.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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National Institute Students Protesting Law 72

Protests & DemonstrationsHigh School students from the National Institute are protesting on the Avenida de los Mártires , Calle J, and the streets surrounding the school. Youths wearing hoods and ski masks have come out to protest in rejection of Law 72, which allows for the sale of land in the Colon Free Zone. The demonstrators say they stand in solidarity with the people of Colon and their struggle for the repeal of the disastrous law. Elsewhere in the interior of the country, organized groups have also organized street closures and other measures of force in opposition to Law 72. (Telemetro)

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Ave. de los Mártires Closed By Rioting

Protests & DemonstrationsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - High School students from the National Institute are protesting, rioting, and demonstrating on the Avenida de los Mártires (4th of July) and are trading rocks and stones for tear gas with the riot control officers of the National Police. This is the road that leads into Panama City from the Bridge of the Americas. Obviously, the traffic is all screwed up. Today is a good day to stay home and make brownies.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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