Friday 24 September 2021

Protest Over Infrastructure Turns Violent in Panama

Paying the bills


Legislators to begin discussion on reducing the 2022 Marchamo this Monday

QCOSTARICA - The political fractions, except that of the...

No National Census in 2022!

QCOSTARICA - The Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos...

Seven drivers a day go to the Prosecutor’s Office for driving drunk

QCOSTARICA - Every day, seven drunk drivers are referred...

Costa Rica has the lowest inflation in the region

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica registered the lowest inflation in...

11 benefits of e-learning

Whether you struggle to learn in a traditional educational...

Will Paul Chaplet ever fly the flag for Costa Rica on the PGA Tour?

Life comes at you fast when you’re a teen...

What Are the Best Costa Rican Players in the MX League?

The Primera División de México, better known as Liga...
Paying the bills


A protest over infrastructure and insecurity turned into violent clashes with police Tuesday in Panama’s second biggest city, which is home to a strategic port at the northern end of the Panama Canal.

Residents stand next to a barricade on fire as they call for a strike during a protest against unfinished public works in Colon, Panama, March 13, 2018.

Preliminary reports from national police said four officers were injured and 18 people were arrested for looting, vandalism and attacks on police. There was no information on civilian injuries.

Demonstrators are angry over what they see as the slow pace of a project to revitalize Colon’s collapsed sewer system, deficient water supply and crumbling housing. Ditches left open for protracted periods have regularly filled with dirty water and flooded streets, giving off a foul stench and making life more unpleasant in an already dilapidated city.

Demonstrators shouting slogans hold a banner with a message that reads in Spanish: “Colon united for the cause” in Colon, Panama, March 13, 2018.
- Advertisement -

A march called by a social and labor movement ended without incident in the city center. Protest leader Edgardo Voitier called on supporters to return to the streets Wednesday and announced that a general strike in Colon province would continue for another 24 hours.

But splinter groups of protesters broke off and threw rocks at police, set at least one patrol car aflame, burned tires and wooden pallets, and looted some businesses. Riot officers responded with tear gas.

Public transportation was paralyzed and stores were shuttered, though activity was normal at the canal, port facilities and the Colon Free Trade Zone.

Government public works official Jorge Gonzalez asked Colon residents to be patient and said the revitalization project is more than 50 percent complete.

A man is detained by police as he takes part in a protest against the unfinished public works in Colon, Panama, March 13, 2018.

“We are not applying makeup. We are rebuilding,” Gonzalez said.

Decades of neglect

- Advertisement -

Despite being a key commercial port, Colon has seen decades of neglect from a succession of governments in Panama City, leading to a protracted decline in the quality of infrastructure.

President Juan Carlos Varela, who visited Colon after taking office in 2014 and promised people there a turnaround, has said his government is spending more than $1.2 billion on public and social works in the city.

Residents of Colon “have been abused for many decades, and the current president promised them that he was going to improve their quality of life,” said Marco Gandasegui, a sociologist at the University of Panama. “Nearly four years have gone by and not only has that promise become hollow, it has hurt the great majority [of people] with a project that openly cheated them.”

Protesters also demanded more attention be paid to combating crime in the province, which has one of the highest homicide rates in Panama.

- Advertisement -

Tuesday’s protests were the most serious in Colon since violent demonstrations in 2012 against an initiative to sell off property in the free trade zone.

Source: Voice of America

Article first appeared at Today Panama, click here to go there

- Advertisement -
Paying the bills
Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

Costa Rica, Panama and Dominican Republic seek a solution for Haiti

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado, Luis Abinader Corona of...

Group charged migrants US$22K to get them to the United States.

QCOSTARICA - A Costa Rican-Panamanian criminal structure charged migrants of 13...

Subscribe to our stories

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Article first appeared at Today Panama, click here to go there

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.