PANAMA – October 26th, 2012 – (InsideCostaRica.com) – Factions against the sale of lands in the Colon Free Zone did not accept the Government’s offer to revoke a section of the law that allows the territory to be sold. They announced that the protests would stop only if the entire law is abolished.
The city of Colon, which holds the largest Free Zone in the continent, has seen all commercial, transportation and education activity completely shutdown for the past three days, due to the strikes that were declared in opposition to the Panamanian government’s plans to sell lands in the Free Zone to private companies.
Various transit routes were also blocked in Panama City by members of the “Suntracs” construction union, who are also opposed to the sale of lands in the Colon Free Zone, resulting in many delays in traffic.
The protests in Colon began last week, and have resulted in the deaths of three people, one being a 9-year-old child, as well as two adults.
The Government Minister, Jorge Ricardo Fabrega, said he has travelled to Colon two days in a row, along with other members in the government, with the purpose of reaching some sort of negotiation with the sectors that are opposed to the project.
However, the opposing parties said they will not engage in any negotiation unless the entire “Law 72” is eliminated, not just the section that allows lands in the Free Zone to be privatized.
“We are not participating in any type of conversation until the entire law is revoked,” said Felipe Cabezas, leader of “Frente Amplio Colonense.”