Russia Today | 23 Oct 2012
Panama protests against free-trade zone land sales
Police in the sea-port of Colon have fired tear-gas and rubber bullets to disperse angry protesters. A total of 50 were arrested during the clashes, a continuation of public outcry against the governments decision to sell land in the free-trade zone.
Demonstrators threw sticks and stones and burnt tires to block the streets. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Local authorities have confirmed that 50 people were arrested in clashes, but there have been no reports of injuries. Local media however, aired footage of police violently detaining an alleged protester near the site of the clashes.
The protests in Panama broke out last week immediately after the Panamanian government passed the law which is set to be sanctioned by President Ricardo Martinelli. At least 15 people were reportedly injured and over two dozen arrested on October 19.
Demonstrators in Colon insist that the law is unconstitutional and believe the decision to sell state-owned land in the Colon Free Zone (CFZ) will hit those who work in the free-trade zone and affect the income of many citizens of the country.