Plagued by bad news while on a state visit to Japan, President Ricardo Martinelli ordered his cabinet to amend the law allowing the sale of land in the Colon Free Zone (ZCL).
The move came as news emerged of a third death in clashes between police and protesters and reports of the arrest of the president of an Italian conglomerate alleged to have offered multi-million bribes to Martinelli.
The Minister of Economy and Finance(MEF) Frank De Lima, accompanied by Minister of Government, Jorge Ricardo Fabrega, announced Tuesday that the Cabinet had amended the article sets the percentage of the sale that goes to Colon..
100% of the sale will go to a trust to be administered by representatives of the Coloneses guilds replacing the 35% set at the moment the law.
De Lima also said the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is preparing a "rescue plan" for the province of Colon to establish the points where investment is most urgently needed.
Meanwhile, Minister Fabrega defended the work of the National Police in recent days, and claimed that they acted under "legally and responsibly.”
He followed the presidential line and said the clashes were caused by people who have nothing to do with the protests and were "fishing in troubled waters."
Both De Lima and Fabrega said that instructions to change the law were given by President Martinelli from Japan.