President Martinelli accused unknown people of inciting the riots that closed schools and shops in Colon on Friday October 19.
Police fought with and arrested protestors, and business leaders spoke out against the sale of land in the Colon Free Zone.
Meanwhile the bill authorizing the sales got its third reading.
La Prensa reported members of construction workers union Suntracs blocking the entrance to Sabanitas, which causing long trafficdelays. A gas station at owned by Free Zone Manager Leopoldo Benedetti, who voiced support for the salem was vandalized as protesters clashed with police. The Colón Chamber of Commerce president Anacleto Ceballos said that there have already been reports of suspicious transactions regarding land within the area. "This situation affects the interests not only of the business sector that we represent, but of all Panamanians," he said.
Martinelli today said that the people opposed to the bill allowing the sale of land within Free Zone are against it "for political and ideological issues" and are "inciting" and "financing" the protests. He said some of the people financing the protests are foreigners who have fraudulently obtained citizenship.
Martinelli said these individuals will be investigated and deported if found guilty of any wrongdoing. He also said the protesters are linked to a former legislator. "I ask that the people be calm," Martinelli said. He defended the bill, saying it will help business in Colón.