A nine year old boy killed was killed by gunfire, and 15 injured, at least six by bullets, in violent clashes between riot police and protestors in Colon on Friday October 19. At least 25 arrests were made.
Witnesses say the child was killed by a police bullet as opponents of the sale of land in the Colon Free Zone confronted police and later ignored a 4 pm city curfew.
TV images of the confrontations are circling the world.
The death of the child, was confirmed by a hospital medical team. Neighbors say a police officer fired the bullet that lodged in the side of Manuel Amador Guerrero,
Of the six bullet wounds, four were agents of the National Police (PN), which is faced with at least 60 people who were shooting from alleys and balconies of the famous Wilcox house on 10th Street and Central Avenue says La Prensa.
A mobile Panamanian TV team pulle out of the city, reporting that they were fired on by pokice.
Mara Rivera, police spokeswoman, Mara Rivera, said the the child's death will be investigated but confirmed that four police officers were shot and five others injuredwith blunt objects. Three stores and two gas stations were vandalized.
The protest climaxed in the afternoon, when President, Ricardo Martinelli, announced in a statement) that sanctioned and promulgated in The Official Gazette No. 72 of Law 19 October 2012, replacing the rule that created the Free Zone in 1948, just six hours after a 37-minute session in which the deputies in the National Assembly approved the project.
The head of the Colonense Broad Movement, Felipe Cabezas, told the AP news agency"We do not want the land to be sold because these are assets that belong to Colon."
Martinelli said those instigating protests are protecting “small-minded interests” of their own and that sale of state-owned land will benefit the country.
The law supposes creation of a “social investments” trust that would manage 35 per cent of the revenues received from the sale of the land.
Meanwhile, the Citizens Alliance for Justice requested in writing to the Commission on Human Rights and the representative of the UN High Commissioner to request the Government of Panama to provide accounts about what happened in Colon, including the number of detainees, the number of injured and the death of the child.