A seven year old became the second child victim of gunfire in the Colon disturbances on Monday, October 22 .Manuel Amador Guerrera was taken to hospital with a with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
The previous victim, a nine year old, was killed.
According to preliminary reports, says La Prensa the boy was inside his home on 6th Street. Seven others were injured, including two National Police officers.
The protests against the sale of land in the Colon Free Zone have continued for six days with labor and employers united in opposing the government move.
As government leaders scrambled to try to placate the region, the Colon Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry and the Broad Front for Democracy refused to meet with the government commission. Leaders of both organizations said they would not talk pending the repeal of Law 72 which has lead to street violence in Colon, and to protests spreading across the country
The Association of Business Executives (Apede) on Monday asked the government to "suspend" the enforcement of the controversial law saying it should be withdrawn until there is "consensus and dialogue."
A delegation consisting of the Ministers of Economy and Finance, Frank De Lima, Government, Jorge Ricardo Fabrega, Housing and Land, José Domingo Arias, and the Vice Minister of the Presidency, Sygrid Barragan.
President Martinelli and other senior ministers left for an Asian tour on Saturday.
Deputies from the opposition benches of the Democratic Revolutionary Party and Panameñista on Monday presented two bills to repeal Act 72.
Vice President Varela said , there is a clear interest in the land grab of the FTZ. "There is interest behind the law that allows the sale of land to grab the vacant spots before the end of the government of Ricardo Martinelli," said Varela.
"Mr. Martinelli repeal this law, bring dialogue and peace back to Colon…. irresponsible behavior is exposing the lives of the people and the police," said Varela.
Earlier, a large number of protesters forced members of the National Police (PN) to withdraw from the estates of 11th Street, Central Avenue.The officers ran from the angry crowd and firearm detonations were heard in several city streets. One of the police officers was stripped of his shield.
A strike has been called by the Atlantic Coast Chamber of Commerce and cargo carriers joined in while business have closed.
Anacleto Ceballos, president of the Colon Chamber of Commerce, criticized the police for attacking members of the community with buckshot and tear gas during a civic parade,
Meanwhile, the plenary of the Supreme Court, , decided to extend the closure of its offices because of the unrest in the region.
The Panamanian government has called for sanity and dialogue after violent riots began but the law was quickly approved by the President before leaving for Japan.
Meanwhile Colon City Council, declared Sergio Galvez, president of the National Assembly, persona non grata because of "complicity in passing a law injurious to Colonenses ". Galvez mocked the opposition benches when the law was passed and told them to go and mourn in the cemetery. A day later a nine year old was killed.