Hours after signing the the repeal of the controversial Law 72, President Ricardo Martinelli admitted on national television, that the government was wrong in believing there was a consensus.on the issue.
According to the president, who spoke for the first time after a one-week official tour of Japan and Vietnam, the ruling party decided to repeal the law allowing the sale of the land in the Colon Free Zone (CFZ) after being "convinced that the will of the Colonenses, rejected it. "
"If we believed that the law was consensual, we were wrong. For several days, the dialogue proposed by the government, was unsuccessful, said the president, accompanied by his ministers and several heads of institutions.
He argued said La Prensa that there is accumulated frustration and mistrust, "the product of 40 years of neglect" of the province of Colon.
He said that the a law was not explained all Panamanians and announced that the families of the three people killed during week long demonstrations to protest the law, will be given support.
He also made a point that the "Land of the Free Zone” provided so little to Colonenses.
30 billion dollars in exports, produced only 33 million dollars in leases. “I believe in Colon, in the Colonenses and entrepreneurs. We are proud to have the second largest free zone in the world, "he said.
Martinelli said he had a heavy heart for the lives lost during the demonstrations which ended in violence and looting in the capital.
The president also addressed tough comments to the political opposition.
"I appeal to the conscience of politicians who, rather than support the government's call for dialogue on behalf of the Colon peoples, sought their own interests, creating more violence and uncertainty. Promoting instability, does not contribute to the climate of peace that is requires the development of our country, "
He proposed to establish as soon as possible a dialogue to find solutions that support the development of Columbus.
Anacleto Zeballos, president of the Colon Chamber of Commerce, said the president's speech was conciliatory, but expects the team of his choice to start the dialogue comes "with best intentions."
Felipe Cabezas, who heads the Colon Broad Front, said Martinelli's speech was delayed and if he had spoken earlier it would have prevented the riots and the deaths of three people.