Teachers, professional workers, unions and jubilados (retirees) turned out across the country on Friday, January 12 to join peaceful demonstrations in support of Panama’s agricultural and livestock producers who are seeking a meeting with President Varela before World Youth Day (WYD) -January 22-27.
The president near the end of his mandate appears to be unaware of the rumpus as he prepares to receive the visit of Pope Francis, but the jubilados have promised to continue their protests during the WYD celebrations.
Two sections of the road that connects La Villa with Chitré were closed by the supplicants including education guilds and the construction and allied workers union (Suntracs)
The producers announced that the protest will continue in a peaceful manner, as agreed with the authorities at the dialogue table that began this week. The producers gathered on the road near the bridge over the river La Villa, said that they are still waiting for the issues discussed in the list of demands, including excessive imports, to be resolved.
Another group of producers and supporters were concentrated in Divisa, along the Interamerican highway. Officials of the Ombudsman's office were in the area to monitor possible confrontations.
In the province of Panamá Oeste, the route of a peaceful march in the district of La Chorrera was under the eyes of National Police crowd control units.
Others marched in the province of Chiriquí, and in the capital city.
Besides the effect of imports on the local farmers, the imported fruits and vegetables are more expensive than the local.