Organized groups call for protests today in Panama

to demand government compliance with the agreements of the dialogue table

They called for street closures and demonstrations in different parts of the country.

By Yorlenne Morales Q. (La Estrella de Panama)

HAVANA TIMES – The different social movements, the Suntracs Trade Union and the Teachers Association of Veraguas, are calling to protest on Wednesday, because they consider that the Government has breached the agreements reached at the dialogue table in Penonome in central Panama.

Saul Mendez, secretary of Suntracs, announced a protest action for this Wednesday, August 10, 2022, in the face of disagreement over non-compliance with the agreements at the dialogue table and a delay in the discussion of the issues on the table.

The talks are currently recessed until Thursday August 11.

Mendez explained that this protest action consists of the closure of streets nationwide from 7:00 a.m. the Alianza Pueblo Unidos and other organizations will join.

“The action seeks to send a strong message to the government that we are not playing games, that we are demanding that what is agreed be complied with. Likewise, provide answers on the demands such as medicines and the price of electricity. The issue of corruption and the topic of the issue-oriented tables is still missing,” said the union leader.

Mendez denounced that in terms of food, they have observed the blackmail of businesspeople who have begun to increase prices, “but also the 72 items agreed with the government (to have their prices lowered by 30%) are absent in supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores. Such is a complaint of the population and obviously we must tell the people that the responsibility for carrying out the agreements belongs to the government of Mr. Nito Cortizo,” he stated.

On the other hand, he mentioned that on the issue of fuel they have received complaints from many people who, when making use of the fuel benefit, are not dispatched in the agreed manner. Regarding medications, he said that there is no list to date, nor have they said how the prices of those medications will be given, and the same thing happens on the subject of electricity. “In other words, the government has so far refused to give concrete answers to these demands of the Panamanian people,” he said.

With the beginning of the discussion at the dialogue table on the subject of the Social Security Fund, Mendez requests that a real dialogue be held when the discussion resumes on Thursday. He feels that there has been opposition from the representatives of the Government and the Fund in responding so there is a democratic, real dialogue, in which all the actors that have to do with the issue of Social Security participate.

On the other hand, the Association of Veraguenses Educators, also called for a nationwide picketing, this Wednesday, August 10, in order to demand compliance with the agreements of the dialogue table, established after weeks of protests and with an agenda of eight key demands. 

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