Police, protesters clash over a land law in Panama, one killed
At least one person has been killed and many others injured as Panama’s riot police clash with demonstrators protesting against the government’s decision to privatize state-owned lands.
On Friday, protesters blocked the main road in the port city of Colon and set tires ablaze where police used tear gas and fired shots to disperse the crowd.
According to reports, a 9-year-old boy was killed and several people including local residents and police cops were also wounded during the protest.
“We do not want the land to be sold because these are assets that belong to Colon,” said the head of the Colonense Broad Movement, Felipe Cabezas during the rally.
“Why sell if the country is not going through economic problems?” he added.
The new legislation which was approved by the National Assembly will allow private entities to buy lands in Panama’s duty-free zone.
Demonstrators say the law will destroy the local economy and transfer profits to large corporations.
Reports say that more than 2,000 companies operate in Colon free trade zone.
Panama is the main passageway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and one of the largest free trade ports in the world.
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