Exactly as we predicted, the conflict between SUNTRACS and the government is evolving into a full blast war. SUNTRACS announced that starting next Monday they will hold constant demonstrations and block 22 traffic arteries in and around the capital.
Also as predicted, minister of justice Raul Mulino opened his mouth and immediately something dumb came out. He said that he won't tolerate it and he isn't afraid of filling up the La Joyita prison with arrested activists. That may work against him, however, because even the otherwise lame and tame National Ombudsman has already warned the government that holding over a 200 activists prisoner without any due process is a violation of human rights, and Panama is already in serious international trouble because of rogue policies violating human rights and the constitution.
Also, what the empty-headed Mulino doesn't realize is that he can't win, first of all because SUNTRACS has little choice but to throw its weight behind the release of its people.
Second, SUNTRACS will outsmart the police, but only if they play it right. They'd have to operate in small teams, geographically dispersed, and block important thoroughfares unannounced. Then break up the blockade as soon as Mulino's muñecos del monte arrive, and at the same time block two other streets, rinse, and repeat. If they keep that up, they'll have the police running around chasing ghosts all day and the city in total lock-down. They will accomplish more than with a strike, and with less people.
UPDATE: Someone with a tad more brain cells intervened and told Mulino to release the hostages activists. They only had to pay $15 and haven't been charged with anything. So SUNTRACS canceled the roadblocks for the next week.