La Prensa reports one, but sources close to the events say four five protesters have been killed and tens wounded by the police in Bocas del Toro. The protests, by banana plantation workers and other labor organizations, have been going on for days and are held against the infamous "chorizo law". Minister of the presidency Papademente is said to travel to Bocas, and the cabinet is currently holding an emergency session.
The exact law that the protests are held against gives the police immunity in case they commit crimes.
According to La Estrella, the police is trying to capture the entire leadership of labor union SUNTRACS, for "attacking the honor of president Martinelli".
Yesterday, a photographer for El Panama America was detained for 6 hours because he took pictures of policemen guarding the Canal expansion project. He was stripped naked, handcuffed, and locked up for hours with various people being held at the police station in Veracruz.
The strike at the Canal expansion project reveals that the law 30, better known as the "chorizo law", is being used by the labor unions to break open existing contracts and agreements. They argue that, if one contractual point is no longer valid, the whole contract needs to be renegotiated. This is a smart and effective tactic, because at projects like the Canal expansion the corporations can't change the protesting workforce overnight - not enough qualified workers are available.
Meanwhile, the authorities are distributing version three or four of an "explanation" for detaining La Prensa columnist and Spanish journalist Paco Gomez Nadal at the airport and prohibiting him from leaving the country. After first pointing at imaginary tax problems the scribent would have, then changing the narrative about him being able to leave or return, they now maintain that the journalist doesn't have a valid work permit.
Another journalist illegally detained by Martinelli's mafia, the 70 year old Carlos Nuñez, will reportedly be transferred to the Tinajitas prison. Sources close to the case told Bananama Republic that Nuñez needs heart surgery and should not be held at all.
Calls for our madman president Martinelli to resign are mounting, and we think it's only a matter of time before the word "overthrow" enters the vocabulary.