Tourists who need to escape the Bocas del Toro area to Costa Rica can do so by boat, after having their passports stamped at the airport, local sources tell us. Bocas has been the scene of serious clashes between labor unions and the police, which left several dead and over a hundred wounded. One victim, Antonio Smith, was not just a banana plantation workers union leader, but also a member of Cambio Democratico and an active campaigner for Martinelli before the elections.
So now that Martinelli has his own supporters assassinated by the police, what else is he destroying?
Obviously tourism in Bocas is not helped by turning the province into a war zone, even though it's understandable when you realize that the minister of tourism has been implicated in arms trafficking by the Colombian authorities.
The Red Cross denounced the police actions in Changuinola, saying that they're raiding neighborhoods with no justification. See the video. At minute 3:26, there is the story of a wounded baby of 2 months old, and at 4:40 you can see how these heroic gorillas take two small children prisoner.
Panama as the best place in the region/the world/the universe to do business - remember how all the free-marketeers and AynRandroids were drooling with joy over Martinelli's election and how he'd turn the country into an entrepreneurial paradise with investment grade and stuff? - well, that's pretty much over too, now that his government of business amateurs has proven incapable of preventing social unrest, prevent banks from being torched or even keep the Canal expansion project going uninterrupted.
To support his rapidly deteriorating self-esteem, our narco-president (after blaming everything from the opposition to Paul the Octopus for the unrest) has ordered the detention of labor leaders, and Friday the residence of Saúl Méndez was raided as well as that of several of his family members - because he has disrespected Martinelli and attacked his honor. Does Martinelli have honor? Of course not. And nobody respects him.
The activists don't even respect his laws any more. One of Martinelli's legal creatures - applauded again by the AynRandroids - says you can't block roads or face arrest and jail. "Screw you too", the students thought, and blocked the Transistmica anyway, and a march kept Via España closed as well.
To top it off, the labor unions are meeting this weekend to decide on the details of a general strike. Not just any general strike; the Mother of All General Strikes! It must be such a satisfying experience to invest in a country where the government pisses off your workforce with wacky laws!
So, we can all look forward to many more weeks of chaos and unrest, and then the inevitable defeat of Martinelli and the mobsters.