For years we have wished for this to happen. A battalion of Diablos Rojos, four lanes wide, god knows how long, slowly making its way down the main arteries of Panama City. Exhausts roaring, horns blazing, engines growling. Here they come! Battle music swells (are there any Scottish bagpipe players here?). A spectacle to behold. Panama popular culture showing its muscle. And it's finally gonna happen! They're back!
Because of the ongoing chaos with the Metrobuses (not enough buses, management doesn't know how to make schedules that work, not enough recharge points for the cards, long lines in the morning, many buses already damaged), the transportistas have decided to help out and bring back the Diablos Rojos in the streets, starting Wednesday. Cool, you'd think. Problem solved while MiBus gets its act together.
But that's not how the authorities in this country think. They think that they still have a face that can be saved in the Metrobus debacle. So the traffic authorities ATTT have said that they will not tolerate any Diablos Rojos in the streets.
"Screw them", is the reply from the transportistas, "we're going anyway".
So now the likely scenario is that Martinelli & Co are going to bury what was left of their "political future" even further by sending out the cops to stop de Diablos Rojos. Yes, that is stupid - no government ever survives a transport crisis they created and can't solve - but what do you expect from them? Intelligence?
This of course promises to become an epic battle. Passengers will massively join sides with the transportistas. Demolition derbies between the Metrobuses and the old Diablos Rojos can not be ruled out, and all that to the tune of the latest reggeaton hits blasting from the sound systems!
We can't be there and will be watching it on TV, but dear readers, please, if you happen to witness any of this, send us your stories and pics!
UPDATE: Well, so much for that. Most transportistas are PRD and thus wimps. They didn't fire up their buses because they say they were "intimidated". Yes, of course they will try to intimidate! So what?