The Ngobe have given the government an ultimatum: Suspend construction of Barro Blanco by Friday or face massive protests. "This battle will be decided in the streets, not at the negotiating table".
As much as Martinelli is the product of the internal rot of Panama's entrepreneurial and political class, the violence and shoplifting are the result of decades of ignoring Colon, of ignoring the fact that Panama has one of the highest differences between rich and poor in the hemisphere, of allowing massive corruption and exploitation.
What we're seeing is protest that goes beyond coercing the government into dropping its CFZ sales plans. It's no longer against one piece of misguided policy; it is against Martinelli himself, his accomplices, against the constant abuses, the broken promises, the violence, the unprecedented mega-corruption and the fact that the highest economic growth in Latin America has not done anything to close the gap between rich and poor.
With als,o, the capers of Genisa's Wilfredo Arias during the UNDP field verification mission in the Ngobe comarca. Spanish audio from Okke Ornstein radio documentary.
Panama's heroic national police kills 9 year old to shut up protests against Martinelli's land sales to finance corrupt schemes.
Martinelli faces a deficit of $2.5 billion on a $15 billion budget. With $4.5 billion disappearing into the black hole called "corruption" and Panamanians willing to riot to prevent him from selling off state assets, the supermarket baron is effectively out of funding.
Martinelli is not an isolated phenomenon, but the product of a political and business environment that has been created and nurtured for decades by the same people who now pose as the saviors of democracy. It's a fight between factions of corrupt, rich elites, with ordinary Panamanians caught in the middle.
President Martinelli doing the Bernie dance divides the nation.
As we are entering the third day of street battle and protests after the police started to crack down on Ngöbe protesters with live ammo and teargas, we're blogging events live here as they happen.
The Gnoble-Bugle people were repressed by the revived Defense Forces, who battered the Panamanians during the 21 years of military dictatorship. These soldiers are the ones who "protect" the Colombian border from the drug trade. We know they are the ones in charge of allowing and guarding cocaine shipments from the south.