Fuel Price Freeze Fails to Halt Panama Anti-Inflation Protests; Demonstrators have blocked major highways and access to ports; Construction workers to join anti-government protest; Highways and access to ports blocked by demonstrators; Panama’s Archbishop will moderate talks with government.
Nationwide anti-government protests in Panama that have blocked highways and ports will continue into Wednesday even after the government agreed to freeze the price of gasoline and some basic goods.
Teacher associations and community activists who began marching last month against rising prices said talks with the administration of President Laurentino Cortizo had broken down and staged more demonstrations Tuesday. The nation’s main construction workers’ union said it will go on a 24-hour strike Wednesday while Panama Canal unions, who are prohibited from striking by law, expressed support for protesters.
Panama’s government agreed to talks with protesters after anti-inflation demonstrations spread, blocking access to highways and ports.
The nation’s Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa will moderate talks starting at 3 p.m. local time on Thursday, the government said in a statement.
“Together we can find viable and feasible solutions to the problems affecting our society,” the government said.
Read more: Fuel Price Freeze Fails to Halt Panama Anti-Inflation Protests
Panamas’ construction workers’ union, teachers, community activists and nurses took to the streets on Wednesday to demand responses to the rising price of fuel and other consumer good. Some protesters burned tires.
Panama President Laurentino Cortizo froze the price of gasoline and 10 basic goods this week and the government announced a $150 million plan to subsidize fuel costs over the next 3 months.
Ecuador’s government faced similar protests last month over fuel prices and high costs of living.