Third death as Colon protesters battle police

A third person has been killed in clashes with police and border troops in Colon, and a fourth died in a crash caused by debris from the protests. The week long demonstrations are against the law that would allow the sale of land in the Colón Free Zone. Police said the second fatal victim was 29. He was killed during clashes between police and protesters at Calle 10 and Avenida Bolívar on Tuesday October 23. The first victim was a nine year old child killed Friday, and a seven year old girl was shot in the stomach. The third fatality occurred during Tuesday afternoon clashes between protesters and police, when a woman was shot in the chest. on 7th Street. According to preliminary reports, said La Prensa, the woman, who worked in the Colon Free Zone, was on her way home when the incident occurred.

A woman ambulance driver was killed in Portobello when she lost control of the vehicle on a road covered with debris said TVN The week long demonstrations are against the law that would allow the sale of land in the Colón Free Zone. Meanwhile protest marches and demonstrations erupted across the country and Ombudsman Patria Portugal asked President Ricardo Martinelli “to please listen to the population as he has always done and reject the law.” She also urged protesters to “conduct yourselves with respect.” Referring to cases of police abuse, Portugal said that although officers have to take care of their own safety, they should be aware that they may not abuse the use of force.

“Police must understand that they cannot make excessive use of force, they are violating the human rights of the person, a person who is on the floor handcuffed may not be attacked, We call for an end to these acts of abuse Portugal said. ” Representatives of the government left Colón after unsuccessfully trying to meet with protest leaders on the second day of a strike by businesses and workers. The Colon Chamber of Commerce and The Colon Broad Front, which brings together unions and civic associations in the province, announced they would not attend a meeting with the government committee appointed by the government.

The officials included Minister of Economy and Finance Frank de Lima; Minister of Government Jorge Ricardo Fábrega; Minister of Housing José Domingo Arias; and Vice Minister of the Presidency Sygrid Barragán said La Prensa. The Association of Users of the Colón Free Zone repudiated the actions of violence and excessive use of force that have occurred in recent days. The group called for “peace and sanity” and for dialogue. The group said that it did not ask for the law, but said that rules regarding the zone have to be updated ” while protecting the national interest.

The strike paralyzed trade yesterday as police cracked down on protesters with the support of troops from the State Border Service, elite group trained in combat against irregular Colombians Against the protesters they were disguised with balaclavas and armed with assault rifles. The protests spread to Panama City, where workers marched on the National Assembly. Similar demonstrations involving indigenous Ngäbe Bugle occurred in Chiriqui, Bocas del Toro and Veraguas. The Chamber of Shipping, said the protests are having side affects on ports in Manzanillo, Panama and Colon. http://www.newsroompanama.com/panama/4891-second-death-as-colon-protesters-battle-police.html

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