Enthusiasts: Panama: Lifting road dams and continuation of negotiations

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Levée des blocages routiers pour protester face à l'inflation et l'augmentation du prix de l'essence, ce mardi 26 juillet au Panama. © Arnulfo Franco/AP Raising road blockages to protest in the face of inflation and the increase in the price of gasoline, this Tuesday, July 26 in Panama.

The roads that have been blocked in Panama for three weeks to denounce the high cost of life were released Tuesday, July 26 by the demonstrators, while negotiations continue between unions and the government, announced the Minister of Security, Juan Manuel Pino.

The roads are "all open" for the first time since the start of the demonstrations, said the minister in a brief message. Shortly before, the police had announced on his Twitter account that "the roads that remained closed due to demonstrations are released", with "a constant automotive flow".

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This wave of contestation in Panama has been unprecedented since the fall of the military dictatorship of General Manuel Noriega in 1989. The country, one of the most unequal in the world, experiences an inflation of 4.2% and the prices of fuel increasing From 47% since the beginning of 2022. The demonstrations and blockages were held in particular on the Pan American, a highway which crosses the country and links it to the rest of Central America, making the supplies of Panama and several provinces difficult.

Video: Panama: blockages and demonstrations against dear life resume (France 24)

Tuesday, leaders from the Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous region, in western Panama, have announced that They ended the Pan -American dams in the province of Chiriqui, from which the majority of fresh products consumed in the country come from. The reopening of the roads occurs in the middle of negotiations carried out since Thursday, in Penonomé, 150 km southwest of the capital, between the unions and the government.

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Monday, first agreements were concluded: the government has agreed to reduce the price of 72 everyday consumer products by around 30% on average and lower the price of the Gallon of petrol (3.78 liters) of $ 5.20 at $ 3.25. The unions nevertheless continue to claim the reduction in the price of medicines and electricity, the increase in investment in education and public health, and measures to combat corruption. They also ask that the gallon of gasoline goes to 3 dollars.

The president of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, had again called on Tuesday the demonstrators to lift the roadblocks, during a message during which he appeared surrounded by ministers. "The demonstrations, street closings and roads all affect us, endanger the health and life of the Panamasians, increase the price of food products and harm employment," he listed.

(with AFP)

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