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Old 22-10-2012, 22:26   #1
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Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

just saw this on bbc,don't look good

BBC News - Panama protests over land sale in Colon free trade zone
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Old 22-10-2012, 22:38   #2
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Re: panama,riots in colon,gun battles with police

more here,running battles with police in colon

Boy dies in violent protests over new Panama land law | Reuters
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Old 22-10-2012, 23:19   #3
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

Not the first time there has been activity such as this in the zona libre...

I took live fire there in the late '80s. I am surprised to read that "locals" are protesting because of possible job loss by Colonians. Unles there has been a great deal of change there would be VERY FEW locals working in the zone. Most of them would be comuters into the zona. If you have a job as good as what is avaliable in the zona you would not choose to live in the city of Colon...

Sounds pretty suspect to me.

On the cruising front, stay away from Colon and from the zona libre. Whatever the news says.
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Old 23-10-2012, 05:02   #4
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

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Not the first time there has been activity such as this in the zona libre...

I took live fire there in the late '80s. I am surprised to read that "locals" are protesting because of possible job loss by Colonians. Unles there has been a great deal of change there would be VERY FEW locals working in the zone. Most of them would be comuters into the zona. If you have a job as good as what is avaliable in the zona you would not choose to live in the city of Colon...

Sounds pretty suspect to me.

On the cruising front, stay away from Colon and from the zona libre. Whatever the news says.
i thought it might be an idea to post it as there is very little in the news,and the shooting was taking place in the center of colon,perhaps one of the shelter bay residents would like to comment.

was also wondering if the riots were linked to this.

U.S., Panama to inaugurate free-trade pact next week | Reuters
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Old 23-10-2012, 06:22   #5
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

Too bad. Atoll: THX for sharing.

Nothing on this in EU mass media!

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Old 23-10-2012, 11:47   #6
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

When a country cannot afford to pay its bills because of deficit spending, it must raise money by borrowing from a creditor, printing currency or selling its land. Panama needs money for its social programs and therefore has decided to sell its land rather than live within its national budget. In spite of the free trade agreement, this can only lead to a weaker Panama and increased riots by its population as more American goods will be dumped in Panama at the expense of Panamanian producers and workers while prime commercial property is being sold to foreign investors. These are desperation tactics that never benefit a nation and eventually will lead to its demise. Somehow . . . this sounds sadly familiar.
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Old 23-10-2012, 12:36   #7
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

We are in Panama City waiting to cross the canal and watching this play out like everyone else.

First, in its normal state, Colon is a dangerous urban city. Even Panamanians don't go there unless they have too. Cruisers on the Caribbean side take taxis directly to the grocery store and make them wait...

As far as the cause of these riots, I guess there is two sides to ever story. Since the free zone opened in Colon, it has become the second largest in the world. I drove by it last month and it is a small city.

The government, since its opening has leased property to the various businesses inside the Free Zone and now want to sell the land, which according to them will raise $100 million per year with $35 million going directly to Colon. The government believes the protests are being waged by parties with bigger agendas than the free trade zone and has launched an investigation.

According to the protesters, Colon hasn't benefited from the Free Zones and doesn't believe they will see any money from the real estate deal. No one in Latin America trusts their government officials and believes it is another scam.

The Free Trade Agreement between the US and Panama has nothing to do with the protests in Colon. The agreement should be benefical to both sides, but especially us cruisers ordering parts and equipment from the states.

Obviously there are strong feelings on both sides in Colon and we can only hope that it won't last forever...

Colon is a City of history dating back the Spanish Explorers, which unfortunetly is hiding behind the rampant crime of the City.

A good source of informtion down here is Panama Guide
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Old 23-10-2012, 12:56   #8
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

thanks for the post jere,i see demonstrations are being held accross the country now,hopefully it will have calmed down by the time transiting yachts start to arrive in the new year........cape horn can be a real pita at any time of the year

Panama Guide - Thousands of Articles in English



Editor's Comment: The government of Ricardo Martinelli is losing the war of "hearts and minds" on this issue. Informal talks on the street among run of the mill Panamanians think it just "doesn't make sense" to sell the lands of the Colon Free Trade Zone. Their efforts to explain how and why this is a good thing (from their point of view) are failing.

The strike paralyzed trade yesterday the city of Colon, and it was accompanied by street protests by the citizens.

The police cracked down on the protesters with the support of officers from the State Border Service, an elite group trained in combat against irregular Colombian guerrillas, and yesterday they were was disguised with masks and armed with assault rifles.

At least eight people were injured, including a seven year old girl who was shot in the abdomen.

The protests spread to Panama City, where SUNTRACS workers marched to the National Assembly.

Similar demonstrations occurred in Chiriqui, Bocas del Toro and Veraguas involving the indigenous Ngäbe Bugle people.

Moreover, the Colon City Council declared the president of the National Assembly Sergio Galvez "persona non grata," who from the full Legislature sent the opposition "to go cry in the cemetery."

Yesterday Gálvez apologized to the people of Colon, but like the rest of the government, he reaffirmed the stance of keeping the law in place.

The unrest in Colon, according to the Chamber of Shipping, is having side effects on the movement of cargo by rail and in the ports of Manzanillo, Panama Ports, and the Colon Container Terminal. (Prensa)
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Old 24-10-2012, 05:16   #9
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

Change of plan
BBC News - Panama president cancels Colon land sale after clashes
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Old 24-10-2012, 06:02   #10
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

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hopefully things will calm down now
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Old 02-11-2012, 21:33   #11
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I had been considering moving the boat to panama from the eastern Caribbean till I read this thread.
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Old 03-11-2012, 14:12   #12
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

Don't pass on Panama because of Colon's bad rep.

That's like passing on California because East LA sucks.

Colon is bad and there is no reason to visit there but the rest of the country is wonderful.

Heck, Colon didn't even make the top twenty five most dangerous cities...

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Old 03-11-2012, 14:58   #13
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

Ok thanks. Know anything about red frog island 150 mi east of the canal?
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Old 03-11-2012, 19:04   #14
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Re: Panama, Riots In Colon, Gun Battles With Police

Are you thinking Isla Bastimentos to the west, with red frog beach, up by Bocas?

Great diving there, and you can head up into the uplands for relief from the heat. Boquete and Chiriqui are beautiful towns.

I don't know of a red frog island to the east.
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Old 04-11-2012, 00:58   #15
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There is a Red Frog Marina near Bocas. We didnt stay there, but it comes recommended and the management seemed very helpful.
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