Panama

Panama protest

Tens of thousands of workers, students and members of social movements and Indigenous organisations have been mobilising across Panama to protest the high cost of living, reports People's Dispatch.

Tens of thousands of Panamanians have been mobilising across the country, protesting the high cost of living and demanding support from the national government to face the growing economic and social crisis, reports People's Dispatch.

The death of George H.W. Bush has dominated the U.S. news for days, but little attention has been paid to the defining event of Bush’s first year in office: the invasion of Panama. On December 19, 1989, Bush Sr. sent tens of thousands of troops into Panama, ostensibly to execute an arrest warrant against its leader, Manuel Noriega, on charges of drug trafficking. General Noriega was once a close ally to Washington and on the CIA payroll.

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela began his visit to Panama City for the Summit of the Americas with a visit to the impoverished neighbourhood of El Chorrillo to lay a wreath at the monument to those killed by the US bombing of the community during the 1989 US invasion of Panama. The seventh Summit of the Americas, held in Panama City on April 10 and 11, was widely hailed as a victory for left-leaning and progressive forces in the region, particularly Venezuela and Cuba.
When right-wing billionaire Ricardo Martinelli was elected Panama’s president in May 2009, political commentators heralded it as a sign that Latin Americans were becoming disillusioned with the “pink tide” of progressive and leftist governments. But one year later, the Martinelli government is facing a wave of resistance to its anti-labour and anti-union laws. Resistance has grown in the face of deadly repression.
@intro2 =Below is a February 29 statement by the International Trade Union Confederation, which represents 168 million workers in 155 countries and territories and has 311 national affiliates. Visit <http://www.ituc-csi.org>.
Two trade unionists have been murdered in Panama for opposing mass dismissals and the obligation to join the yellow union, SINDICOPP, controlled by construction giant Norberto Odebrecht. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which has three affiliated organisations in Panama — Confederacion de Trabajadores de la Republica de Panama (CTRP), Confederacion General de Trabajadores de Panama (CGTP) and Convergencia Sindical (CS) — has condemned the murders.
Security giant Group 4 Securicor has sacked 40 of its workers after they protested the transfer of hundreds of workers to a different corporate entity, which resulted in many long-term workers losing benefits. Last year, Group 4 Securicor attempted similar attacks on its workers in Jakarta, but after security guards who were illegally sacked camped outside the company’s headquarters and thousands of people around the world sent messages of protest, Group 4 Securicor was forced to rehire the workers. Demand justice for the Panama workers — visit < http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-A HREF="mailto:bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=182"><bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=182> to send your protest letter to Group 4 Securicor.
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