Feb 5, 2012

Additional Disturbances & Uncertainty

According to reporting on the internet,  things turned violent during the night.  Panamanian police have moved in and cleared the interamerican highway.  There is no telephone or cell phone communication in the affected areas, so the indigenous are crippled in their communications regarding what's actually going on.  Reports indicate the police have killed one of the prinicipal indian chiefs and thrown tear gas everywhere, affecting even people who are doing nothing but staying in their homes.   The catholic priests in the affected areas are being called upon to help.  Images shown on television are of police firing on unarmed indians who are shielding themselves with pieces of roofing zinc.  The Panamanian minister of security called into the TV station and reported that images being shown are not those of what's actually happening at this time.   He kept reassuring the public that there is no chaos and no danger in the area.   He also admitted he wasn't in the area and had no plans to travel there.   Someone else called in to report that the two buses with Costa Rican travelers have been forcefully pulled out of Viqui and are heading for Santiago.  From there the tourists will be flown to the David airport,  and then from David to Costa Rica.  People who have been delayed along the roadway were interviewed by a local reporter.  All have indicated they are in agreement with the opening of the road after five days without money, food, or other necessities.  However, they are also stating they sympathize with the indians and are in disagreement with what is happening in Panama.  Even the reporters are irritated and slanted toward the indigenous cause.  Communication with the indian leaders can't be implemented due to government suspension of telecommunications to the affected cities of Viqui, San Felix and Tole.
Will post more when things get cleared up.