Feb 5, 2012

Starting to feel like a Dictatorship

The government has shut down all TV stations due to ongoing coverage of the civil unrest in Chriqui. Internet signal is weak and intermittent.  There's supposed to be a press conference with President Martinelli going on at this very minute, but no one can watch it because of the suspension of TV transmissions by his administration.   Apparently some news is getting out to the states, but it's hard to track from here.

Radio reports indicate the Interamerican highway has again been closed by protesters.  The Organization of American States has been apprised of the unrest and is inquiring into possible human rights violations, according to newspaper articles.  It's really hard to tell how serious things are at this point.  The government seems to be running roughshod over indian protests re: governmental violation of  promises and agreements to cease strip mining on their territories.  But government spokesmen  state the indians are trying to change the original terms and are being manipulated by other groups. 

With no television coverage it's hard to sort things out.  I start to get suspicious when free press is denied.  UPDATE:  Radio Chiriqui transmissions were suspended mid-broadcast and haven't been restored.  The press conference has been moved to 5 pm, but President Martinelli is refusing to take part, deferring to his ministers instead.   Hopefully telecommunications will be restored by then.  The only information being disseminated right now is against the protest movement.