Oct 24, 2012

Quick Update

The protests in Colon are still happening, but less reports of injuries.  One TV station showed footage of protestors tossing rocks at tranquil policemen in attempt to provoke them to action.  The police weren't responding.  At 10:30 am discussion was to have gotten underway with government representatives and trade zone business leaders regarding implementation of the new law.  A concession was made yesterday by the government that no actions would be taken regarding land sales until the crisis had been resolved.  Today business leaders are saying they won't enter discussions until Law 72 is repealed in it's entirety.  This was announced today at noon.  It wasn't made clear if the sides  had reached an impasse or simply were drawing lines in the sand.  Lunch seemed to be the priority at the time.   Alternate solutions to the issue are being raised by unspecified sources, according to the TV announcer.   These suggestions would seem obvious to anyone---instead of selling the public lands at great outrage, why not raise the rents on the contracts?  Also, the people of Colon are demanding 100% of the revenue to be raised, instead of only 35%.  Given the lands belong to the entire country and not just to the province of Colon, this seems unreasonable in my mind, but it will be interesting to see what happens.  Perhaps they will negotiate it out at 50%.    I'm speculating the government may acquiesce to not selling the lands if they can raise the rents to around 10%, and the Colon leaders may acquiesce if they get 50% of the revenue.  I'm curious if my thoughts even come close to what eventually transpires.  
On the local front, Boquete is a big, grey soupy mess of rain, fog, wind, and eternal dampness.  No one is out on the streets if they can help it.  Those who are able to,  spend their time indoors napping under blankets.  We're in the full throes of the rainy season.  The sun hasn't been out in 3 days.  Northern California is probably sunny and undergoing an Indian Summer.   I remember times when it was too hot to even take down the air conditioners in October...But soon I will be thrilled to be in Boquete as the temps in the bay area drop.   It's all good.