- Thays Domínguez
Today, the Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects (SPIA) demanded that the Panamanian government "to desist from confrontation and threats", and to give "the welcome to the sensible dialogue", after the detentions and repression that occurred last Tuesday against producers of the agricultural sector.
Through a communiqué to the country, the SPIA, one of the most representative private associations in the country, fought for this dialogue to be conducted "without preconditions" and with the responses demanded by the agricultural sector.
Last Tuesday a group of producers demonstrated in the area of Divisa, central province of Herrera, to ask for the cessation of excessive imports by the authorities since they are affecting domestic production.
The protest generated that riot unit to act after the protesters violated the vehicle that transported the ministers of Agricultural Development and Security, Eduardo Carles and Jonathan del Rosario, sent by the Government to dialogue with producers.
The violent protest, in addition to the repression against the producers, ended with the arrest of at least six demonstrators.
"The detention of six producers for the sole purpose of asserting their constitutional right of protest is an extreme and undemocratic measure that offers no room for concord nor dialogue, but rather generates an atmosphere of terror and uncertainty that does not help the democracy that we all have to build for Panama, "the SPIA said in its manifesto.
The communiqué of the union, which bears the signature of its president Gustavo Bernal, makes it clear that "democracy in every Rule of Law is consolidated through dialogue and the exchange of ideas that lead both the governed and the rulers to find appropriate solutions to the problems that have a negative impact on national development. "
However, the SPIA observes with concern how these democratic precepts have been distorted against one of the representative sectors of the primary economy and that it represents the food sovereignty of the country like the agricultural sector.
SPIA affirms that this sector is in a serious crisis today due to the lack of responses from the Panamanian government to a series of market distortions, which threaten the subsistence of thousands of peasant families that depend on it and, therefore, the food of an entire population.
Also, this organization highlights that "the repression is not the ideal tool to address the country's enormous problems, especially when it is used against citizens who defend national interests, threatened by an economic policy aimed at destroying the agricultural sector."
In the same way, he points out that the slogan of "People First", promoted by President Juan Carlos Varela during his political campaign, "it was made in a reality and not in another illusion of disappointment and absence of leadership".
Meanwhile, the authorities denounced on Tuesday night that a small group of infiltrators, opposed to the government, caused the demonstration of the producers to lead to riots, which put an end to the dialogue that was going to take place with representatives of the sector.
The ministers Carles as Del Rosario, as well as the Minister of the Presidency, Jorge Gonzalez, in a press conference condemned the "acts of physical aggression" and "violence" that were raised against the authorities.
President Juan Carlos Varela said that day that he would not allow acts of this nature and attributed to the intrusion of partisan politics in the protests of agricultural producers, in order to get votes for the next election.
As well as the SPIA, other social, business and political organizations have declared against the repression suffered by rural workers this week, who reject the neoliberal policies and trade agreements of the governments that put them at a disadvantage and that is causing the disappearance of the sector.