A group of students from the state University of Panama, the largest in the country, shut down yesterday one of the main streets of the capital to protest against the millionaire budget cuts affecting the university.
The university students, who carried banners and burned some car wheels, blocked the so-called Vía Transísmica (Transismic Road), one of the largest entry and exit avenues of the city, causing intense traffic.
"It is an attack on higher education, while here the money is squandered on other less important things. The University of Panama is cut 64 million dollars," student leader Gilberto Solís told local television.
The budget of the university for 2019 will be $285.1 million, $64 million less than what was requested by the authorities of the university, according to the bill introduced in Parliament and which is pending approval.
"We call on the government authorities to come face-to-face and solve this problem because the university needs resources," the protester added.
Professors, administrators and students of the university went last April to a massive demonstration to denounce the precarious state of the infrastructures and to demand a "dignified" budget and according to the macroeconomic figures of the country.
Although Panama's economic growth is lower than a few years ago, the country continues to be one of the main regional drivers and in 2016 its gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.7 percent.