Police prevented protest by teachers

Peaceful Assembly

On 28th June 2018, it was reported that the National Police prevented a protest led by teachers from the program "Panama Bilingüe." As shown in the video below, while the teachers were marching, heavily armed police officers blocked them, leading to clashes with some of the protesters. The teachers were demanding the payment of their salaries, as many reported they have not been paid throughout 2018.

In a separate incident, as reported previously in the Monitor, the biggest workers’ union in the country, Sindicato Único de Trabajadores de la Construcción y Similares (Suntracs), held a series of protests in the context of the ongoing negotiations over a new collective labour agreement with the Panamanian Chamber of Construction. On 23rd May both parties announced that they’ve reached a new agreement for the 2018-2021 period.

Expression

It was reported by Colegio Nacional de Periodistas (National Journalits Association—CONAPE) that a group of journalists from the media outlet Telemetro Reporta were prevented from covering the transferring of former president Ricardo Martinelli to prison because police officers confiscated their national IDs and prevented them from entering the prison for about an hour. Martinelli is currently under arrest after being accused of political espionage. 

In a separate incident, on the 30th of June, Delfia Cortez, a journalist for TReporta, reported that a police officer took her phone while she was filming a police operation. Atenogenes Rodriguez, who is also a journalist, reported that the National Police apologised to the journalist and confirmed that her cell phone was returned. However, the journalist claimed that she was not able to report the incident 'live' as she had planned.