On Wednesday, about 200 Panamanian Police riot control agents threw tear gas against university students who protested to demand concrete measures to fight the rise in fuel prices and insecurity.
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The agents went to the Panama University (UP) premises to clear the road that students blocked for several hours with security streamers and garbage cans.
To defend themselves from the Police attacks, the students threw stones, marbles, and other objects at the agents while they retreated inside the university campus. So far, there are no official reports of injuries or detainees.
"As university students, we stand in struggle in the streets until the government sits down at a dialogue table and provides satisfactory solutions for all the Panamanian people," Thought and Transformative Action (PAT) student group member Dionel Salazar told EFE agency.
In Panama, gasoline and diesel costs rose above a dollar per liter for the first time in almost a decade due to the world shortage crisis stemming from the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.
The National Energy Secretariat announced that the 95 and 91 octane gasoline liter would raise US$0.15 and US$0.13, respectively. Salazar condemned that the government would not find by itself any solution to this problem because it represents the interests of the wealthy economic sectors.
He also rejected the government's indifference to the national security crisis. Since 2012, at least 25 women have disappeared in Panama, and over the last 12 months, 46 citizens have been reported missing.