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Amid chants encouraged by a local artist and banners with anti-corruption messages, the protesters burned two dolls representing the President and Vice President Gabriel Carrizo.
On Thursday, Panamanian workers, students, and social leaders took part in a demonstration on the outskirts of Congress against President Laurentino Cortizo's administration, which faces corruption scandals and demands for transparency.
The Front for the Defense of Economic and Social Rights (FRENADESO) led the mobilization. This massive protest coincided with Cortizo's first two years in office. At that time, precisely, he was reading his annual report to the nation at the headquarters of the Legislative branch.
Amid chants encouraged by a local artist and banners with anti-corruption messages, the protesters burned two dolls representing the President and Vice President Gabriel Carrizo. "We can't expect anything from them. They will continue stealing and passing laws against the people," said Saul Mendez, a construction worker.
The citizen rally proceeded peacefully until a small group of people knocked down the security cordon and threw paint at police officers, who responded by throwing tear gas at them. There were no detainees, though.
Over the last year, the Cortizo administration has been involved in several corruption scandals, one of which has to do with irregular purchases of COVID-19 related medical supplies.
Recently, international NGOs pointed out that Cortizo's presidency has been characterized by its opacity and disinterest in fostering an authentic fight against corruption.
On several occasions during his first year in office, citizens took to the streets to demand a constituent assembly to enable the country to overcome the institutional crisis. Hundreds of people were injured and arrested during these demonstrations.
#Panama | Students, professors, and workers of the University of Panama march against the educational reforms proposed by the new Constitution. pic.twitter.com/gdBShrwMFH