Panama Protesters Clear Out of Panamerican Highway but Other Segments Still Obstructed

The government of Panama and the country’s indigenous leaders reached a deal on Sunday, making way for the clearing of parts of the Pan-American Highway and the lowering of fuel prices.  

The two parties signed the agreement in a church in far west of Chiriqui province.  

According to reports, protesters still blocked other stretches of the key highway as negotiations continued.  

“We ask all sides that today we be able to reach an agreement and above all, clear the roads,” government ombudsman Eduardo Leblanc said

On Saturday, the government agreed to lower the price of gasoline, but protesters were still negotiating for cuts in the prices of some 40 consumer products and medicines. 

“We are keeping up the fight,” protester Juan Morales said. 

Local media reports on Sunday said that most of Panama’s part of the Pan-American Highway remained blocked with large trucks and banner-waving demonstrators despite the deal. 

In May, Panama’s inflation rate was at 4.2%, the unemployment rate at about 10%, and fuel price hikes of nearly 50% since January. 

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