Teachers lead protests across Panama over living costs

STORY: Blocking streets and waving national flags to the rhythm of drums, teachers and others in several cities across Panama demanded the government cut prices.

Protest leader Alberto Diaz said in a local TV news interview that they want petrol to be priced at 3 balboas ($3) per gallon, and for basic food and drug costs to be cut.

The teachers sparked off a wave of demonstrations last week when they called for an indefinite strike on July 6, after the government didn’t respond to their demands. Constructions workers and members of indigenous communities also joined the protest amid soaring basic product prices.

The Panamanian government called for negotiations with unions and social organisations on Monday at the city of Santiago de Veraguas, reported local media.