There's been more violence in Panama City.
GV Students run down broad streets near university in Panama and attacking truck (2 shots)
SV Burning pick-up truck and burning truck (2 shots)
GV Armed troops running down street as grenade explodes
GTV Troops moving along footpath ZOOM INTO students placing barrels into place as barricade
SV Soldier prone in firing position
GV Students throwing rocks and rolling barrels
GV Soldiers in roadway, one fires tear gas grenade which alights in compound (2 shots)
GV Students watching from behind compound fence as teacher comes out to mediate (2 shots)
GV Ambulance drives into university compounds and students surround it
SV Students in distance in compound PULL BACK TO prone soldier taking fresh position
GV Ambulance leaving grounds as students move in lee of ambulance throwing stones
GV Soldiers walking along footpath past burnt-out pick-up
GV Students running down street as soldiers with shields advance firing along road
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Background: There's been more violence in Panama City. On Wednesday (23 January), students and security forces clashed around Remo College for the Second day running, and ten people were injured.
SYNOPSIS: After the first day's rioting, the Education Ministry closed the school indefinitely, but this action did not deter the students. The came back in force, protesting against high food prices and low wages. unemployment, too, is growing, and economists cannot discern any cures in sight for a sagging economy with foreign debts estimated at three billion dollars.
The original stone-throwing soon spread to burning vehicles and building barricades.
The National Guard responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, just as they had done during earlier demonstrations against the presence of the Shah of the Iran in Panama.
Students's protests are seen as a symptom of the general uncertainty in the country about Panama's economic and political future. President Aristedes Royo's administration has been grappling with what observers see as economic chaos, and often losing the battle.
Teachers came forth to attempt to mediate in the clashes, but without much success. The anger in Panama has spread to the country's three main union organisations. They are supporting a call for a general strike next week (28/29 January) to try to force the government to repeal the 1976 labour law. That law changed the code to limit workers's rights in an effort to encourage new investment. But now, even conservative businessmen share the student's ill-temper at the presence of the Shah.
Foreign investment from the United States and elsewhere has not lived up to Panama's expectations. Even if the Shah leaves Panama, few analysts foresee much chance of ending the waves of protest against President Royo and the country's suspected strongman, General Omar Torrijos.