Panama imposes curfew in western city over violent banana workers' strike

17:38, July 09, 2010      

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The Panamanian government imposed a curfew in the western city of Changuinola Thursday night after a banana worker was killed and over 100 others injured in clashes with riot police.

Presidential spokeswoman Judy Meana said the curfew was imposed from 23:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. local time (from 0400 to 1300 GMT).

The strike, joined by 4,000 members of the Industrial and Banana Workers Union and 3,000 independent growers, turned violent when policemen tried to disperse the protestors, who had blocked highways since last week to demand better pays.

The protestors threw stones at the police, who responded with tear gas, witnesses said.

Minister of the Presidency, Jimmy Papadimitriu, who flew to Changuinola to mediate the conflict, said four police officers were taken hostage by the protestors.

The airport in Changuinola has been closed.

Source: Xinhua


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