Jackson, A lost cause for the guys who had all the angles figured

It’s not like one of those Colombian “armed strikes” when gunmen keep people off of the roads. It’s that because they are on strike or because strikers may be blocking the roads, there are few buses and the roads are nearly deserted. Photo by Eric Jackson.

Nito: cut your losses and back down

by Eric Jackson

Your Excellency, you and your party have reached too far.

Business groups and labor unions that rarely agree on anything all think that this contract — really a colonial concession — stinks as any sort of business deal from any Panamanian perspective.

(Did somebody take a bribe along the way? If purporting to act for Panama we will say, like in the long-ago case of Mr. Bunau-Varilla, that person by his or her actions isn’t Panamanian.)

Cut your losses to cut Panama’s economic losses. Cut them right away before anybody’s life is lost in a needless confrontation between police and protesters.

The best thing would be for the Supreme Court to summarily rule that they had already decided the constitutionality of the original concession and that a sale and subsequent renegotiation can’t cure the defect. Were the magistrates to be brutally honest, they’d look at the legislative process of THIS version of the deal and find it both legally wanting and insulting in terrible ways.

If the court blocks this latest and wildly unpopular move, it’s an opportunity for you — one that you should have taken on the occasion of the ruling that the original concession was unconstitutional. You can say that the courts have decided and it’s your job to uphold the law, even when you don’t like it.

You have one regular legislative session before your time in office ends, and a country with a lot of problems. Some of the problems might be laid at your or your party’s doorstep, but most of them are not your fault. It’s still your job to address those issues regardless of where blame might be assigned.

Drop this contract, get back to work, and let the country get back to work.



Mostly teachers misbehaving at a roadblock in Anton.


National shutdown.


Hmmmm — was this a back channel meeting between SUNTRACS and the government, aimed at maintaining some semblance of peace on the highway in Anton? Photo by Eric Jackson.


Reguesero on strike!


It was so calm in places.
The national anthem on the Bridge of the Americas.



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