14/03/2013 - Panama Fire Chief Pablo Tuñón said that a complaint has been filed with the Public Ministry (MP) against a group of firefighters who used equipment during a protest.
The complaint was filed yesterday by Minister of Government Jorge Ricardo Fábrega since the law criminalizes the use of state property in a protest.
Tuñón said the protagonists are repeat offenders.
"It is not the first time that they have used equipment in a protest," he said.
He said that 25 members of the department have been detained for protests Wednesday, and they also face serious administrative sanctions.
Currently, Minister of Labor Alma Cortés is at the department headquarters to mediate the conflict with the firefighters.
Panama Fire Chief Pablo Tuñón reiterated today that the detention of protesters from the department during demonstrations yesterday was a decision made jointly by President Ricardo Martinelli and Minister of Government Jorge Ricardo Fábrega.
"The decision was made because the protests turned into a situation that was dangerous to the community," the chief said.
Tuñón claims that the reasons behind the protest, which took place outside the department's Ricardo Arango Headquarters on Avenida Cuba, were unfounded.
"This is a lesson that you don't use state assets in a protest, because an institution like ours must always keep high discipline," he said.
Protesting firefighters used a water truck to spray anti-riot police, who responded by firing tear gas.
The firefighters who were arrested were transferred to the police substation in Bella Vista.
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