17/10/2012 - The proposed bill that would allow the sale of land inside the Colón Free Zone continues to generate opposition a day after it was approved by the Trade Commission of the National Assembly.
Partido Panameñista Legislator Miguel Salas, of Colón, said that he thinks the bill is being proposed by the government to help close the impending budget deficit. While the bill calls for 30 percent of the revenue to be placed in a trust for projects within the community, Salas said this number should be 100 percent.
"Our position is clear," the legislator said. "This will not benefit the people of Colón. It is a big mistake."
Community leader Felipe Cabezas agreed with the legislator, saying the proposal is being widely criticized in Colón. He said the commission should have sought consensus on the bill before approving it, and considered alternatives provided by the Frente Amplio de Colón, a group consisting of community leaders.
There has already been one protest against the bill. It took place this morning in Villa del Caribe, in Colón, and resulted in a road being closed for about 20 minutes before riot police cleared protesters from the site. It is likely more demonstrations will follow.
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