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Strike by Panamanian builders condemns political persecution (+Photo)

Panama City, Mar 19 (Prensa Latina) Panamanian builders began a national strike due to government actions which they classify as political persecution.

As explained to Prensa Latina by the general secretary of the Single National Union of Construction and Similar Industry Workers (SUNTRACS), Saúl Méndez, they also denounce the arbitrary closure of 18 bank accounts by the Caja de Ahorros state-owned company, without the Executive reacting to it.

On January 5th, the union issued a statement in which it held Laurentino Cortizo’s administration responsible for constant persecution of a political nature, due to the participation of SUNTRACS in the popular demonstrations of October and November 2023, against the contract signed by the State and Minera Panama.

“Not even in times of the dictatorship did we experience something like this,” Méndez recalled, and remarked that even in the face of obvious cases of corruption prosecuted such as Banistmo, Odebrecht, New Business, Blue Apple, Panama Papers, Pandora Papers or Financial Pacific, among others, no one reacted like this against the accused.

Similar measures have not been adopted either against the bankers who allowed the laundering of illicit money or other sources, which keeps Panama’s banking system as a tax haven for evaders and international organized crime.

The closure of the accounts of SUNTRACS and a Cooperative associated with the union, is an attack on the legal funds coming from the union dues and the workers’ savings, added Méndez, who denounced that this is how they seek to prevent the normal functioning of some of the union’s main strongholds bastions of the people’s struggle.

SUNTRACS also filed a complaint against the newspaper La Estrella de Panamá, which published an article on the subject. According to the union, the information has caused damage to its reputation and integrity, as it suggests that there are “suspicious movements” of money for the alleged “financing of terrorist activities,” based on government sources.