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A Panamanian police officer was seriously injured when he was shot this Tuesday in the Caribbean city of Colón, amid protests against the government of Laurentino Cortizo due to the rise in the cost of living.

The agent is “in a delicate state” after being “victim of the impact of a firearm on the chest,” during a protest in the area of ​​the Columbus Fair, about 80 kilometers north of Panama City, the police said. Police in a statement.

According to the note, the wounded man “was fulfilling his duty and commitment to ensure citizen security” when he was wounded “by criminals”, who took advantage of “a demonstration to harm” and put the lives of police officers and other protesters “at risk”. .

The policeman, whose identity has not been revealed, was initially transferred to a hospital in the city of Colón, capital of the province of the same name.

However, due to his injuries, he was later taken by helicopter to a hospital in Panama City.

The Ministry of Security published a video on its Twitter account showing a person apparently pointing a gun and others throwing stones.

The Caribbean province of Colón has been the scene, since Monday, of a call for a general strike against the Panamanian government.

The unions calling for the strike accuse the Cortizo government of the high cost of living, a product of rising fuel prices, unemployment and lack of infrastructure, in a province plagued by poverty and violence.

The protests have degenerated into acts of vandalism, looting, arrests and clashes between protesters and riot police in different parts of the Caribbean province.

During previous protests, the Panamanian government promised to make greater investments in the area and to implement a series of measures to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of Colón.

However, the unions consider themselves cheated by the Cortizo Executive.

The strike and the protests are caused by the “abandonment” of the province of Colón and by the “unfulfilled commitments” of the government, said Guillermo Puga, general secretary of the Confederation of Workers of Panama.

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