Cortizo’s administration insists that it is battling corruption and says of soaring debt levels – which have risen by more than $16.5 billion in just three years – that they are the result of large social assistance payouts.
Panamanian agroindustry, meanwhile, says losses during the current crisis total around $500 million in that sector alone. But the impact is even greater when considering the impact on stores that are not receiving goods due to the roadblocks.
The protests erupted at a time when Panama was starting to recover from a massive, pandemic-triggered economic contraction of 17.9 percent in 2020. The country’s gross domestic product grew 15.3 percent in 2021 and 13.6 percent in the first quarter of this year.Anger over inflation, corruption spurs Panama’s biggest protests in decades – La Prensa Latina Media