While Panama is one of the richest countries in Latin America, it has one of the highest rates of inequality in the region. More than one in five Panamanians live in poverty, and unemployment in the country is at nearly 10 percent. Corruption is also rampant in Panama, which ranks 105 out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index.
For now, the Catholic Church has been mediating negotiations between government officials and civil society groups, who’ve outlined eight priorities for reform, including measures to mitigate the high cost of goods, funding for education and government transparency.
In an interview with EFE, Barsallo said that he expects negotiations to only “put the fire out temporarily,” and that the crisis will probably “repeat itself if the deeper problems are not resolved.”Panama’s largest protests in decades force government to address soaring prices – Waging Nonviolence | Waging Nonviolence