Violent eviction in Planes leaves 12 injured, one dead

Posted on March 30, 2011


One person dead, 12 wounded with bullets and several detainees, is the balance left by the violent military and police eviction today in the sector of Planes, in the department of Colón, where people were peacefully protesting.

The road blockade occurred around 7 am, where protesters were disrupting vehicular circulation between the department of Colon and Atlantida.

Minutes after they took the road, a contingent of police and soldiers arrived armed with shields, tear gas, batons and their regulation weapons in defiance of the protesters.

At about 12:20 pm, when the protesters were about to leave, the police began firing tear gas to disperse the crowd; people ran in all directions to protect themselves from the effects of gas.

The police then began firing live ammunition against demonstrators who took shelter in the bushes and nearby trees. According to reports, 12 people were seriously injured and had to be transferred to various centers throughout the Aguán Valley.

Soldiers and police fired live ammunition on demonstrators

The wounded are farmers Neptalí Esquivel, Paul Chavez, Juan Antonio Vasquez, Mauro Rosado, Franklin Hernandez, Victor Euceda, Daniel Perez, teachers Gualdina Diaz, Elias Erazo and Eduardo Rivera, David Korea a cameraman of a TV channel and a Tocoa a security guard who was crossing at the time that police fired on demonstrators.

[According to Comun-Noticias, the dead campesino´s body is missing, which coincides with reports that it was taken by a police squad.]

There are also reports that in the chase, eight people were taken into police custody at the Sheba police station. A ninth person was arrested by an army command and the protesters expressed concern that they do not know where she was transferred.

Street sellers who remained in Planes were also affected by the tear gas; several families living nearby have complained that they were hit by the bulk of chemical released by the police against teachers and members of the National Popular Resistance Front who took the roads in this sector.

Planes is one of the strategic points to block access to Aguán Valley.

Organizations from Colon, members of the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP), teachers unions, trustees, parents and students followed the call by the FNRP for a national strike to require the government to resolve the education crisis and to say no to the decentralization of public education; to demand the adoption of the Minimum Wage Act, and to reduce fuel prices, support low prices for basic goods and public utility rates and the call for a National Constituent Assembly.


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