Anticorruption protest in Panama draws thousands
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Thousands of people have turned out in Panama City to protest corruption on the anniversary of a 1964 demonstration that sparked the movement for wresting control of the Panama Canal from the United States.
Protester Maria Rodriguez held up a banner reading “Enough of Corruption Already.”
Rodriguez said, “Before we were oppressed by the Yankees, now it’s by our own governments.”
The protesters carried signs against Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction firm that paid millions in bribes for contracts across the region.
Two sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli are suspected of receiving more than $50 million in payments.
On Jan. 9, 1964, students tried to raise the Panamanian flag in the U.S.-controlled Canal Zone, sparking confrontations in which about 20 people died.