We all know that Colombia doesn't exactly have the best track record when it comes to labor rights or prosecuting goons who murder trade unionists. But flying a little lower and escaping any major press coverage are the recent murders of labor union workers in Panama. In the space of three days last week, two members of the 60,000-member construction workers' union SUNTRACS were killed, one by a police officer and one by a "company union goon" (reports our staffer currently in Panama, where he is supposed to be on a surfing vacation). There have since been several protests, including a massive strike called by SUNTRACS yesterday.
We are tracking the labor situation in Panama (which is extremely convoluted), and will post updates as new developments happen. Obviously this should have ramifications for any serious Panama FTA debate if and when it happens.