Archbishop Ulloa of Panama Calls for Dialogue amidst Violent Protest

Riots Regarding Sale of Land Results in Death of Child and Two Adults

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 25, 2012 (Zenit.org).- On Tuesday, Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta of Panama expressed concern over the recent riots that took place in the city of Colon. Archbishop Ulloa is currently in Rome attending the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.

Riots have broken out in the Panamanian city after the government planned to sell state-owned land in a duty-free zone of the Panama Canal. According to an Associated Press news report, the violent protests that erupted in the city resulted in the death of a 10 year old boy and two adults, as well as dozens wounded. The President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, stated that he is willing to reconsider the sale, stating that «if the people of Colon don’t want the land in the duty-free zone to be sold, the sale will be canceled.»

Archbishop Ulloa, who has been following the events closely from Rome, called for renewed dialogue and an end to the bloodshed. «We believe that, at the moment, the way to solve the problem is dialogue carried out with tolerance and respect, in which we can all lay our personal interests and think especially for the common good of all Panamanians and for the common good of all the citizens of Colon,» he stressed.

«We repeat: the most effective means to solve problems is dialogue. Therefore we ask God to give us all the light that we need, and so that we can readily see peace and tranquility return in our beloved city of Colon.»

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