Varela criticizes violence at protest

The violence was between pro- and anti-government protesters.


President Juan Carlos Varela said Thursday that he has issued instructions to increase security at protests focused on events in Venezuela after an incident  Wednesday at the University of Panama (UP). 

"Such events are unacceptable to us," said the president. 

About 20 people, mostly young Venezuelans, arrived Wednesday afternoon at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Panama to demonstrate in a "peaceful way" during an event organized by supporters of Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela. 

However, moments before the event, which was attended by Venezuelan ambassador to Panama Jorge Luis Durán, fihgts broke out between the two sides. 

The anti-government Venezuelans said that they were attacked by "chavistas." But pro-government members said the other side came to the rally to cause disturbances.

"We must recognize that there is a large community of Venezuelans in the country. We can not allow an internal conflict in Venezuela to be brought to our university," said Varela. 

Meanwhile, the rector of the UP, Eduardo Flores, said that the university is a center of debate of ideas and not of censorship, and that violence has no place at the school.


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