SECURITY

Free Zone businesses, council clash over subsidy

A protest is planned for today to demand the payment.

Temas:

Security was heavy at the Colón Free Zone this morning after the threat of protest was announced by members of the Colón Municipal Council.

The council is threatening to take action due to the failure of free zone businesses to deliver a promised subsidy of $20,000 for each community board.

Councillor Alex Lee called the increase in security "threatening," and said that the businesses are "demonstrating that there is no intention of engaging in dialogue."

He warned that he will not be intimidated and said a massive demonstration is planned, with some 40 buses of protesters expected to arrive at the free zone to demand funding for community works.

"We have always called for dialogue, but now they have militarized the free zone," he said.

Colón Mayor Federico Policani has supported an increase in the subsidy, saying the free zone has grown substantially.

Free Zone Commercial Manager Surse Pierpoint said that many businesses within the area have been struggling, mainly due to a drop in business with Venezuela.

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