Riot police clashed with students in Panama City on Wednesday (19 December). The students were?
Riot police clashed with students in Panama City on Wednesday (19 December). The students were protesting against the presence of the deposed Shah of Iran in the country. It was the third outbreak of violence since the ex-Shah arrived on Saturday (15 December) to take up residence on the Pacific resort island of Contadora, at the invitation of the government.
SYNOPSIS: In the first of the clashes, about one hundred students of the National Institute stoned the foreign ministry and the Attorney-General's office. The students gathered outside the foreign ministry carrying banners condemning Panama's decision to grant asylum to the Shah. Some of the demonstrators moved up the staircase to the building's entrance but were not allowed to enter.
The demonstrators also stoned cars parked near both buildings but dispersed before anti-riot squads from the Panamanian National Guard could be mobilised. The day before (17 December) about one hundred students marched through the streets carrying the Panamanian flag and chanting slogans against the Shah. And a few hours after the attack on the Foreign Ministry, the students clashed with riot police guarding the United States
The second group of students, estimated at about two hundred, had to be dispersed with tear gas, but not before several of them managed to force their way into the Embassy grounds.
Before the students were dispersed, some of them tore a United States flag and painted anti-Shah slogans on the Embassy walls. In the latest incident (19 December) an estimated five hundred students assembled at a school for a match through the streets.
About one hundred steel-helmeted riot police arrived and fired tear gas canisters to disperse them and the students retaliated by throwing stones and acid bottles. Witnesses said at least 30 people were injured.