Demonstrations against pension plans, including a failure to match pensions with rising costs of living, are expected near the National Assembly building in Panama City on Wednesday, January 2. Officials reportedly reinforced security measures surrounding the assembly, including erecting fences and barricades, in anticipation of potential protests. Local reports indicate the heightened security presence has resulted in localized transportation disruptions as of the morning hours (local time) on Wednesday. An increased security presence and road closures are expected to persist in the coming hours and days.
Pensioners announced last week that they would stage demonstrations outside the National Assembly during the government's first legislative session of 2019. Demonstrators have called on President Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez to increase pensions, who will step down due to constitutional term limits following the May 5 general election.
Individuals in Panama City are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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