Panama's President Ricardo Martinelli announced Friday the abolition of a controversial land-sale law in the Colon Free Trade Zone (CFTZ) in the Panamanian Atlantic.
Martinelli, now visiting Vietnam, said via his Twitter account that "we will proceed to repeal" the law following its poor acceptance, adding his goal is peace in the country.
The law allows the sale of public land in the CFTZ, which is one of the most important trade zones in the world. Protesters say this is a way to privatize public land.
According to Panama's local television channel Telemetro, Martinelli said as soon as he returns to the country after visiting Japan and Vietnam, the law, which was approved last week, will be repealed.
Earlier, Panama's Interior Minister Jorge Ricardo Fabrega told local television channel TVN that in order to abolish the law it was necessary to gather the Council of Cabinet and that the National Assembly of Deputies should discuss the issue for its approval.
The decision to repeal the law spread after intense protests and street blockades Friday morning in several parts of Panama, led by members of the building workers' union.
The union held a 24-hour strike on Friday to reject the law. The workers blocked main streets in Panama City and in areas of the northern province of Colon, causing traffic jams.
Protesters walked from the seat of the National Assembly of Deputies to show their anger over the controversial law.
The government had insisted that the law was a good measure for the country because it would mean the increase of resources, which would be used for public works in Colon.
During the last few days, three people died in Colon, while several others were injured and arrested due to the protests.