The City of Colon today is in the midst of mourning for the violent repression of its people who are in opposition to the sale of the Colon Free Zone lands. Their’s is a claim to patrimony, but despite the general dificulties that the controversy has imposed on the residents of Colon, the thousands of Black Christ of Portobelo followers have somehow managed to converge on the Atlantic city of Portobelo.
Early this morning news reports revealed how even Colon’s food supply had been dwindling as mini-supers and supermarkets were out of stock and so desabastecido as suppliers, farmers and distributors from Panama and the interior of the country were reluctant to enter Colon, and expecting to meet up with blocked roads and crowds of demonstrators.
Despite this air of violence and general grief over what they consider blatant disrespect shown to the inteligent people of the new Colon by the central government, the rage is with the mebers of the National Assembly, who have railroaded through the passage of Law #72, which you may read by clicking here, the Colonenses have welcomed the pilgrims and devotees of the Cristo Negro de Portobelo city and parish as best as the circumstances would allow them.
Today, more than ever, the Black Christ of Portobelo is playing an important role in keeping the cultural identity of not only the city, but the province of Colon and black african descent people in the whole land and in fact are swearing thatthe yearly event will remain intact.
There are, nevertheless, some people and organizations that are doing good and positive things with the festival of the Black Christ of Portobelo and are in fact behind the idea of the devotion to him. We wanted to present them here today so click on the links below:
Critica en Linea– View a beautiful slide show of the Festival
SA Creatives– View José Brathwaite’s beautiful images of the Black Christ Festival
Cristo Negro– Video with the music of Ismael Rivera