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Ngöbé-Buglé unite against Panamanian mining code changes

by Dana Holtby and Rosie Simms

A banner is raised in Coclesito, a community adjacent to a Petaquilla gold mine.
A banner is raised in Coclesito, a community adjacent to a Petaquilla gold mine.

Indigenous peoples of Panama take to the streets of the capital in protest to recently proposed changes to the 1963 Mining Code which would facilitate the entry of Mult-National Corporations and allow foreign states to own tracts of land through mining concessions. 

The political situation of indigenous peoples in Panama has become increasingly tense as the government debates modifying the mining constitution.  Over 400 Inidgenous peoples  from impacted mining areas poured into Panama City to show their opposition to mining developments . Many already suffer the impacts of open-pit mines, previously developed by Canadian mining companies, and have little trust in the government and the supposed benefits these mining companies claim to bring.

The final decision on the proposed changes will be made this week in the Panamanian legislature.


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