Dec 29, 2012

The Spector of Indigenous Protest Lurks Nearby

Just taken from Panama's TVN-2 website:  Various indigenous groups met on Saturday and decided to demand of the Panamanian government that it order the stoppage of activities related to the Barro Blanco hydroelectric plant while an independent international survey is  carried out regarding the environmental effects of the hydroelectric plant on the indigenous communities near the plant.

Manolo Mirando, of the April 10 Movement, described the government's position of  non-work stoppage as a mockery of the indigenous people and communities particularly affected by the Barro Blanco project.  He warned,  "That attitude could provoke discontent of the [political] bases that are again losing patience and might  return to the streets."
The various indigenous groups met in the Muna district of the comarca to address one singular point---acceptance or rejection of the survey being conducted while work on the project was ongoing.  The majority voted for work stoppage based on the demonstrated impact on their communities.  The General Chief of the Nägbe Bugle, Silvia Carrera, stated that the concerns presented by the members of the April 10 Movement and other indigenous bases will be presented to members of the Technical Committee.  
Carrera asked of President Ricado Martinelli that in the New Year he seek peace and tranquility in the country, and that he stop giving concessions to foreign companies, only seeking to get richer by destroying the environment and culture of Panama's people.