Panamanian popular movement maintains protests against mining | News

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Organizations of the organized popular movement of Panama showed this Thursday their rejection of the bill that repeals the mining contract with Minera Panamá, a subsidiary of the Canadian First Quantum Minerals (FQM), which is being debated in Parliament, considering that it is not the better way, so they announce that they will maintain the popular mobilization.


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In the opinion of environmentalists, the most favorable option for the country is to wait for the Supreme Court of Justice, which has already admitted several claims of unconstitutionality against the contract, to decide whether or not this controversial mining pact is unconstitutional, just as it did with the previous one from 1997.

"We do not accept any more deceptions. If (the law) is approved and sanctioned with the articles of repeal and moratorium (mining), what they do is that we will not have either of the two things. The way to repeal the contract is at the hands of the Supreme Court of Justice," declared Yarelis Gómez, of the Salamandra Foundation.

The Panamanian Parliament, convened by the president, decides this Friday in the third and final debate to approve or reject a bill that would overthrow the contract between the State and Minera Panamá, a subsidiary of FQM, and adopt a mining moratorium, which is why environmentalists ask the Legislative "remove" only the article that repeals the mining agreement.

In the event that the deputies approve this bill, they ask Laurentino Cortizo's Executive to make a "partial veto of Bill 1110 (which repeals the contract and prohibits new mining concessions) to sanction the moratorium, but veto Article 6 on the repeal," according to the statement.

According to environmentalists, "this would ensure that the economic damage is less" thus avoiding "the economic disaster", which is why they insist that "the Court is on the right path as it should and as the citizens have requested."

In turn, it emerged that the Canadian mining company FQM said that the controversial Cobre Panamá mine continues to operate without interruptions, although it acknowledged that the protests in Panama are causing problems and a shortage of some supplies.

In a statement, FQM explained that the protests and blockades of "key roads" are causing the aforementioned problems, and noted that it is pending the evolution of the constitutionality appeals of the controversial Law 406, which grants it the right to exploit the Cobre Panamá mine through its subsidiary Minera Panamá (MPSA).

In the interim, the National Assembly of Panama (Parliament) approved this Friday a bill for an indefinite mining moratorium, which prohibits granting new concessions and rejects those in process, proposed by the Executive in the midst of a serious crisis with intense protests. against a controversial mining contract.

The deputies approved in the third and final debate the bill "1110, which prohibits the granting of concessions for the exploration, extraction, transportation and benefit of the exploitation of metal mining throughout the national territory" with 59 votes in favor, 0 against and 2 abstentions.

That bill, which must still be ratified by the Panamanian president and subsequently promulgated in the Official Gazette, declares an "indefinite moratorium" on metallic mining concessions and establishes that "no concession (...) will be renewed or extended from the promulgation of this Law", according to the official document released by Parliament.

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