Protests threaten to reject mining contract in Panama | News

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A group of workers, unionists and environmentalists demonstrated this Tuesday in Panama, rejecting a mining contract between the State and a subsidiary company of the Canadian First Quantum Minerals, and threatened to intensify their protests if the agreement is approved by Parliament.


Controversial law reforms to the Electoral Code of Panama are approved

The demonstration took place a day before the National Assembly resumes discussion of the bill for the concession contract between the State and the subsidiary company Minera Panamá, which operates the largest open pit copper mine in Central America, after the Executive will present it again on Monday with modifications to the legislative body.

"This is a leonine contract, a contract that sells the country that the oligarchy of this country wants because it benefits from it," the general secretary of the Single National Union of Construction and Similar Industry Workers, Saúl Méndez, told international media.

Méndez stated that First Quantum "has found in the corrupt insiders, and in the corrupt businessmen, the way to prevail against illegality and unconstitutionality like this" of the mining contract.

"That is why we have opted for the people, and we are sure that it is the people who have the strength to defeat this contract," added the union leader.

This Wednesday the discussion will resume in the first debate of the bill on the mining contract in the legislative Commerce commission. If approved, it will be raised to the legislative plenary session for the last two remaining debates.

Deputy Roberto Ábrego, of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party and president of the Commerce Commission, declared that, after the corrections to the concession contract approved by the Cabinet, it is up to this legislative body to vote for or against this bill. .

"This has been one of the most widely consulted projects with all sectors of citizens, where all their concerns have been collected and presented to the Executive Body so that they could be considered within the project, which have been accepted in their entirety," he said. Abrego in a statement.

Among the changes made by the Government to the bill is the elimination of "the expropriation clauses" of land and the condition that "allowed Minera Panama to request restrictions on airspace" while a section was included that "reaffirms that nothing in the Contract restricts or limits the sovereignty of Panama over its territory."

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