Why have the mobilizations in Panama continued? | News
Thousands of Panamanians remain in the streets of the country in rejection of the mining project promoted by the Government with a Canadian company.
Panamanian president consults attorney to repeal mining contract
Despite the repression of the protests, the protesters have expressed that they are fed up with this type of concessions that only benefit companies with foreign capital.
The protesters demand that the Government repeal the mining law, the contract in particular, and also ask the Supreme Court of Justice to declare it unconstitutional.
To find out the key points of the mobilizations and protests in Panama that have been going on for a little over a month, the president of TeleSUR, Patricia Villegas, had a conversation with the union leader, Ronaldo Ortíz.
At the beginning of the conversation, he, also Frenadeso's deputy coordinator, pointed out that the wear and tear of the political, economic and social system that has been imposed in Panama for nearly 100 years, the social situation of the country, the corruption scandals and the lack of access to resources to satisfy social needs, are some of the reasons that have led the majority of the Panamanian people to support the protests.
Ronaldo Ortíz added that the Panamanian Government has promoted the idea of mining exploitation as a solution to the country's economic problems, as well as the approval of Law 406, are other reasons for the mobilizations in the Central American country.
When asked, if the current mining contract is a little better than the previous one, why did the people say no more?, the Panamanian union leader and member of the Alba Movimientos articulation, responded that the majority of Panamanians are fed up with the maneuvers. of traditional politicians who are immersed in corruption cases and of a Government that sold him the idea that mining concessions are going to solve economic problems.
Ortíz commented that youth have an awareness about caring for nature and defending the land, which is why this sector said enough to extractive projects.
Regarding the question of where the environmental awareness of Panamanians comes from, the social leader commented that young people have called to defend nature because they understand that they also defend the homeland.
The member of the Alba Movimientos group stated that young Panamanians have mobilized in defense of the environment, as have workers, indigenous peoples, educators, in short all the Panamanian people.
Ortíz assured that all sectors of society have mobilized to tell the Government, no to open pit mining.
According to Ronaldo Ortíz, the end of the mobilizations and protests will occur when the Government and the mining transnationals comply with the regulations that they have not respected.
The union leader explained that in 2017 there was a mining project that was declared unconstitutional and that with Law 406 this unconstitutionality was legalized.
Other points necessary to put an end to the mobilizations would be that Law 406 be repealed, that the mine be closed, the rights of the workers are guaranteed, and a great debate on the issue is developed.
Regarding the possibility of reaching a middle point with the Government to end the demonstrations, Ronaldo Ortíz expressed that how the Panamanian Government has moved in the midst of the protests, there are sectors that have said that apparently there is no Government.
Faced with this situation, Ortíz said that since there is no Government, there is no positive attitude or to mediate, we only wait for the repeal of Law 406, which would be a firm step so that a space can be assumed to continue debating the mining issue.
Ortíz maintained that the environmental issue gave the system the definitive kick to understand that people are tired of the current neoliberal and capitalist model.
The union leader assured that the protests have brought to light the social problems that affect the country, which were also seen in the mobilizations last July.
Regarding the image of progress and development that they have sold about Panama, Ronaldo Ortíz recalled the UN data that indicates that the Central American country is the sixth most unequal on the planet.
He indicated that the Panama Chamber of Commerce revealed that due to the demonstrations they have lost 1.7 billion dollars and that the
increase in informality.
“Panama is an unequal country, with a social crisis due to the lack of attention to the problems of food, education, health, and housing,” added Ortíz.
When asked about the motivation and duration of the protests against the mining project, Ortíz pointed out that the people are motivated and with the murder of several protesters last week, the motivation has been strengthened.
For the union leader, the death of the martyrs must be worth something, and what they will be worth is that Law 406 is repealed and the mining project is eliminated.
Ronaldo Ortíz denounced a judicial process against the union leaders, from the construction union they have announced that hitmen have been hired to assassinate their leaders.
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