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Again Chaos in Panama; Indigenous Continue Protest by Closing Roads

Article Summary:

Ongoing dialogue between the government of Panama and the indigenous Ngäbes was suspended as both parties rejected each others proposals. Meanwhile fighting occurred outside of the National Assembly which left four members of the Ngäbes security force injured and caused an immediate closure of the Pan American Highway.

Photo Credit: Panama America

Original Article Text From Panama America via Google Translate :

Dialogue is suspended after incident in the Assembly

The dialogue between the government and the Indians are about to break, because yesterday was interrupted by the rejection of the proposals submitted by both parties on the dams and fighting on the outside of the National Assembly that left four members of the security ngäbes of injured.

The events occurred at a time when several deputies were preparing to go the Legislative Palace and their vehicles were stoned, prompting the intervention of the security of the Assembly, who shot the ngäbes, hitting an Indian leg, another in the chest and two in part of the face and hands.

The wounded respond to the names of Clarber Serrano, 25, Olmedo Pita, 29, Edward Carpenter, 33, and Philip Knight, 24.

The Indians claim that they did not throw stones and wounded, as part of the police in the area, known as “bugokais” were installed near the Palacio Justo Arosemena to prevent their peers throw objects at the legislative building.

Meanwhile, security chief of the Assembly, John Vallarino said were those who tried to attack them ngäbes, so they had to make shots in the air and then shoot bullets “paintball” against the demonstrators.

He denied having used other weapons to fight the Indians, but there was one of the officers of the Assembly with a gun time of 12 to disperse them.

The wounded, at first resisted being taken to hospital for medical care, citing fears that it could take other action against them, but were later taken to St. Thomas Hospital after being helped by paramedics 911 and ADD Deputy Crispiano Adames, who is a doctor.

The skirmish occurred in the instant Ngäbe coordinator warned that continuing dialogue would be assessed if not given a favorable response to its proposal submitted on Wednesday, which proposed the cancellation of the project Barro Blanco, Tabasará II and as granted in the Changuinola River, which was not accepted by the Government.

The representatives of the executive, however, presented another proposal that included the 15-day suspension of the construction of Barro Blanco project to be conducted a technical evaluation by experts in the field of government, the Indians of Central Generating Company ( Genisa) and University of Technology.

“It’s not an easy subject, but we have included in our proposal and if a decision of the State and accepted us, we will take, so you will not be no doubt to anyone and you can re-do a review and that all the world be assured that was what was done here, “said Minister of Government Ricardo Jorge Fabrega.

He said the government is complying with the agreement of San Felix, so it did not include anything about the other demands of the Indians to suspend projects Tabasará II and Chan II.

After several hours reviewing the government proposal, the coordinator returned to the negotiating table and the spokesman, Roger Montezuma, read his position in which the rule and require a favorable response to the proposal presented Wednesday.

Next, the minister intervened Fabrega, who read out the technical analysis on the proposal of the coordinator, which determined that it is false that the Barro Blanco project has increased its area of ​​reservoir and to require a new environmental impact study; while in the case of Tabasará II, the award remains in force, as the term given to the company expires in May 2015 and has not expired as the Indians said.

The request to suspend concessions in the Changuinola River, the government warned that a measure of such magnitude would cause a cost overrun of over 200 million dollars for the replacement of power generation that would have to perform, which in turn would impact consumers with a 25% increase in electricity tariff.

After the incidents outside the Assembly, the Indians proceeded to close the road in Horconcito American, San Felix, Vigui, Resume and Boquete. The protesters said the closure is indefinite until a positive response from the government.

Link to Original Article:

From Panama America

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