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Panama Firm; Hydroelectrics Will Be Built, regardless of Protestors

Article Summary:

The National Business Council of Panama took a hard stand against the protesting ngäbes Bugle indigenous tribe who want hydroelectric plants stopped in their native lands. To do so, says the council, would generate incalculable losses and jeopardize the future of the country.

Photo Credit: La Prensa

Original Article Text From La Prensa via Google Translate :

We Can Not Stop A Project Because One Party So Requests: Fletcher

The National Business Council (Conep) analyzes this Thursday, March 8, the situation of dialogue between indigenous leaders and government representatives. Among other issues, the focus has to do with legal certainty and economic impact of closing a hydroelectric project as Barro Blanco, as requested by ngäbes Bugle.

Antonio Fletcher, president of the guild, said this afternoon that we can not stop a project because one party so requests. One such measure he said, “would affect the legal certainty, would generate incalculable losses and jeopardize the future of the country. ”

“Ngäbe Bugle Indigenous groups should be aware that hydropower projects are part of the country’s development and that the national government has the responsibility and obligation to ensure that the supply power is maintained according to existing and future demand.

In this situation, must always prevail in the best interests of the state that we are all “indicated in a statement released Conep Thursday. The business association contends that the cancellation of hydroelectric projects, existing or potential use will result other types of energy “generated by fuels, polluting and expensive, which will directly impact the rising cost of basic goods and the substantial increase in the cost of living.”

This without the constant increase in fuel prices, indicates in the statement. “We call on political parties, associations and other sectors to bear in mind that right now we are not for special interests, which is why we want the dialogue to flow in a positive way, preserving the rule of law . ”

The Conep asked this week to the National Assembly to include in the discussion to make a technical presentation on the subject. The subcommittee was created to establish a special law mining and protection of water resources of the region Ngäbe Bugle announced consensus that released last Monday, March 5.

The focus was related to conduct an independent evaluation of the Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Project, following a review of the environmental management plan it. On this issue, the Government Minister Jorge Fabrega said yesterday that first will analyze the environmental impact study and then, if required, an expert.

In the paper read on Monday by the mediator of the dialogue, the bishop of David, Jose Luis Lacunza, indicated that the suspension of the project would be temporary, during the period of survey, once the review of environmental management study has been completed. The special subcommittee will meet at the headquarters of the UN United in the City of Knowledge, on Monday 12 March. more tomorrow in The Press

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From La Prensa

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