Violent Reactions to New Mining Laws In Panama

Construction workers of the SUNTRACS union protested in Panama City on Saturday, joining demonstrations against mining activities in Ngöbe Bugle territory. Anti-riot police arrived around 8 a.m. with tear gas and took 33 of the workers into the La Joya penitentiary.

SUNTRACS lawyers say the arrests are an illegal intimidation tactic and a violation of human rights. Union leaders have called for a peaceful march from Porras Park on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Ngöbe Bugle leaders have confirmed that protester Jerónimo Montezuma died from a bullet to the chest and others have been injured in clashes between police and protesters in San Felix. Minister of Security Jose Raul Muliono, however, told KW Continente that agents are not carrying firearms. The protesters reportedly set fire to the San Felix police station in retaliation.

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