Arbitrary detention of trade union leader in Panama denounced

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By LatAm Reports Staff Writers

Panama Trade union organizations today denounced the arbitrary detention of the leader in the province of Chiriquí, Jaime Caballero.

According to spokespersons for the Unified National Union of Construction and Similar Industry Workers (Suntracs), it is the third time they have held and led to prisons to Caballero for their participation in popular demonstrations against open metal mining that shook the country in October and November last year.

The trade unionist himself released a video on his official Instagram account in which he says he was arrested for the third time at midnight this Sunday in Aguadulce, Coclé, for an arrest warrant turned over for his participation in the anti-mining protests.

Once in Dolega, again in Gualaca and now, on this third occasion, in Aguadulce. This is a persecution, the former candidate for deputy for the 4-5 circuit that includes Boquete, Dolega and Gualaca also pointed out.

It was known that this time the arrest would be for the crime against the administration of justice.

Shouldn’t there be an arrest warrant for me for the simple fact that they know where I work, at the Suntracs offices, located on Red Grey Airport. Any prosecutor in the province of Chiriquí, which is where this arresting office was issued since November 11 last year, knows perfectly where to locate me, he said.

He also stated that as a litigant lawyer, less than 500 metres from the Suntracs office is the judiciary and the prosecution.

“They may perfectly require me through a phone call or a personal visit and I am going to attend, because we are not afraid of the process that is leading us to fight against metal mining in the open sky together with the people,” he added.

Faced with the arrest, Knight demanded that the authorities cease persecution against his person and the social leaders of this country.

“Here the deputies who voted in favor of the harmful contract, were exempted from an investigation, but those of us who fight for the country, we are being victims of persecution, this arrest warrant dates from November 2023, when we fought in the streets for the homeland,” Caballero added.

As part of this persecution against Suntracs, the organization has also denounced that since November 2023 the state Savings Bank closed 18 of its bank accounts illegally, to prevent the operation of the grouping and the deposit of its resources from the union quota.

This article has been translated after first appearing in El Pais