Panama Minera calls for security in the face of Suntracs mobilization 

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By Marco Echevarria

The company Minera Panamá S.A., responsible for the Cobre Panama project, has requested security in the face of the call for a large march and symbolic act of closure of mine scheduled by the Unified Union of Construction Workers (Suntracs) for next January 9.

The company has asked the authorities to ensure the safety of its collaborators, who are currently in charge of the safe preservation and management phase at the mining site.

In this way, the company urged the competent authorities to secure the site and ensure peace and public order to prevent any violent or illegal action.

“We recognize the legitimate right to protest peacefully without causing harm to third parties and strongly condemn any act of violence,” said Canadian subsidiary First Quantum Minerals LTD.

Minera Panamá S.A. reiterated that all activities related to exploration, extraction and prosecution are in detention.

Copper Panama also carries out the safe preservation and management tasks necessary to protect the environmental stability of the site and prevent possible environmental damage, he said in a statement on January 5.

“We reaffirm our readiness to engage in a constructive dialogue and be part of the solution. The safety of our partners, neighbouring communities and the protection of the environment remains our priority,” he said.

The Unified Union of Construction Workers (Suntracs) also reacted to the statement of Minera Panama S.A.

“They get rid of Panama’s natural resource, violated environmental norms, function as an enclave, destroyed the biological corridor and now call for clemency and repression to a symbolic act,” the workers’ union replied.

After about 37 days of strong mobilizations in the streets, on November 27, 2023, the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) of Panama declared unconstitutional the Contract Law 406 of October 20, 2023, which adopts the contract between the Panamanian State and the company Minera Panama, S.A.

On January 2, in his report to the Nation, President Laurentino Cortizo reiterated the compliance of the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) and began the process for the orderly, safe and definitive closure of the Copper Panama mine, a concession that began 32 years ago in Panama.

The National Government has already submitted to the country the proposal for a road map, which will include the formation of the technical group for the preparation of the final closure plan.

The road map includes a process of environmental and technical audits by a team of qualified national and international professionals, representative of various sectors with a wide history in various disciplines.

This team will be supported by communication spaces, collaboration, monitoring and citizen consultation. This road map also envisages taking the necessary action to preserve and
safeguard the environment, the safety of the surrounding facilities and communities.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Panamerica