Protestors take to the streets against Minera Panama

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By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

Members of the United People for Life alliance took to the streets of this capital and gathered in front of the Presidency of the Republic to demand the closure of Minera Panama.

After a walk through the main arteries of the city, one of the spokespersons of the collective, Mario Almanza, specified at the rally that gave President Laurentino Cortizo a new letter in which they demand that he enforce the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice last November, which declared unconstitutional the contract signed between the State and the subsidiary of the Canadian transnational First Quantum that extracts copper in Donoso (Colón).

More than three months have passed since this ruling and the foreign company continues to exploit the minerals belonging to all Panamanians, so we demand that the safe closure plan be complied with and the foreign company leaving the national territory, he said.

As in October and November 2023, the town is again ready to take to the streets and speak loud and clear: we do not want metal mining in open sky, he said.

The document delivered to the Executive, Almanza said, among other demands, notes the payment of the thirteenth month to public officials, that political persecution against the people’s leader ceases and that old commitments are fulfilled in relation to the lower prices of the basic family basket, as well as access to drinking water, better education, health and decent housing.

At the rally, Marco Andrade also used the word secretary general of the National Confederation of Independent Trade Union Unity (Conusi), who denounced the abuses and persecution suffered by social organizations and their main leaders.

As an example, he gave that of employees of the University of Panama, whose highest authorities violate the collective agreement; and he also cited the arbitrary closure by the state Savings Fund of 18 bank accounts of the National Union of Construction and Similar Workers (Suntracs).

Andrade called on the organised people to join in support of the 24-hour national warning strike that will lead the Suntracs on March 19.

It will be another expression of unity and day of struggle in the streets against the arbitrariness of this Government, he said.

For his part, the secretary of organization of the Suntracs, Yamir Córdoba, urged that on May 5 in general elections, the patriotic workers support with their vote the independent presidential candidate, economist Maribel Gordón, the only one among eight candidates for the head of the state who supports the closure of Minera Panama and better living conditions for the people.

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