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Panama: Law Modifying Mining Code to be Repealed

Categories: Latin America, Panama, Citizen Media, Environment, Freedom of Speech, Governance, Human Rights, Humanitarian Response

On the morning of March 3, President Ricardo Martinelli promised to repeal Law 8, which modified Panama's mining code [1]. Hora Cero [2] [es] reports:

El Presidente de Panamá, Ricardo Martinelli anunció este jueves que su gobierno derogará este jueves, una ley minera que miles de indígenas rechazaron durante las últimas semas con protestas en las calles y cierres de rutas en la provincias de Chiriquí y Veraguas.

The President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli said Thursday that his government will repeal, on Thursday, a mining law that thousands of Indians opposed over the last weeks with street protests and road closures in the provinces of Chiriqui and Veraguas.

The news were received with joy among Panamanians who saw the change in the code as an attack on the environment. Reactions immediately appeared on social networks.

President Ricardo Martinelli (@rmartinelli) [3] shared the announcement of the repeal on his Twitter account, adding that he would always listen to his people:

La Ley 8 será derogada en Consejo Extraordinario, un Presidente como yo siempre escuchará a su pueblo

Law 8 will be repealed in an Extraordinary Council, a President like me always listens to his people

Juan Carlos Navarro (@juancanavarro) [4], former mayor of the Panamanian capital, wrote on Twitter:

panama no quiere mineria a cielo abierto. ahora a defender naturaleza, fortalecer ANAM y escuchar a la gente.

panama doesn't want open-pit mining. Now let's defend nature, strengthen ANAM [the National Environmental Authority] and listen to the people

Daniel A. Robleto A. (@danielrobleto) [5] thanks the indigenous people that fought for the law to be eliminated:

Se anuncia derogacion de la ley 8 que permitía minería metálica de cielo abierto en Panamá. Gracias hermanos Ngäbe, su lucha lo logro.

The repeal of Law 8 that allowed open-pit mining in Panama has been announced. Thank you Ngäbe brothers, your struggle achieved this.


Students, indigenous people, civil rights and environmental groups marched on the Coastal Highway to protest reforms to the mining code on February 20. Image under copyright by Demotix taken by Guillermo Johnson

Yitzhak Polanco M. (@yitzpolanco) [7] shows his joy at the promise of a repeal:

Super Feliz!!! Degoracion total de la LEY 8!!! NO A LA MINERIA en PANAMA!!

Super Happy!!! Total repeal of LAW 8!! NO TO MINING in PANAMA!!

Ana Perezmackenzie (@peresmackenzie) [8] echoes the words of the president:

Martinelli dijo “No me gustan las minas, los mineros, ni la mineria” bueno a sacarlos de Panama, que el ORO de Panama es Verde!

Martinelli said “I don't like mines, miners, nor mining” well get them out of Panama, because GOLD in Panama is Green!

C. Adrian Martínez (@cadrianmartinez) [9] reminds his followers that the promise of a repeal does not necessarily mean that open-pit mining will not exist in Panama:

La derogación de la Ley 8 no es compromiso de un Panamá sin minería metálica/a cielo abierto. Ahora hay que lograr garantizar esto.

The repeal of Law 8 is not a commitment to have a [country] without metal/open-pit mining. Now we need to guarantee that.