Although dam developers and governments insist that local communities benefit from these projects, the reality on the ground in Panama suggests the opposite: communities are plunged further into poverty, environments are destroyed and irreparable harm is caused. As one witness who is living in the wake of the Chan 75 project said: “The government and the company [AES, a US-based energy global company] promised development but instead they have created a disaster.”
In Intercontinental Cry, Jennifer Kennedy writes about the effect of hydroelectric dam projects on Panamanian Indigenous communities. She concludes:
Both the human and environmental cost of large dam development is undeniable. And communities will continue to defend their livelihoods, environments and resources, staunchly resisting destructive dam development projects.