Protests in Panama Enter Third Day with Clashes and Demands

Protests in Panama have extended, and there have been several days of social unrest and instability in the Panamanian capital.

At the time of writing this note, for the third consecutive day, street closures at a national level continue in opposition to the contract signed between the State and Minera Panama.

Trade unions, civil society, and indigenous groups have been participating in road closures and protests since Monday, October 23, at various locations nationwide in rejection of Law 406, which approves the mining contract between the State and Minera Panama S.A.

For Wednesday, October 25, protests will continue at a national level in all provinces. At least 48 people have been arrested in Panama City during the days of protests against the Parliament’s decision to grant Minera Panama, a subsidiary of the Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals (FQM), a contract to exploit the largest open-pit copper mine in Central America.

Additionally, to further exacerbate the situation, on October 25, doctors from the CSS (Social Security Fund) are going on a 72-hour strike, which may be extended, and teachers will announce whether they return to the classrooms or not.

Despite this, the Panama Metro continues its operations even amid protests in some parts of the capital. Nevertheless, Migration Panama has announced special hours due to the protests.

“The National Migration Service @migracionpanama informs that its offices will provide “temporary” public service from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.,” the institution posted on Twitter.

Protests in Panama Enter Third Day

Meanwhile, the aftermath of the protests in Panama has resulted in dozens of arrests by security personnel.

On the other hand, the police have reported that at least five officers have been injured, two with firearms and three with injuries from blunt objects, while the 48 detainees are said to have engaged in acts of vandalism and destruction of surveillance cameras.

Construction workers and teachers have also joined the protests, blocking streets in the capital to conduct various marches.

Several vehicles in the vicinity have also suffered damage, according to reports from the ‘Panama America’ newspaper.

Transport companies have suspended their services due to the protests, which have spread around the Parliament headquarters and the closure of the streets in Panama East and North.

The protests in Panama have been called by the United People for Life Alliance following the announcement of the renewal of the mining concession to the company in question, which they accuse of causing environmental damage and engaging in corruption.

Also read: A Latin American Trade Hub: The Panama Free Trade Zone.

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