Monday 27th November 2023.

November 26, 2023


In a statement sent this Sunday, the Judicial Body highlights that the permanent session includes individual meetings held by the magistrates in their offices with their work teams.

This is for the purpose of analyzing documents that will be presented in the plenary session, to debate the demands of unconstitutionality and the 126 arguments that were supported in writing.

Likewise, it is reported that once a decision is adopted, it will be immediately made known to the country.

The magistrates analyze the appeals presented regarding the lawsuits filed by Juan Ramón Sevillano and Martita Cornejo de Robles.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) reported this Sunday, November 26, that the company First Quantum MInerals Ltd. , Minera Panamá SA and Franco Nevada Corporation has sent the Executive two notifications of intention to file arbitration claims against Panama.

The company currently has the concession for copper extraction in Donoso, province of Colón, but is awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court of Justice on whether or not the contract it signed with the Panamanian State is unconstitutional.

According to a note released by the MICI, these arbitration demands will be presented before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes under the free trade agreement between Panama and Canada.

“Panama affirms that it has complied with all its obligations under international law and Panamanian law and that it is prepared to defend the interests of its nationals,” is reflected in the MICI statement.

Since the contract between the State and First Quantum was approved on October 20, the country has been experiencing a crisis due to protests and road blockades by different groups that reject the mining agreement.

This has led to much expectation about the ruling of the Supreme Court regarding the unconstitutionality claims that have been filed against the contract. The full Court has been in permanent session since last Friday.

Cargo transport and private vehicles managed to cross this Saturday, November 26, the section of the Inter-American highway in San Félix, province of Chiriquí, which had been blocked for several weeks.

Thus, national and international cargo trucks advanced in the hope of reaching David and the border to supply the market.

The indigenous groups, who have maintained the road blockade in rejection of the Law 406 contract, which endorsed the contract with Minera Panamá, reached an agreement in San Félix to open this section.

However, the Horconcitos sector is still blocked by another group of indigenous people.

In recent weeks, the province of Chiriquí has ​​been hit by shortages of food products as well as the lack of gas and fuel. The various business sectors in that region have requested the prompt opening of this main highway so as not to aggravate the crisis.

Producers have also not been able to regularly transport their products from the highlands to the capital. The little agricultural merchandise that supplies the capital market has risen in price, which has hit the pockets of Panamanians.

A bus that provides transportation service for Minera Panamá workers was vandalized this Sunday when it was preparing to transport company workers.

Videos circulate on social networks showing the damage the bus received and how the driver was subjected.

“Fortunately, the affected employee is in stable condition and is receiving medical attention and emotional support,” is reflected in a statement from First Quantum, the main company developing the mining project in Donoso, Colón.

According to the company, the contractor provides the service to the company’s collaborators from the project to the district of Penonomé, province of Coclé.

For days, protesters who oppose the mining contract that the company has with the Panamanian State have been protesting in the vicinity of the mining company.

Law 406, which adopts the contract between the State and Minera Panamá for the exploitation of copper in Donoso, is rejected by various groups.

Currently the Supreme Court of Justice is in permanent session to resolve two unconstitutionality lawsuits against the mining contract.

In the midst of street closures and discontent over Law 406 , which adopts the contract between the State and Mining Panama approved in this government administration, the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) José Gabriel Carrizo stated yesterday Saturday, that the protests are not due to the mining contract, but to “a systematic attack by the oligarchy and the extreme left.”

He noted that at this time the PRD is “under attack”; and that what the government has done is not decide whether we want to be a mining country or not, but rather “ face a problem, so that a company that was installed here in Panama, Colón and that gave very little to the country, gave it more resort to Panamanians. They wanted to punish us for that (…)”, said the politician to his followers, from Río Hato, Antón, province of Coclé, on a tour promoted by deputy Melchor Herrera, who is seeking re-election.

This attack, according to Carrizo, is due to a reality: the one that predicts the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) as the winner of the next elections. ” The party that is predicted to face the political scenario on May 5, to win, is the Democratic Revolutionary Party, and for that reason, they attack us, they are afraid of us,” the PRD member and vice president of the Republic is heard saying in a video circulating on social networks.

On that tour, Carrizo announced that he will tour the country starting in February to earn the opportunity to be the next president of Panama.

After a month of protests, with street blockades on the country’s main roads and the provinces of Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro being the most affected, Carrizo has not commented on the national events.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) called on the Government to restore order and restore free transit in the country, after five weeks of protests and road blockades in rejection of the mining contract.

The business union highlighted that parents, producers, businessmen, civil society organizations, professionals and numerous other citizens ask the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo , to take actions and that they are not asking for a favor; They are demanding compliance with what is established in the Political Constitution of the Republic.

“So what else do the president and his government team need to happen so that Panamanians are given back our freedoms? Are the reported deaths not enough as a result of not being able to move due to blockades or closures or the hundreds of thousands of missed medical appointments?,” the union expresses in its weekly message.

The business sector considers that it is unacceptable for the Executive to see how some 40 thousand students lose the school year. In addition, they warn about the loss of jobs, companies that will go bankrupt and that currently thousands of agricultural producers are watching how a year’s work rots in trucks.

“What we need is for the President of the Republic to comply with what he promised when he was sworn in and give instructions to his Minister of Security and his Minister of Government, to ensure that the Constitution is respected ! The Population does not ask for a favor, it demands the fulfillment of a responsibility! Enough of the political calculations. “Enough of letting things happen, because things don’t happen: every day of chaos ruins a little more the present and the future of millions of citizens, mainly the future of young people and children.”

Since the end of October, the country has been experiencing a crisis as a result of road closures in different parts of the country, after groups began to demonstrate against the approval of the mining contract between the State and Minera Panamá, for the exploitation of copper in Donoso, Colón.

“This inaction and failure to comply with sacred constitutional duties becomes even more evident when we confirm that those directly responsible for the closures throughout the country are a handful of irresponsible people with a clear political and anti-democratic agenda,” reiterates the Cciap.

Likewise, it is proposed that in the event of a prompt ruling by the Supreme Court of Justice on the mining contract, it is essential that there be an environment where the different actors in society can talk and discern about the future of the mining project.


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