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Volume 18, Number 2
March 4, 2012

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opinion

Also in this section:
Editorials: There really is such a thing as libel; and An offer that she must refuse
Asamblea Ciudadana, Toward the constitutional rule of law
Reporters Without Borders, El Universo verdict sets back freedom of expression
Bernal, About a dams referendum
Fisher, Panama's critical juncture
Tsenliki, Protecting oceans: It's not rocket science
Nauman, Native wisdom guides movement to close Keystone Pipeline route
Estevez, Diary of an arms trade lobbyist
Hightower, The Chief Twinkie goes Ding Dong
McCabe, Unexpected heroes
Thurston, The truth hurts sometimes
Gandásegui, The Ngabe treasure and the Tabasara River
Boff, From internationalized enterprise to biocentric society
Mercy Sisters join Panama justice campaign
Mijares, Ocean front
Worley, The smell test --- passed
Chomsky, "Losing" the World
Harrington, Ngabe awakening
Evans, A different kind of Europe
Council on Hemispheric Affairs, A new Falklands/Malvinas war unlikely
Hidalgo, A democratic crisis close to home
Letters to the editor


Silvia Carrera. Photo by Radio Temblor

Ngabe Spring
by Kevin Harrrington-Shelton

Instead of moping, and puling, and whining to excite compassion; in such a situation we ought to with spirit, and vigor, and alacrity, to bid defiance to tyranny, by exposing its impotence, by making it as contemptible, as it would be destestable.
Daniel Dulany (1765)
about the Stamp Act

There is no call to be deceived: the Ngabe nation is giving a well documented lesson to the rest of the Panamanian state, about true democracy.

Contrary to the Panamanian tradition of slinking by any subject that is of no direct and individual personal benefit, these authochtonous people come disciplined, mobilizing public opinion, despite enormous disadvantages, unlike what "others" --- the political parties, which receive subsidies --- do. Their leaders have brought us more complete information about different national problems than a government that's allergic to transparency, that's like a half-truth addict.

And at great personal sacrifice. In contras to the other non-clerical authorities in the "dialogue," the Ngabe leaders don't receive a cent to defray the costs of living and working away from their homes (for almost one month when this was written). And 30 days is the constitutional period within which President Martinelli must resolve all respectful requests. Nevertheless, thanks to $150,000 per day spent on advertising under the pretext of official "information," too many media portray the Ngabe leaders as intrasigent and disregardful of the constitution.

Whoever is assisting them in the forumulation of classic non-cooperation strategies, the preparation for interviews for a well projected information policy, and the organization of indignado tactics --- all with almost Prussian precision --- embodies the willingness to look out for the common good of future generations that has sustained such a long struggle. We have no parallel in any other facet of the formation of a sustainable Panama in our times, save for the recuperation of the canal. In contrast, and as a strategy with prior approval, in the face of this year's disorders the National Police withdrew its arms and circulated orders to its units not to leave the station, thus leaving the population of Changuinola without any of the protection guaranteed by the constitution --- and shredding the motto "To Protect and Serve."

Those of us who eat three times a day are obligated to speak up for those who don't eat, and the best way to do it is to promote a rule of law that functions as it should --- with the whole truth in hand.


The author is an official translator and simultaneous interpreter







    

Also in this section:
Editorials: There really is such a thing as libel; and An offer that she must refuse
Asamblea Ciudadana, Toward the constitutional rule of law
Reporters Without Borders, El Universo verdict sets back freedom of expression
Bernal, About a dams referendum
Fisher, Panama's critical juncture
Tsenliki, Protecting oceans: It's not rocket science
Nauman, Native wisdom guides movement to close Keystone Pipeline route
Estevez, Diary of an arms trade lobbyist
Hightower, The Chief Twinkie goes Ding Dong
McCabe, Unexpected heroes
Thurston, The truth hurts sometimes
Gandásegui, The Ngabe treasure and the Tabasara River
Boff, From internationalized enterprise to biocentric society
Mercy Sisters join Panama justice campaign
Mijares, Ocean front
Worley, The smell test --- passed
Chomsky, "Losing" the World
Harrington, Ngabe awakening
Evans, A different kind of Europe
Council on Hemispheric Affairs, A new Falklands/Malvinas war unlikely
Hidalgo, A democratic crisis close to home
Letters to the editor


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© 2012 by Eric Jackson
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