Sin Minería and 40 groups, Defeat the proposed new copper mine contract

no mining
From the @sinmineria Twitter feed.

Emergency statement about the imposition
of an illegal contract with Minera Panama

by the Movimiento Panamá Vale Más Sin Minería, translation from the Spanish by Eric Jackson

The Cabinet Council, in a disloyal and legally shocking act, tinged with irregularities, has just concocted a new contract with Minera Panamá, SA, described by numerous sectors and experts as a cowardly betrayal of national interests. This government has shown an inability to generate a real economic policy that provides stability and development to Panamanian society. The enormous social debt, especially in terms of the right to water, health, food and dignified and stable employment, has not been met, and cannot be hidden with false promises of prosperity based on a project for a mining country.

The contract with Minera Panamá is legally untenable, since it reproduces the unconstitutionality of the previous contract. It’s an economic scam that facilitates the breach of its promised guaranteed minimum income and also grants tax exonerations and unjustified incentives. It also grants Minera Panamá the right to generate, produce and use a number of resources and assets through a single concession, to wit: energy, water, ports and real estate, and allows it to control air space, delegating to the company powers that belong to the state in its capacity as sovereign.

In its labor provisions, the contract allows the suspension of operations when the price of metals decreases, leaving workers unemployed and unprotected and, on the other hand, allows the company to expropriate land outside the granted concession.

The most serious damage, the environmental one, will cause the destruction of biodiversity, ecosystems and forests. Abuse of and non-payment for surface and ground water will end up irreversibly polluting these by the intensive exploitation of an activity that harms the surrounding communities. Furthermore, the damage that mining activity produces to the health of its workers and the population of the area has been proven.

Respected fellow citizens: All this infamy has been carried out in an undemocratic manner, with a false and inequitable consultation via the Internet, ignoring the affected population, as well as the numerous objections presented during the process. As the Administration Prosecutor has pointed out, the great absentee has been dialogue; and, on the contrary, the population has been kept subject to an aggressive, well-funded and dishonest governmental and priavate business campaign in favor of the contract.

For these reasons, we call on the public to reject the mining contract and to exercise a punitive vote at the polls in May 2024 against any legislator who decides to approve this despicable contract.

We invite people from all sectors of society, the community organizations, organizations of professionals, scientists, academics including university rectors, as well as the Ecumenical Council and churches; In short, all the living forces of society, to accompany us and formally and publicly take a stand in the face of a contract that puts the future of this country at serious risk.

We call on every resident who is concerned about the sustainability, well-being and sovereignty of this country to join the national mobilization against mining and especially against this harmful contract.

Starting today, we will be carrying out daily protests throughout the country in plazas, on the highways and in public places – which will be called through our social networks @sinmineria and other media – while we will massively deliver the word about the infamy that is intended to be committed against Panama unless this noxious contract is rejected by the legislature.

We are not a mining country. Let’s fight for the preservation of the water that guarantees life. No to the approval of a contract that surrenders our sovereignty. Yes to a mining moratorium.

Panama, July 5, 2023 by the Movimiento Panamá Vale Más Sin Minería and the undersigned organizations:
1. ADOPTA Bosque
2. Ambiente Saludable Panamá (AMBISA)
3. Amigos del Parque Internacional La Amistad (AMIPILA)
4. Amigos del Parque Nacional Santa Fe (AMIPARQUE)
5. Asociación Centro de Estudios y Acción Social Panameño (CEASPA)
6. Asociación de Educadores Veragüense (AEVE)
7. Asociación de Profesores de la República de Panamá (ASOPROF)
8. Centro de Capacitación Social (CCS)
9. Centro de Incidencia Ambiental (CIAM)
10. Coalición Internacional de Mujeres y Familias (CIMUF)
11. Colectivo Voces Ecológicas (COVEC)
12. Colectivo Ya es YA
13. Colegio de Biólogos de Panamá (COBIOPA)
14. Colibrí Asociación Ecologista de Panama, OBC
15. Comunidades Eclesiales de Base -Renacimiento
16. Consejo Consultivo de la Cuenca / Jóvenes por el Ambiente y la Cuenca del Canal
17. Coordinadora para la Defensa de Tierras y Aguas de Coclé (CODETAC)
18. Coordinadora por la Defensa de los Recursos Naturales y Derechos del Pueblo Ngäbe- Buglé y Campesino
19. Cuidemos a Panamá
20. Espacio de Encuentro de Mujeres (EEM)
21. Frente Santeño contra la Minería
22. Fundación Balu Uala
23. Fundación Cerro Cara Iguana
24. Fundación para el Desarrollo Integral Comunitario y Conservación de los Ecosistemas de Panamá (FUNDICCEP)
25. Fundación para la Protección del Mar (PROMAR)
26. Fundación Pro-Conservación de los Primates Panameños (FCPP)
27. Fundación San José Verde (FUSAVE)
28. Guardianes del Río Cobre OBC
29. Movimiento Democrático Popular (MDP)
30. Movimiento MiMar
31. Movimiento Pro-Rescate de AECHI
32. Movimiento Victoriano Lorenzo
33. Observatorio Panameño de Ambiente y Sociedad (OBPAS)
34. Sociedad Panameña de Salud Pública (SPSP)
35. Poder Ciudadano
36. Red Ecológica, Social y Agropecuaria de Veraguas (RESAVE)
37. Red Nacional en Defensa del Agua
38. Sindicato de Educadores Democráticos de Panamá
39. Sociedad Audubon de Panamá
40. Sociedad Panameña de Salud Pública

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