Editorials: The mine contract; and Violence on Via Israel


Reject that obnoxious copper mine contract

Yeah, yeah. It’s supposed to generate all this fabulous wealth for Panama. All we have to do is sign away our land, our water and part of our airspace – the latter so that we’re not allowed to see what’s being done.

Who gets which wealth? How much did we get from those concessions granted to the politically connected convicted criminal Richard Fifer Carles – from which the present court-declared unconstitutional copper mine concession derives – in the years that the operation, and the Petaquilla gold mine, have been digging metal out of the ground? Who got the money?

Once upon a time there was a deal, in many ways similar, signed with the US government. Its consequences were oppressive to Panama, and after decades chipping away to get modications, 75 years later that deal was rescinded. But people died for that to happen.

Those who want to make this deal? Perhaps some of them will personally benefit in one way or another. The notion that this fire sale of a gash taken out of Panama will save our public pension system if only approved would be laughable were it actually funny. It’s a fraud pitch.

Panama should do what Ecuador just did with respect to oil drilling in its part of Amazonia. It should put the mine contract to a public vote on next year’s national elections ballot, and the Panamanian people should vote it down. Plus, run the whole lot of hustlers and shills who have been promoting this deception out of public life.


Good to hear the indignation and solidarity, awful to hear the excuses

Did the police call the person beaten in this fashion a man dressed as a woman? Did the victim’s mother describe the child to whom she gave birth as a son? Did wave after wave of Twitter troll call the person was kicked and stomped on the heat and now barely clings to life in the hospital a prostitute?

So what.

Estrella is a transgendered woman, according to how she wants to be called and known. It’s who she is and she has a right to be that.

A prostitute? It may be disreputable, but it’s a legal occupation in Panama.

The law does not allow people to beat up or kill prostitutes here. Are there some self-professed born-again Christians who differ, and explain away such violence? Didn’t Jesus Christ himself weigh in on that, when a mob proposed to stone a woman to death?

And then there are those who say that while there should not be such beatings in the streets, those who protest are trying to pervert young people with “gender ideology” and should shut up. But Panamanians should be proud that we have a generation of high school kids who intervened in defense of human life. Call their sense of justice and order by whatever imported from foreign neofascists slogan the hateful trolls will, those kids thought and did the right thing, as best they could. SOMEBODY taught them a healthy sense of decency along the way.

Let’s also not hear the hatemongers protest about the anti-violence protests from the US and other diplomatic missions. For one thing, it was a defense of those countries’ citizens who live here and might end up as the targets for such abuse. Plus it’s an expression of a growing world consensus about human rights.


Emmaline Pankhurst
British women’s suffrage leader Emmeline Pankhurst.

I come to ask you to help to win this fight. If we win it, this hardest of all fights, then, to be sure, in the future it is going to be made easier for women all over the world to win their fight when their time comes.

Emmeline Pankhurst


Bear in mind…

You can’t make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you’re doing is recording it.

Art Buchwald

Only false gods are laughed off their pedestals.

Agnes Repplier

Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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