Government of Panama Imports Fuel from Costa Rica and Opens Blockades in the North of the Country

    Media from the Veraguas region showed images of anti-riot agentscontingent clearing other points on alternative roads to the Panamericana in that region of western Panama

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     This past week, the National Police opened several roads in the north of Panama, where fuel imported from neighboring Costa Rica is arriving, to alleviate the serious effects in the country of the more than two weeks of blocking roads in rejection of a mining contract. .

    It was confirmed the presence of the police contingent that opened the way on an internal road in the city of Santiago de Veraguas, located about 250 kilometers from the capital, without any altercations with the protesters who were there and who moved to a blockade. on the Panamericana, the main highway in Panama that connects it with Central America.

     Within the framework of the national protests against the renewal of the mining concession, the Pan-American Highway has been permanently blocked for more than two weeks led by unionists and indigenous groups, which has broken the supply chain in the country, where there is a shortage of food and fuel.

    Road to the province of Chiriquí is cleared

    The commissioner of the National Police, Elmer Caballero, stated late on Thursday that the road to the province of Chiriquí, bordering Costa Rica, the most affected by the blockades, would be cleared.

    Gasoline from Costa Rica

     The Government reported this Thursday that it opened the temporary importation of 91 octane gasoline and diesel from Costa Rica to supply the border province.

    Chiriquí is the largest producer of vegetables and legumes in the country, products that were stranded in the blockades – many rotted and were thrown away – or have not been harvested, so supplies in urban centers have been practically out of stock.

    Enforcing the law

     “We are going to be energetic in enforcing the law, the relaxation is already good and we are going to put order in the country,” said Commissioner Caballero, in reference to the acts of violence that are taking place in the blockades and that have left and four people dead and damage to public and private property.

     The rejection of the law contract that on October 20 extended the exploitation concession of the Cobre Panamá open pit mine, the largest in Central America, for 20 renewable years, generated last week the largest peaceful protests in decades, led mainly by young people, as well as complaints of excessive use of force by the Police.

    Violence present

     At the same time, there have been road blockades in which acts of vandalism have occurred and the death of two people by being run over and another two at the hands of an armed man.

    The unions insist that the legal contract between Minera Panamá, a subsidiary of the Canadian First Quantum Minerals, must be repealed by Parliament, which has already been ruled out by the Legislative and the Executive, which has said that they will wait for the ruling of the Supreme Court, which has admitted several unconstitutionality appeals against the mine.

    Union representatives delivered a bill to the Executive on Thursday to repeal the mining contract, hours after President LaurentinoCortizo met with business leaders who asked him to guarantee free transit, goods and life in the country in the midst of this crisis, which is leaving economic losses of between 70 and 90 million dollars a day.

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