Panama: Report Shows Government Plans More Dams

 

An investigative reporting crew released a documentary this month on Al Jazeera showing the protests and negotiations that have occurred regarding mining and hydro-electric projects in the Ngöbe-Bugle territory. The documentary shows the reservoir of the Chan-75 dam which submerged an entire Ngöbe community. Construction is now underway for the Barro Blanco dam, which will submerge more Ngöbe communities. The Barro Blanco region is also the home of a critically endangered endemic species of frog.

 

A confidential report leaked to the investigators uncovered the government’s plans for many other hydro-electric projects, with contracts already signed. Filmmaker Glenn Elis reported: “Alongside each project listed were the names of the company directors involved - a roll call of Panama's wealthiest families. It was not difficult to put two and two together. Electricity is a commodity like anything else and if there is spare capacity it can be sold to energy-hungry consumers in neighbouring countries. Someone, it seemed, was going to get very rich.”

 

Two weeks ago, the government concluded negotiations with the Ngöbe people to pass a new law that prohibits all new mining projects and requires approval of the Ngöbe people for dam projects, but the Barro Blanco dam is excluded from this requirement, despite the protests of the Ngöbe people.

 

See the video on Al Jazeera’s website, here External link.

 

Source: Cultural Survival External link



Tags: Panama  dams  environment  Ngobe Bugle  

Distributed by Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources External link (IPIR). IPIR aggregates, indexes, and distributes content on behalf of hundreds of indigenous nations, organizations, and media outlets. Articles, commentaries, and book reviews that do not identify a source are produced or commissioned by IPIR.

Please help support IPIR. Without your support, we cannot continue to provide articles, videos, news, resources, and more on indigenous peoples issues from around the world. IPIR is the largest distributor of news on indigenous issues, and we host one of the largest databases on indigenous issues in the world. Please help support IPIR - any contribution helps, no matter how small.
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Grab our RSS Feed
Find us on Google Plus