In the Face of Protests, Panama's President Calls for Patience Ahead of Court Ruling on Mining Contract - Expat Community

In the Face of Protests, Panama’s President Calls for Patience Ahead of Court Ruling on Mining Contract

Nov 17, 2023 | News & Articles, Panama | 0 comments

Panama’s President, Laurentino Cortizo, has urged citizens to await the Supreme Court’s ruling on the state’s contract with Minera Panama, a company that has sparked protests and blockades across the country in recent weeks. In a national address, Cortizo stated that he would respect the judicial decision, whether the Court upholds or declares unconstitutional the law enabling the state to maintain a concession with the mining company, a subsidiary of the Canadian company First Quantum Minerals.


“Panama is a democratic country where we must all respect the rule of law and protect institutionalism, which entails each branch of the state fulfilling the functions constitutionally assigned to it. This implies that we all wait for the times set by the Supreme Court,” said Cortizo.


“I reiterate: I will abide by the ruling issued by the Supreme Court regarding Law 406 of the mining contract. As long as we respect our institutionalism and due process today, we will have the necessary arguments to protect and defend the country that belongs to this and future generations,” he added.


Citizens and organizations opposing the mining contract and engaging in protests argue that copper exploitation harms the country and causes environmental damage. The mining company, on the other hand, has stated its willingness to engage in dialogue and comply with Panamanian laws. The Supreme Court of Justice of Panama has announced that its decision on the Mining Law will not be known before November 23.


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