Thursday - Sep 20, 2018

Indigenous unity blocks roads in Panama


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by the El Reportero’s wire services

The union of various native ethnic groups in the fight against Barro Blanco (White Mud) Hydroelectric Project (HBBP) creates a new scenario, which opens today with the blocking of the Americas Bridge over the Interoceanic Canal, by indigenous.
The action was announced Sunday by Clementina Pérez, the NgÃñbe Bugle local deputy chief and guide of the Mama Tatda church, who told reporters that she was tired of the “government mockery and said that’s enough and went to the street to demand the final cancellation and its dismantling.
Meanwhile, The State Communication Secretary, Manuel Dominguez, noted that the measures for the roads closure are unnecessary and only affect citizens; the Government has given large signs of wanting to reach a negotiated solution, “according to the newspaper La Prensa.
‘Such measures of force are taken by a minority that rejects dialogue and seeks to create scenarios of violence and confrontation in which the government will not fall’ she assured.
This first act of rejection and nonviolent resistance will be accompanied by prayers to their deities, which action will be repeated in the InterAmerican way, in the vicinity of HBBP, explained Clementina.
‘Nagare Barro Blanco’ (not to Barro Blanco,in NgÃñbere language) was the cry of war of the leader, who called all indigenous peoples and farmers of America, to support the fight to rescue what they consider ancestral heritage they want to snatch, like the Spanish conquerors 500 years ago.

Unions warn of privatization in the Panama Canal
Leaders of five unions that bring together workers of the Panama Canal denounced today what they call the start of the privatization of the waterway facilities, owned by the state since 1999.
At a press conference, union leaders claimed that on July 29th, the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) signed the privatization of ambulance services provided by the state agency in the Atlantic sector, located in the city of Colon.
When announcing on Thursday a demonstration of workers in front of the administrative building of the PCA, the institution reported that the contract with Serviambulancias SA was canceled, and it reactivated the trade that usually provides such functions.
Walt Oneill, president of the Union of Firefighters of Panama, said that this happened “without warning or proper notification to the exclusive representative of the negotating unit of the firefighters.”
The action violates the Constitution, the Panamanian law, and the collective agreement of the workers and the administration of the area, said a statement signed by five unions of the Canal.
The firefighters of the inter-oceanic route have specialized training in maritime and structural fires, rescue at heights and in confined spaces, and hazardous materials, said the text.
In the document, the unions warn that this action ‘marks the beginning of privatization process of the Panama Canal’ and directly accuse PCA administrator, Jorge Quijano, of leading the trend.
‘The generational struggle that resulted in the recovery of what is today is the most important asset of all Panamanians, does not deserve becoming the vehicle that will allow a few to keep the national heritage through privatizations,’ the text concluded.