Spanish version

INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

Protesters block Pan-American Highway

They are opposed to the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project.

Spanish version

Temas:

Ngäbe Buglé protesters blocked the Pan-American Highway today at the entrance of Tolé demanding the presence of President Juan Carlos Varela at a meeting on the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project.

Police are on hand but so far have not cleared the highway.

Leader Manolo Miranda said they feel deceived by the high-level commission appointed by the government to address this issue, since negotiations "have not lead anywhere" since they began in February.

With respect to the meeting that the government has scheduled for July 30, Miranda said that the meeting should have been held today, as they had requested.

Indigenous leaders met today to discuss the failure of Varela to attend the meetings. Miranda said that it is time that the government cancel the project, which is 95 percent complete, because of the impact it will have on indigenous communities.

The company building the plant, Genisa, has claimed that it has lost some $40 million due to the blockade by protesters that have prevented workers from finishing the project. That blockade began in February.

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