Panama Protests Over Copper Mine Concession
Protests in Panama, against the approval of a copper mining concession, have continued into a third day, blocking routes into the main cities and forcing some businesses to remain closed.
The protests began after congress signed off on an agreement with Canadian mining company First Quantum, which allows them to continue operating a huge open-pit copper mine in central Panama for at least 20 more years.
Since Monday, protestors have been demanding the government rescind the contract and clashes with the police have led to the closure of major roads throughout the country.
The protesters are concerned about the potential environmental damage caused by mine operations in this biodiverse region.
However, it is unclear how effective these protests will be against a site which contributes 3% of the nation’s gross domestic product, employs thousands of Panamanians when operational, and makes up 80% of the country’s total exports through its shipments.
Freight companies in the country have been affected by the protests causing disruption in local transport systems and many have been working remotely.