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2/15/2012 11:04:00 AM
Bishop mediates mining dispute
Catholic News Service photo
Indigenous activists protest outside the Panama embassy during a protest in Guatemala City. A protest by indigenous groups opposed to a government plan to open tribal lands to mining and the construction of a hydroelectric dam ended after talks mediated by the Catholic Church led the government to agree to reopen debate about the protesters' concerns. 
Catholic News Service photo
Indigenous activists protest outside the Panama embassy during a protest in Guatemala City. A protest by indigenous groups opposed to a government plan to open tribal lands to mining and the construction of a hydroelectric dam ended after talks mediated by the Catholic Church led the government to agree to reopen debate about the protesters' concerns. 
Catholic News Service


Bishop mediates mining dispute
A protest by indigenous groups opposed to a Government of Panama plan to open tribal lands to mining ended when the Catholic Church got the government to reopen debate about the protesters’ concerns.
The bishop of David helped to end the stalemate between the indigenous peoples and farmworkers and the government. The bishop mediated talks on the issue.
Members of the indigenous Ngobe and Bugle peoples had blockaded the Pan-American Highway in western Panama near the border with Costa Rica.
The truce came two days after Panamanian police clashed with protesters in an attempt to open the road. A 26-year-old man was killed when he was shot in the chest, and 40 were injured during the altercation. Police said 44 people were arrested.
The agreement calls for the government to release the arrested protesters and drop all charges against them and for the National Assembly to resume debating the issue of mining in the western region of the country. The government also agreed to end helicopter flights over the region.
In return, the coalition promised to keep roads open to allow access for tourists and commercial goods.
A protest by indigenous groups opposed to a Government of Panama plan to open tribal lands to mining ended when the Catholic Church got the government to reopen debate about the protesters’ concerns.


The bishop of David helped to end the stalemate between the indigenous peoples and farmworkers and the government. The bishop mediated talks on the issue.


Members of the indigenous Ngobe and Bugle peoples had blockaded the Pan-American Highway in western Panama near the border with Costa Rica.


The truce came two days after Panamanian police clashed with protesters in an attempt to open the road. A 26-year-old man was killed when he was shot in the chest, and 40 were injured during the altercation. Police said 44 people were arrested.


The agreement calls for the government to release the arrested protesters and drop all charges against them and for the National Assembly to resume debating the issue of mining in the western region of the country. The government also agreed to end helicopter flights over the region.


In return, the coalition promised to keep roads open to allow access for tourists and commercial goods.




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