Weekly Report - 01 July 2021 (WR-21-26)

PANAMA: Mining push causes a stir

A local NGO, Centro de Incidencia Ambiental (Ciam), and other environmental groups last week presented a legislative bill demanding a moratorium on metallic mining in Panama. This followed the announcement in May by the government led by President Laurentino Cortizo of the launch of a “consultation period” to discuss a new mining policy among other signs of efforts to promote the sector. While the government is trumpeting this as necessary to revive the economy, which shrank 17.9% in 2020 due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the issue of mining has proven hugely controversial in the past and could throw up new problems for the Cortizo government.

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