Today: 16-04-2024

Panama Responds to Rising Unrest: New Mining Projects Halted Amid Escalating Street Protests

"Panama Halts New Mining Ventures Amidst Growing Street Protests

In a bold move, President Laurentino Cortizo of Panama declared a complete rejection of all new mining projects, extending the ban to both prospective ventures and those currently in the permit-seeking process. Cortizo made the announcement on X, stating unequivocally, "All of them will be rejected," with the ban taking immediate effect.

This sudden decision comes on the heels of widespread protests triggered by a controversial contract that granted a two-decade extension to the operations of a major copper mine, the Cobre Panama project. Despite President Cortizo's recent endorsement of the revised contract, which secures a minimum annual contribution of $375 million to the state from Canada's First Quantum, the public outcry against the deal and its environmental implications has intensified.

The extended concession for the Cobre Panama mine, with the potential for further extensions, has become a focal point of dissent. Thousands of protesters have flooded the streets, criticizing the contract and demanding its cancellation. Economy Minister Hector Alexander defended the contract, emphasizing Panama's status as a mining country and asserting that the mine's operation is vital for sustaining the country's economic growth, estimated at 6% by the government.

The Cobre Panama mine holds substantial economic significance, contributing nearly 5% to Panama's economy. However, the protests have escalated to the point where road blockades have been erected, leading to nationwide class suspensions earlier in the week. In response, Panama's top court has agreed to review a second lawsuit challenging the contract.

Edison Broce, a lawmaker opposing the contract, predicted electoral repercussions for politicians supporting it in the upcoming elections. He urged President Cortizo and his government to heed the voices of the protesters, highlighting the growing impact of public sentiment on political decisions.

As the mining sector faces an unexpected pause, the nation stands at a crossroads, balancing economic interests with the growing demands of an impassioned public seeking environmental and social accountability."

"Valentine: A French-Panamanian Journalist Weaving Narratives and Breaking News

Meet Valentine, a dynamic force at Reuters who brings a unique blend of French and Panamanian perspectives to the world of journalism. Armed with a major in journalism and philosophy, she embarked on her journey with Reuters in December 2021, following an illustrious eight-year stint in Spain.

Valentine's academic journey took her to the University of Navarra, where she honed her journalistic skills. Post-graduation, she made significant contributions to renowned Spanish news outlets such as 'El Español,' 'El Confidencial,' and 'La Información.' Her diverse roles within these organizations equipped her with a nuanced understanding of the media landscape.

Since joining Reuters, Valentine has emerged as a valuable asset, contributing to the team's success rate, breaking news on high-profile developments, and collaborating seamlessly with the Spanish service and polling teams. Her multifaceted skills have added depth to the narratives she crafts and the stories she covers.

Beyond the newsroom, Valentine immerses herself in various pursuits during her free time. From producing engaging podcasts to playing the violin, attempting to grasp Mandarin, and embarking on a quest to discover the town's best cafes, she brings a vibrant energy to both her professional and personal endeavors.

In the ever-evolving realm of journalism, Valentine stands out as a storyteller, investigator, and cultural enthusiast, weaving together threads of diverse experiences to present a rich tapestry of news and insights."

"As Valentine continues to enrich the journalistic landscape at Reuters with her unique blend of French-Panamanian perspectives, it is evident that her impact extends beyond the newsroom. Her academic background in journalism and philosophy, coupled with an impressive career in Spain's media outlets, has positioned her as a dynamic force within the team since joining in December 2021.

Valentine's ability to boost the team's win rate, break news on high-profile developments, and seamlessly collaborate across different departments speaks to her versatility and dedication. Beyond the professional realm, her diverse interests, from producing podcasts to mastering the violin and exploring new languages, showcase a vibrant and multifaceted individual.

In a media landscape that demands both skill and cultural insight, Valentine emerges as a storyteller who weaves narratives with depth and nuance. As she navigates the dynamic world of journalism, her unique voice continues to resonate, adding layers to the stories she tells and contributing to the ever-evolving tapestry of news and information at Reuters."