Contributed by: Don WinnerBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Yeah, that's what I thought. When I got back from my trip to the US I shot out a quick note on the Americans in Panama Yahoo email group, just to let everyone know that I was marking about 160 messages as "read" (even though I had not actually read them.) And, I asked if I had missed anything important. Check this out:
That's Too Bad: I noticed a long time ago that the La Prensa newspaper has a regular and repeating tendency to "lean" toward the environmental angle of any story. Apparently it has now become clear that the information contained in their article about this supposed spill is incorrect. Anyway, by now my personal position on mining operations in Panama should be perfectly clear because I've discussed this topic on literally dozens of occasions. I believe it is possible to conduct mining operations in a responsible manner, while mitigating and controlling potential environmental damage. I'm generally in favor of mineral exploitation as long as a fair share of those resources are returned to the people of Panama. And, the money being spent in the country to develop and operate the mines is significant. The people who are now working at that mine were probably unemployed before, for example. Anyway, I just wish the news media would treat the entire issue "straight up" and fairly. And believe me, if Petaquilla (or any other mine operator) was in fact not in compliance with the environmental oversight requirements, then I would be right there, pinging away. In this case it's sad that the environmental activists had to stoop to an outright fabrication in order to score a few points. Someone should explain to them that these kind of shenanigans will actually hurt their cause, in a strategic sense.
Update: Apparently the wordpress blog has only one entry - this article about Petaquilla and the Facebook postings of Ana Perez and others. That means it was a hit-piece done to get the information out there, but in a manner typical of Panama - trying to hide behind some kind on anonymity.
Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.