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Friday, March 22 2019 @ 08:07 PM UTC

Ngöbe reject statements by President Martinelli

Gold & MiningIndigenous leader Rogelio Montezuma rejected accusations made by president Ricardo Martinelli, and he said the Ngöbe Bugle people have come out with their own efforts to defend the right that corresponds to their land and territory. "We are not sponsored by any opposition political party, NGOs or foundations," said Montezuma in response to statements made by Martinelli and Vice President Juan Carlos Valera, who blamed opposition politicians and foreign businessmen of financing the protests against reforms to the Mining Code. Montezuma added that they left the mountains with their own efforts, some on foot and some with the support of carriers (bus drivers). As for the riots that occurred on Monday in the district of San Felix, in the province of Chiriqui, the Indian spokesman reiterated that the protests were announced in a peaceful manner. However, he said the riot control units of the National Police did not even allow them to reach the Inter American highway when they began to use tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets against the Ngöbe families. "The Ngöbe brothers repudiate that you are using these types of actions and equipment against the people, but we decided to keep protesting because we believe that we live in a democratic country," said Montezuma on the TVN Channel 2 news. (Panama America)

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