Indigenous Ngäbe Bugle Remain Vigilant - Talks Should Resume On Monday
Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 09:16 PM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
The pending issue is on hydroelectric projects on lands of the Ngäbe Bugle region and in adjoining areas. The Indians reject any hydroelectric development in the region and demand the cancellation of the concession granted for the Barro Blanco project. It was precisely this issue of the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project that prevented the debate from advancing, because the indigenous leaders maintain their position and they demand the cancellation of that concession, but Government Minister Jorge Ricardo Fabrega said this project is not located in areas annexed to the region.
On Friday, 17 February 2012, the members of the subcommittee who are discussing the controversial Article 5 of Bill 415 signed a statement to announce the progress made so far. They highlighted the consensus reached regarding the cancellation of all concessions granted for mining in the Ngäbe Bugle region and annexed areas, and the repealing of Law 41 of 1975, which created Codemin.
In terms of hydropower they have advanced on the following points:
1. In the future, and when necessary, any application or hydroelectric development project in the Bugle Ngäbe and adjoining areas shall comply with the formalities and go through the same agencies listed in Law 10 of 1997 and the Administrative Charter of the Comarca.
2. The Public Service Authority will issue a resolution through which they will reject the requests for the granting of concessions for the construction of the hydroelectric projects called: Caño Clarito and Chorcha, located inside of the Comarca.
3. As for hydropower projects in the annexed areas they have not yet reached a consensus, due to the legal, economic, ecological and social implications.
On Monday, 27 February 2012 at 10:00 am the dialog should resume in the Trade Commission of the National Assembly. (TVN)
Editor's Comment: Stock up on supplies, especially those of you in Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro. The government is not going to back down on the issue of hydroelectric projects. They will keep talking, but sooner or later I suspect the Ngäbe Bugle will get up from the table and walk away. It would be wise to take advantage of this time to stock your shelves. Hey, they might reach an agreement, then your shelves will be stocked, and that's a good thing, right? Better safe than sorry.