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Friday, April 19 2019 @ 02:52 PM UTC

ANAM Tosses SENAFRONT and Prosecutor Under The Bus in Logger Dispute

Environmental Issues The ball bounces and extends. Those involved in the timber industry in the Eastern part of the province of Panamá and the Darién have returned to the streets in the district of Chepo to demand that the authorities cease the persecution against them, and that they should be allowed to carry out their activities normally, and to move freely with their cargo. "No one is responsible for the effects on the industry," said Bernardo Ramos, the President of the Timber Association of Darien and Eastern Panama. "We have all our permits in order, and they are stopping our trucks," said Raul Acevedo Jr., a timber man.

The National Environmental Authority (ANAM) reacted yesterday to the protests and street closures the loggers have been conducting since Monday. The protesters, who posted themselves at 7:30 am on the Pan American Highway in the village of Las Margaritas, were being monitored by units of the Riot Control police as the moved up to the checkpoint in Chepo. They decided to close one lane of the highway, where they remained until yesterday afternoon , awaiting a response from the Director of ANAM, Lucía Chandeck, who at the time was in Panama City in a meeting with a commission sent by the loggers. However in the afternoon Chandeck decided to travel to Chepo to talk with the loggers, in a meeting held on the side of the road that lasted for about an hour.

SENAFRONT - There Chandeck explained that the ANAM does not have anything to do with the measures that have been implemented in the sector of the Darien and the Eastern part of the province of Panama in related to the retention and seizure of lumber that meets all of the requirements under the law, but rather these are the decisions of the National Border Service (SENAFRONT) and the Office of the Environmental Prosecutor.

Eutimio Peralta, one of the loggers present, said Chandeck told them it is the SENAFRONT and the Office of the Environmental Prosecutor who are responsible for conducting the investigations related to the transfer of timber and logging. Peralta cannot understand why - if they have all of their documentation - how can the authorities seize and hold the timber without any sort of an explanation. "Who ordered the seizures and the retention of the trucks that are loaded with timber, and to bring the drivers to the office of the Prosecutor? All of our papers are in order. The ANAM does not know who gave the order. They just say it was an order that came from above. The authority (ANAM) ensures that they have not issued any order of suspension of permits, guides, and movement. We want to know, because it jeopardizes our investments," said Peralta.

Today, Wednesday, 11 April 2012, a commission of loggers, together with their lawyer, will go to the Darien in order to have a meeting with the Director of the National Border Service Frank Ábrego, and the Deputy Commissioner responsible for the province, where at 9:00 am the will visit with the Prosecutor, in Santa Fe. (Mi Diario)

Editor's Comment: So, the primary accomplishment of the Director of the National Environmental Authority, Lucía Chandeck, was to make sure these pissed off loggers know they should not be mad at her, but rather they should direct their ire towards the SENAFRONT and the Office of the Environmental Prosecutor.

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