The Background Of The Oil Business In Panama
Wednesday, September 11 2013 @ 09:05 PM EDT
Contributed by: Anonymous
Law 53 reminds us of how the Government allows exploration and exploitation of strategic minerals in the country at ridiculous costs and earnings such as paying $0.25 per hectare annually to carry out onshore and deep water explorations and $5 per hectare per year during the exploitation stage.
With these politics to “promote” and “regulate” exploration and exploitation activities of deposits of oil, natural asphalt, natural gas, and other hydrocarbons in Panama, is inevitable to think about the role of the Government through the weak institutions we have and the lack of control to enforce Panamanian laws on environmental issues.
What’s even more concerning is to observe how we have been losing territory to give it to foreign capital, and national capital in some cases, for developing different activities using certain procedures to make it seem legal and as if these industries have social and environmental responsibility; proof of this is the existence of deposits of oil in Darien according to the geological study conducted by the company OTS Latin America LLC hand in hand with the approval of Law 53.
This is evidence of the lack of coherence between economic and environmental politics; it is clear there will no longer be a national park, indigenous people or territories, or international agreements or treaties that could define this type of investment previous to its approval by the authorities who apparently suffer from ecological ignorance.
As citizens we can think of the different options we have to strengthen and promote agriculture as the priority of food safety and sovereignty of the country by prioritizing human development and avoiding extractive activities that generate non-internalized social (displacement of people) and environmental (pollution) expenses, which at the end comes out of our own pockets. (Estrella)