Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli has signed off on a law, Law 11, that prohibits mining in the Ngöbe Buglé indigenous territory.
Law 11 recognizes the rights of the Ngöbe Buglé people to manage their own renewable resources, prohibits the concession of land for mining activities, cancels all mineral resource concessions, prohibits the disruption of river channels, and requires the approval of the Ngöbe Buglé in the General Congress for any future hydroelectric projects.
For those who violate this law, they will be fined between $10,000 and $100,000.
This news comes after a long drawn out fight between the Ngöbe Buglé and the mining companies. Problems included the Pan-American Highway blocked off several times not allowing transit cross country by the Ngöbe Buglé’s, roadblocks during Carnaval, heated discussions, and even a death.