We said here yesterday that when Martinelli repealed the controversial mining code, also know as Law 8, this move, although celebrated as a victory by activists and the Ngöbe Buglé tribe, would probably not mean much in terms of actually putting a stop to mining developments.
Well, that didn't take long. We were just forwarded a press release from Inmet on Marketwire, in which the mining giant states that its subsidiary Minera Panama is unaffected by the repeal of the law and that they look forward to working with the government commission that is to write up a new law:
TORONTO, CANADA--(Marketwire - March 3, 2011) - Inmet Mining Corporation (TSX:IMN) announced today that the government of Panama intends to repeal recently enacted legislation, known as Law 8, that modified the Panamanian mineral resources code. The intent to repeal Law 8 recognizes concerns from indigenous communities residing within areas known as Comarcas that are recognized under Panamanian law. Inmet's Cobre Panama project is neither situated on nor adjacent to any Comarcas, and has had government and local community support.
Contract-Law 9 of February 26, 1997, which governs development of the Cobre Panama project, is not affected by the intended repeal of Law 8, and Inmet therefore does not expect that its ability to continue with development of the Cobre Panama project will be adversely affected as a result. Inmet also understands that the government of Panama will in connection with the intended repeal of Law 8 appoint a special commission to consider and recommend to the National Assembly of Panama modifications to the mineral resources code in consultation with affected parties. Inmet is encouraged by the government's initiative to appoint the special commission, and through its subsidiary, Minera Panama S.A., looks forward to participating in such consultations.
Victory? What victory?
I think you are being negative – this IS an important milestone victory. However, you are also right to point out the fight isn’t over. The above statement, designed to appease the market, does not mention any intention to mine Comarca lands, so for now we might assume that Chorcha and Cerro Colorado are at least closed for business.
The bottom line is the Ngobe are prepared to die for their rights – which is more than can be said for any Panama City political hack. Martinelli knows this, and he knows he cannot win against it, at least not without significant bloodshed and cruelty (and therefore, international condemnation). If the Comarca is encroached, we will simply see a repeat performance of the protests last month, until the situation is resolved.
I also think it is significant that Martinelli has declared he is ‘behind the people’ on this. It’s obviously a bullshit statement intended to make him look more considerate than he actually is (we really have the Ngobe to thank for this repeal), but politically speaking he will look fairly terrible if he now decides to ignore ‘the will of the people’, backtrack and continue with his plans in a clandestine manner. Can’t his enemies hang him? Is the length of his dishonesty not yet sufficient to break his neck?
@ExiledBrit: There IS some progress, namely that the Ngöbes have shown their force, it’s clear now that a pro-mining group with foreign consultant and bought cacique are not legitimate, and that a vast majority of Panamanians is against mining even though they won’t take to the streets about it.
But I just received a similar press release from PTQ, emphasizing as well that there is no effect from the repeal of Law 8 on its operations.
Just wait and see. Martinelli is someone who NEVER gives up on an idea. Someone explained to me how he was director of the CSS under el Toro, and he wanted the CSS to invest in the toll roads. That didn’t fly – then. Fifteen years later he’s president and wants to spend a billion dollars on buying those toll roads, and he’ll probably ram it through.
He hasn’t given up on his mining deals, he’s just sailing at it on another tack.
Martinelli is now playing a Bait & Switch game!
His Government is under unbearable pressure from the International Financial Community about the current situation with the Mining controversy and Civil unrest!
The true and inevitable problem of complete Civil Unrest within Panama!
They simply will not loan to what is perceived by them as an unstable Government!
This Panamanian Government has run out of Money!
By repealing this “Law 8” this is viewed by the International Financial Community as a show of confirmed control by this Martinelli Government!
Hence, this Martinelli has now shown that the country of Panama has a stable Government, which is still in Control!!
By repealing this “Law 8” is nothing more than a smoke screen to support these loans this Martinelli Government desperately needs to stay afloat!
This Martinelli Government is spending money like water and enriching his Cabinet, his Politicians, his Business and Foreign Business associates.
These are just a drop in the bucket of the loans this Martinelli Government is entering into on behalf of the Panamanian Citizens,
TOTAL of these loans in excess of $2.2 Billion($2,200,000,000.00)
These loans are just a drop in the bucket of what is planned by this Martinelli Government!
Panama does not have the resources presently to pay for or even afford the Interest for these over the Top Loans, Period!
So, the repeal of “LAW 8” means nothing it is just a small tactical move on this Martinelli Government to secure monies that it need desperately to stay in Power!
The Martinelli Government needs $Millions and $Millions more to shore up it Military defenses against the Citizens of Panama!
Just who are the real and lethal enemies of this Martinelli Government?
A Notice on the Bulletin board on the National Police HQ in Ancon:
“TO ALL MY TROOPS”
” I WORK FOR YOU, YOU DO NOT WORK FOR ME”
National Police Director Gustavo Pérez.
A Harmless affirmation or an assurance of his true delegation by this Martinelli Government?
Since when any where in the world are Police offers referred to as “TROOPS”?
This is a very clear intention by this Martinelli Government to seize complete control by equipping and upgrading this Nation Police Force into a heavily overly Militarized National Army!
“Panama where the numbers never add up”
BS memorable Quotes which show the true Colors of this Corrupted Martinelli Military Regime and the oppositions inability to accomplish any thing of true moral and Ethical value here in Panama! :
“As president, my main responsibility is to ensure the preservation of public order and to maintain a climate of peace and peaceful coexistence among all Panamanians. Therefore I decided to present a project that repeals all parts of Law 8 of 2011. We can not let the confusion caused by radical groups who take advantage of the nobility and courage of the brothers of the comarcas destroy the peace in which Panama lives.”
“To rectify is always preferable. What is inexplicable is acting without considering the consequences and needlessly taking the country into chaos and confrontations.”
“We cannot forget about the mining issues with only the repeal of Law 8, so long as the mining policy is not revised. Meanwhile the 1963 Mining Code remains in effect, and it has allowed Petaquilla mines to do the damage that it has done without any form of punishment.”
So, nothing has changed!
“Panama where the numbers never add up”
The only thing that will make this work, though, is the repeal of the Sausage Law. Because unless ANAM has its teeth restored and the stooges in the business development section reined in, open pit mining will continue to contaminate and kill Panama’s environment.
Martinelli is a snake and this entire charade should nave never happened. The picture that I saw of him with the hat with the feathers in it…how stupid is that? The man has no class whatsoever and is so culturally insensitive that he has re-written the definition for the term ‘boor.’ Why in the Hell did he put the whole country through this trauma only to back down when it became obvious that he was going to have to kill the indigenous to press on and by that time too many international press agencies had been alerted.
The next election can’t come soon enough. Between Il Duce and Bosco the Clown, Panama is on the verge of total structural collapse.
“…unless ANAM has its teeth restored…”
You think it had teeth in the first place?
Mis dow centavitos: I reckon the Inmet/Lundin merger will later get financial support from South Korea to build the Panama Copper mine (ex-Petaquilla Copper) and we end up with a JV situation. S. Korean money is doing exactly that in Mexico (Baja Mining’s Boleo project) and Peru (Marcona Copper project), where they’re 30% partners in each. From there the precedent is set and pressure to build Cerro Colorado grows.
Meanwhile, even with Okke’s top coverage on this issue, it’s telling that 23% of Bananama Republic traffic is still going to the “Medical Tourist Loses Penis” article….humph.
dow = dos