Panama’s president said Tuesday a contested foreign-owned open-pit copper mine that’s been at the center of recent nationwide protests would be shut down. The announcement came just hours after the Panamanian Supreme Court ruled that a 20-year contract approved by Panama’s government with the mine earlier this year is unconstitutional. Protesters had said the new contract for the Cobre Panamá mine, which is owned by Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, was fast-tracked with little public input or transparency.
Fernando Abrego: “Mining is another expression of the rising corruption in the country. I think this sentence is a hard blow to corruption and a clear message to future governors of the country that we will not allow more impositions and corruption that restrict the sovereignty of the Panamanian people.”
The copper mine is the largest in Central America.