Panama Indians Again Blockade Pan-American Highway

Published February 18, 2012 4:00AM (EST)

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Members of an Indian tribe in Panama are again blocking the Pan-American Highway after a breakdown in negotiations with the government over new dams.

Local television showed groups of Ngobe-Bugle Indians blocking the highway Friday in two spots in the province of Chiriqui near the border with Costa Rica.

Indigenous groups are against changes that the Panamanian government made to a mining law and its plans to build dams in their territory in western Panama.

The Indians first set up a blockade Jan. 30 to protest lawmakers' refusal to prohibit the large-scale projects.

Mediator Jose Luis Lacunza says the government agreed during the ensuing negotiations to cancel all minining concessions but the talks broke down over dams.

By Salon Staff

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