CIAM lawyer warns that the Government continues to negotiate with Minera based on a contract declared unconstitutional

In 2018, the plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) issued a ruling of unconstitutionality regarding the operation of the Cobre Panamá mine (First Quantum Minerals LTD) that declared Contract Law 9 of February 25, 1997 unconstitutional. with the State, which gave life to the works in the area, considering that it did not comply with the basic principles of public procurement.

After three years of this ruling and 5 months of the dismissal of the inappropriate appeals, the Supreme Court finally forwards the official letter for publication in the Official Gazette, for which María Gabriella Dutari, legal representative of the Environmental Incidence Center (CIAM), expressed that they feel “disappointed that this court is acting so slowly in a matter that is of great importance, and that it is not being governed by the terms prescribed by the Judicial Code because it took a long time to deliver the sentencing statements that in the end, they do not modify the decision of the CSJ ”.

He said that all this delay raises suspicions and creates concern. “A lot is happening in mining matters, the Government is negotiating a new contract with Minera Panamá even though it continues with the same trend and wants to apply the same methods that were the ones that caused the declaration of unconstitutionality of the other contract, that is “The public bidding process and the competition that the granting of this type of concession should have will be skipped,” he explained.

CIAM and other environmental defenders question that the National Government has announced that mining sees it as an economic pillar of recovery for the country.

“It is not strange the processes of accumulation, of land grabbing by companies, not only the minority but the agribusiness that they want to do with the land and then control the natural resources that are in it more easily,” Dutari remarked.

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