Statement by the Congreso Guna in Relation to Mining Concession
The Onmaggerldummad Sumnaggaled, or General Congress of the Guna Yala (San Blas) region ha issued a statement celebrating the end of the controversial copper mining operations by foreign companies.
The statement coincides with the end of all nation wide protests that derived in road blocks altering the road transfer operations to San Blas.
Statement reads as followes:
"The Executive Board of the Guna General Congress wishes to publicly express its satisfaction and celebration with the Panamanian people and especially Gunayala, the declaration of Unconstitutionality of Law 406 of October 20, 2023, by the Court Supreme Court, of the mining concession contract entered into between the State and the company Minera Panamá, S. A.
We indigenous peoples have been in the streets, as the National Coordinator of Indigenous Peoples of Panama (COONAPIP) for more than a month, even receiving threats from reactionary political forces and outraged by some pro-mining media. We did not give in to these affronts, quite the contrary, the indigenous people raised the flag of No to mining in Panama at all times as a sacred principle, since historically, together with Mother Earth, we have always been the victims of colonialism and transnational mining companies. .
Therefore, on October 27, 2023, the General Assembly of our Guna General Congress, meeting in the community of Dadnaggwedubbir, issued Resolution No.004, strongly rejecting the approval of Law No. 406,..."which violates the interests of the Panamanian people and the indigenous peoples, and requests that the government of the day repeal the Mining Concession Contract and ask the Supreme Court of Justice for its unconstitutionality, and that they know once and for all that the indigenous peoples are standing. of war for the safeguarding of our Nabgwana, our Mother Earth."
As indigenous peoples we will continue in the streets monitoring that all the required steps are completed until the total closure of the Panama Mining Company (copper), in the District of Donoso, province of Colón, thus no longer granting concessions for mines throughout the country.
Also, keep in mind that Gunayala will not give up its lands for any mining project, as planned by the governments."
This is excellent news for the preservatiion of not only San Blas but also for the whole Panamna which is considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with over 10,000 plant species, more than 200 mammal species, and over 900 indigenous bird species.