OFF THE CUFF: Barro Blanco hydro project gets go-ahead and a walk out

430Views 0Comments Posted 04/05/2015

THE BARRO BLANCO hydroelectric project on the river Tabasará, which is 95% complete will not be canceled and the government will be looking for support from international banks to find a new company to replace Genisa and complete the work, raising conceerns about eaction of the indigenous communities.

The announcement came Monday, May 4, 2015, at the last meeting of the roundtable on Barro Blanco, in Tole, Chiriqui.
For the government representatives the discussions left them between a dam wall and a hard place. People all over the world have called for a withdrawal of the Barro Blanco concession and a suspension from the carbon offsetting scheme. They also call on banks and companies to freeze their support of the project.

Immediately they got the news, the Ngäbe Bugle delegates who wanted the project aborted, left the table.
Indigenous spokesmen said they would meet to make decisions about this issue. The general Cacique, Silvia Carrera was one of the first to make known her total rejection of the Government decision, reports La Prensa.
The meeting was moderated by representatives of the United Nations, were the representatives of indigenous groups and smallholders who reiterated their concern with the megaproject, which has been on hold and is paralyzed since February 9.
Vice President of the Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, who heads the technical committee, said that the government administration “is a reference for this type of project on how to use the consultation process without impositions.”
"The dilemma for the national government is how to meet the demands of the people and to honor their commitments," said the Panamanian vice president.
The Ministers of Government Milton Henriquez and Environment, Mirei Endara, were among those present at the final meeting.
The upcoming decisions of the Indigenous people could be a testing time for the government, not yet a year old.