(CNN Spanish) –– Panama’s Attorney General’s Office reported on Wednesday that it had opened 175 investigations and arrested 60 people for various crimes amid protests against a mining concession that have been going on for more than two weeks and which have seen people die this year.Tuesday.
In a statement issued on. He added that 13 people were convicted during that two-week period.
CNN contacted the Attorney General’s Office to ask about the identity of the convicts and the crimes attributed to them, but has not received a response yet.
The Public Prosecution called on citizens to respect the democratic system and peaceful coexistence “for those who exercise the legitimate right to protests and those affected by them.”
Since October 27, widespread protests have erupted in Panama against the renewal of a copper mining contract that critics say will have a negative impact on the country’s environment. The contract was signed with Minera Panamá, part of Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals, which said it seeks to comply with “all environmental compliance obligations” and support biodiversity in Panama.
Protests turn deadly
Panama’s Ministry of Public Security reported that a man opened fire on demonstrators on Tuesday, amid protests in the Chami region, killing two participants.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that a person allegedly involved in the shooting was arrested at the scene. He added that the suspect – about whom no further details were provided – was referred to the Homicide and Women’s Crimes Section of the Regional Public Prosecutor’s Office for Western Panama. It is not known at this time whether he will face charges.
The union that brings together workers in construction and similar industries (Sontrax) expressed its regret over the deaths of the two people, condemned the incident and demanded justice. In addition, they stressed that they will continue to demonstrate in the streets.
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