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Panama’s leader calls for referendum on mining concession, seeking to calm protests over the deal

Associated Press

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Protests in Panama have extended into a second week over a long-term copper mining concession for a Canadian company. Panama’s government sought to calm anger by promising Monday to let Panamanians decide in a referendum whether to scrap the deal. A broad cross-section of society has joined in demonstrations across Panama for more than a week demanding the government rescind the contract with a local subsidiary of Canada’s First Quantum Minerals. Critics say the concession puts Panama’s environment and water supply at risk. President Laurentino Cortizo’s administration proposed Monday to send congress a bill that would schedule a referendum in December. But the country’s top electoral authority says such a vote couldn’t be held before next May’s presidential election.

Article Topic Follows: AP-National

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Associated Press


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