Motorist shoots two environmental protesters blocking a road: Driver stuck in traffic gets out of his car and shoots protesters as they refuse to move in Panama
An angry motorist has shot dead two environmental protesters blocking a road.
Astonishing footage shows the driver, stuck in traffic, getting out of his car and shooting protesters as they refused to move in Panama.
The pair took part in a third week of protests against a controversial government mining contract in the country, officials said.
One person was arrested Tuesday in connection with the incident, Panama’s attorney general said on the social network X, formerly Twitter.
Officials did not say how the protesters died as they blocked a road in the east of the country, but local reports suggested they were shot by a driver who was blocked as he tried to get past the protest in the middle of a road.
This is the shocking moment an angry motorist shot dead an environmental protester in Panama. He then shot another man in the incident before being apprehended
Footage appeared to confirm this, showing an older man in a large shirt confronting protesters with a gun before pulling the trigger.
One man, seen in a black t-shirt holding a flag, got into a heated argument with the man. The video is about the man holding the flag and falling to the ground.
Seeing the danger they are in, some protesters move away from the man.
However, another man, wearing a black T-shirt, stays to confront the older man, and is also shot. He is shown staggering to the side of the road as other protesters take cover. He is shown for a few seconds slumping to the ground.
Photos of the first victim, who was treated by others at the scene along the way, would later show that he had been shot in the neck.
It was reported that none of the men survived their injuries.
A video circulating on social media appeared to show the alleged shooter carrying a gun and removing a tire from the blockade, while a body lay nearby in the road.
Police also published a photo of the detainee – an older man with graying hair and glasses – sitting with one hand tied to a pipe, either in a police station or in a van. He was previously seen walking along the road towards the protesters
One man, seen in a black t-shirt with a flag in his hand, got into a heated argument with the man (lfet). The video is about the man holding the flag and falling to the ground
This is the shocking moment one of two environmental protesters blocking a road in Panama was shot dead by an angry driver
The first man shot is being treated on the ground
A second man also confronted the gunmen. This photo was taken just before he was also shot by the angry motorist in Chame, Panama
A protester is seen on the ground after being shot by a man in the middle of a teacher’s blockade on the Pan-American Highway
Police also published a photo of the detainee – an older man with graying hair and glasses – sitting with one hand tied to a pipe, either in a police station or in a van.
The deaths followed local reports that a protester was run over and killed by a foreigner trying to cross a roadblock during a protest in the west of the country on November 1.
Several roads in the capital were blocked by small groups of protesters on Tuesday, while the Pan-American Highway was blocked in several places, hampering the transport of food, fuel and medicine.
The contract, which was finally approved on October 20, allows the local subsidiary of Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals to continue operating an open-pit copper mine in a biodiversity-rich jungle west of the capital.
The contract is valid for the next twenty years, with the option to extend for another twenty years if the mine remains productive.
A man is seen holding a gun after walking toward a teacher blockade on the Pan-American Highway in Chame
A man is arrested after gunning down two protesters in the middle of a teachers’ blockade on the Pan-American Highway in Chame, Panama
People react after witnessing a man shoot two protesters with a handgun in the middle of a teachers’ blockade on the Pan-American Highway
In an effort to calm minds, Congress passed a law last week imposing a moratorium on new metal mining contracts, leaving it up to the Supreme Court to decide whether or not to allow the contract with First Quantum Minerals.
Environmentalists have welcomed this decision by lawmakers, saying it is indeed the court that should decide whether the contract violates the Constitution.
But a powerful construction union called Suntracs, teachers unions and other organizations want the contract voided through a law passed by Congress.
As a result, they continued their protests.