Panama hydropower push generates controversy


Aside from a certain canal, few development projects in Panama’s history have generated as much controversy as three hydroelectric plants soon to be built on the edge of the 988,000-acre (400,000-ha) La Amistad International Peace Park near the country’s border with Costa Rica. Three years ago, the 3,500-member Naso indigenous people rose up and deposed their king—the continent’s only monarch—for supporting dam construction on tribal lands. Subsequently, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) decided not to consider a loan request from organizers of the dam project under intense pressure from indigenous and environmental groups. And last September, as work began on the first of the three dams, Panamanian and international indigenous and environmental groups launched a moratorium campaign. That dam... [Log in to read more]

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