Protests over planned dam turn violent in Panama
PANAMA CITY (AFP) - Police clashed with farmers and indigenous people in western Panama for a second day Saturday over a planned dam that locals fear will wipe out their way of life.
Demonstrators in the town of Vigui threw up barricades with three trunks and branches, some on the Pan-American Highway, the main road to neighbouring Costa Rica.
They say the planned Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam, near the borders of Veraguas and Chiriqui provinces, will displace at least 36,000 people. Many local indigenous people's traditional way of life is based on fishing from the river and transport on the waterway.
Police in riot gear seeking to reopen the highway cracked down on dozens of demonstrators who fought back with rocks and other blunt objects.