Good news for indigenous peoples of Panama

Last week the Wounaan along with the Emberá of Panama blocked the Pan-American Highway in eastern Panama. The two groups were protesting against the unfulfilled government’s promise to issue titles to seven of their collective lands in the Darien region of Eastern Panama. This action quickly caught the government’s attention, and they agreed to meet with the Wounaan and Embera.
The meeting was held later that week in Arimae, an indigenous village along the highway. The meeting was attended by representatives of both federal and local government agencies, along with more than 1,000 indigenous peoples. The meeting was a success for the Embera and Wounaan, since the government signed a written document agreeing to:

  • Recognize seven of the Embera and Wounaan collective lands by March 2012
  • Suspend all granting of land titles to individuals in the Darién region
  • Develop a plan for granting 10 additional collective land titles by the end of 2012 (including two Wounaan lands) Although no titles have been issued yet, we believe this is a major victory for the Embera and Wounaan. Thank you for your support in helping RF-US make this possible.

Click here for more information on the project. To learn more about this recent development, click this link to an article in the Panamanian press.