We are receiving reports from our partners in the Ngäbe indigenous territories of Panama that they may be evicted from their homes at any moment. This eviction is part of the completion of the Barro Blanco dam on the Tabasará River. The dam is registered under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism and financed by German and Dutch development banks and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration.
Despite ongoing opposition and protests by the affected communities, lawsuits filed by those who face eviction, and complaints submitted to the financing banks and the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism, the project has continued and is now fully constructed. Initial flood tests have begun.
The communities are now hearing that filling the Barro Blanco dam reservoir is imminent, which will in turn flood six hectares of the Ngäbe-Bugle territory, including the communities’ homes and schools, as well as their religious, archaeological, and cultural sites. The affected Ngäbes have challenged the project at every stage and continue to call for its cancellation.
Senior Attorney, Climate & Energy Program