Target: Juan Carlos Varela, President of Panama
Goal: Stop development of hydroelectric dam that would flood indigenous land and displace many people.
An indigenous group in Panama is asking for public support as they call on the government to block the building of a hydroelectric dam that would flood indigenous land and displace its people. The Barro Blanco dam plan was previously halted because of outcry from the Ngäbe Buglé people, but the wheels seem to be turning again on this potentially devastating project. Forcibly removing several people from their homes, the Panamanian government has begun flooding the reservoir and testing the dam.
The development surrounding the Barro Blanco dam project has already resulted in negative impacts on the Ngäbe Buglé people. Sound pollution from the associated machinery has been incessant, disturbing their formerly peaceful way of life. The flooding of the reservoir will destroy homes, schools, and acres of farmland. Ecological impacts will also be endured, as the Tabasará River, an abundant source of fish and habitat for myriad species, will become a stagnant pool of water. This transformation will bring mosquitoes, making the Ngäbe Buglé more susceptible to disease.
The Ngäbe Buglé people have pleaded for public outcry in support of their plight. The government is moving ahead with development in spite of the Ngäbe Buglé’s outrage, and people are being forced from their homes and ways of life. Now more than ever, the Barro Blanco dam project deserves our urgent attention and action. Demand that President Juan Carlos Varela protect the Ngäbe Buglé from displacement and the flooding of their homeland by intervening in the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam project.
Dear President Varela,
The Ngäbe Buglé have asked for public support of their plight as they fight the Barro Blanco dam’s intrusion onto their land. Despite what seemed to be a win for the Ngäbe Buglé people, a brief suspension of the Barro Blanco project in response to public outcry, the plan now seems to be in motion once again. This project will have a devastatingly harmful impact on the Ngäbe Buglé and their land, and immediate action is desperately needed to halt its progress.
Many people have already been forcibly removed from their homes, and flooding of the reservoir has already begun. This has become an issue of extreme urgency. We ask that you intervene in the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam project, and protect the Ngäbe Buglé people from displacement and the flooding of their homes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Augustin Abad