Friday, July 07, 2006

Dear Readers:
I wish to inform you through this new blog of the many hurdles we are facing trying to protect our priceless natural and historical heritage not only of national interest but of worldwide importance. We are constantly struggling with unscrupulous officials and business interests which will not look beyond their own business profits and their financial gains overlooking the priceless legacy these rainforests contain below the cool damp forest floor which incidentally forms the Panama Canal Watershed. The Cruces Trail (along with its all land partner the Portobelo Trail) , was the foremost trading route during colonial times which criscrossed the Panama Isthmus, bearing the gold and silver laden mule train convoys onto the Chagres River, Fort San Lorenzo and Portobelo where these colonial were shipped out to Spain aboard seafaring Galleon Convoys.
During the California Gold Rush it served as the fastest route for the '49 niners' back then. This particular trail served as the forerunner for the Panama Canal Railroad finished in 1859 and later on the Panama Canal built in 1914.
Please view our Comittees Web Page at http://www.caminodecruces.org as well as news outline listing page at http://www.caminodecruces.info

We are also concerned by the rushed Panama Canal Widening and Third Set of Locks Plan envisaged for increasing the tonnage to go through the Canal. Although we feel this important we also feel that the environmental aspects have been grossly overlooked (not even an Environment Assessment Study has been made by the ACP Autoridad del Canal de Panama) requirement preceeding any mass building project in Panama. We also think that all the natural implications of such system of water recycling locks may in the long run turn the sweet water Gatun Lake Basin into salty, brackish seawater. See Panama News: Propaganda, studies differ about Gatun Lake water quality. http://www.thepanamanews.com/pn/v_12/issue_12/business_01.html In the process endangering endemic wildlife and the water producing plants for the terminal cities of Panama and Colon.

But we also feel that the important social and national issues and priorities of human development also need to be fully addressed. How can we think of an expensive First World Mega-Project such as this one, when ej. our native indian children in our 'comarcas' continue to go bare foot and without breakfast to school? It certainly is a question of priorities. That is why a 'National Social Pact' has to be worked out with the citizens BEFORE the oncoming National referendum next November 2006. To avoid the rich becoming more rich and the poor becoming more poor in this country.

1 comment:

Eric Jackson said...

It seems that this page is a worthy effort.

The way I see it, you are specifically dealing with several of the major symptoms of an overall malaise that afflicts Panama.

We have a president who is a follower, not a leader, of a corrupt political class that has taken over every aspect of power save the economic reins that their sponsors in the wealthy elite hold, and which has put the entire country up for sale.

One other example: virtually every river in Panama is subject to a hydroelectric concession, and many of these are shams in which the water resources are what the developers are after, or in which developers want to make lakes for gated upscale resisdential communities for foreigners. Now of course not all of these dams will actually be built, but think about what would result if they were: Panama's fisheries would largely be destroyed.

But money talks and Torrijos, the son-in-law of the founder of Panama's ad agency cartel, apparently thinks he can monopolize all discussion. If you look at the mainstream media of late, he does have a point.

However, MEDCOM, La Prensa and the leviathons he has sicced on the Panamanian people can't effectively defend him, or even defend themselves, from a concerted piranha attack. And let this blog be another one of the piranhas.

CHOMP!

Eric Jackson
editor, The Panama News