Panama Indians seek release of detained protesters
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Indigenous groups in Panama are demanding the release of anti-mining protesters detained when police used tear gas to clear blockades of the Pan-American highway.
The Coalition of Indigenous Peoples and Farmworkers is also demanding police withdraw from an Indian enclave after Sunday's clashes, which left a protester dead, 40 people injured and 44 people arrested.
Coalition leader Liborio Miranda said Monday the demands are a prerequisite for opening talks with the government.
Sympathy protests blocked highways in other parts of the country Monday.
The blockades were set up by members of the Ngobe-Bugle tribe who fear mining projects and dams will affect watersheds on their land in western Panama.