CNN — Anti-mining protests that have roiled Panama for the last two weeks turned deadly on Tuesday when a man allegedly shot and killed two demonstrators, according to police.
A chilling video posted by bystanders on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed a disheveled elderly man apparently frustrated with the logjam trying to force the protestors to remove a barrier blocking the Pan American highway about 50 miles south of the capital, before pulling out a pistol and opening fire. Panama’s National Police later said they arrested the suspected gunman at the scene of the shooting.
The unusual scene of violence is the latest flashpoint in some of the largest protests to hit the Central American nation since Panamanians flooded the streets en masse to demonstrate against the dictatorship of Manuel Noriega in the 1980s.
For weeks, tens of thousands of protestors have vented their fury at a controversial mining contract given to Minera Panama, the local subsidiary of a Canadian mining company, to extract copper, a key component in electric car batteries.
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