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There has been much turbulence between the Panamanian government and the Ngobe-Buglé Indians during the past twelve months. Mining rights were waved as the culprit. And to make matters worse the Indians demand hydroelectric projects to be included in their land and "adjacent areas." In this period three Ngobe-Buglés were killed and many were wounded on both sides. Add to this a country paralyzed due to the tactics of the oldest inhabitants of the region.
The question now is: What can be done?
In my opinion, I speak from the premise that our Indians do not feel Panamanian. In fact, when they attend international forums they identify themselves as members of the Great Indian Nation -- it extends throughout the whole American Continent. This is laudable, though citizen identity is required -- Panamanian.
I think that the Panamanian Government should start a program intended to install a feeling of national belonging to Panama among all indigenous ethnic groups in the country. Otherwise, it may be very difficult for them and the Panamanian counterparts to have many shared interests.
As always, politicians are fishing in troubled waters.