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Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Panama denies entry to Canadian reporter working with indigenous groups on mining law




Immigration authorities in Panama denied Canadian journalist Rosie Simms entry into the country on Jan. 21. Authorities alleged that her passport was invalid, despite its 2015 expiration date, according to Reporters Without Borders. After holding her for four hours and denying her access to consular services, they forced her to board a plane for the United States, reported the website Newsroom Panama.

The Canadian reporter suspects that Panamanian authorities denied her entrance in reprisal for articles she published about a controversial reform to the country's mining law while interning with the Centro de Incidencia Ambiental in 2011. She worked on indigenous rights issues and mining development in the indigenous community of Ngöbe-Buglé, according to the newspaper La Estrella.

Simms was traveling to Panama for Canadian broadcaster CBC to prepare for the arrival of a full television crew on Jan. 30, reported La Estrella.

In the early months of 2011, two independent Spanish journalists were deported from the Central American country for participating in a protest by an indigenous community against the mining law reform, according to Reporters Without Borders.



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