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US Lawyer Arrested For Fatally Shooting 2 Panamanian Protesters

By CM Chaney · November 9, 2023

In brief…

  • American man Kenneth Darlington arrested after fatal shooting at protest in Panama
  • Darlington allegedly argued with and then shot dead 2 protesters blocking highway
  • Protest was against mining contract with Canadian company, had blocked highway for weeks
  • Panama's president condemned shooting, which came 1 week after another protester's death
An elderly American man was arrested for shooting and killing two Panamanian protesters demonstrating against a controversial mining contract, in a shocking incident condemned by Panama's president.  Screenshot / The Times and The Sunday Times / YouTube

An American citizen has been arrested in connection with a deadly shooting at a protest in Panama on Tuesday.

Kenneth Darlington, 77, a dual U.S. and Panamanian citizen who is a lawyer and professor, allegedly approached environmental protesters blocking the Pan-American Highway and opened fire, killing two people.

Disturbing footage captured the shooting, showing an elderly man with gray hair and glasses arguing with demonstrators before drawing a gun and firing at them.

The victims were protesting a mining contract with Canada-based First Quantum Minerals that allows the company to operate a large copper mine in the region for at least 20 more years.

The shooting happened during the third week of protests that have intermittently shut down the highway, causing up to $80 million per day in losses for businesses nationwide and closing schools for over a week.

After the shooting, Darlington was arrested and handcuffed at the scene. The shocking incident came one week after a protester was allegedly run over and killed by a foreign driver trying to get through a similar roadblock.

President Laurentino Cortizo expressed condolences and said the crime “has no place” in Panama’s supportive society.

The victims were pronounced dead at a local hospital. Panamanian authorities continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragic shooting.