Last update:

Ganadera Bocas S.A. in Naso indigenous territory, Panama

Companies' greed put Naso's territorial integrity under threat. They held protest rallies against the destruction of their land and reclaim legal recognition of their ancestral territories.


The Naso or Teribe people are an indigenous people of Panama and Costa Rica. They primarily live in the Bocas del Toro. In the early 1970s, the Ganadera Bocas S.A. construction company was given a property title stating legal ownership on land originally belonging to the Naso people. Since March 2009, the company has been displacing Naso inhabitants by force and demolishing their villages. The Naso people held protest rallies against the destruction of their land and the Panamanian Government lack of legal recognition of their ancestral territories.

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Ganadera Bocas S.A. in Naso indigenous territory, Panama
State or province:Bocas del Toro
Location of conflict:Changuinola District
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In 2012, the Naso people complained against dams and touristic complexes' development in the Changuinola and Teribe rivers.

Type of populationUnknown
Start of the conflict:22/08/1973
Company names or state enterprises:Ganadera Bocas S.A. from Panama
Relevant government actors:Government of Panama, Municipality of Changuinola, Civil Defense Commission
International and Finance InstitutionsOficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (OACNUDH)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:ACD - Panama, Naso People Native Communities of San San and San San Druy - Panama
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage)
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Negotiated alternative solution
Violent targeting of activists
Proposal and development of alternatives:They demand the recognition of their Comarca which would demarcate their territory and protect it from further appropriation.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The indigenous communities have been displaced from their ancestral territory without any form of compensation.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Claiming for Comarca Naso Tjër Di

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Acaparamiento de las Tierras
[click to view]

El pueblo Naso Tjër Di, Otra America, 09/04/2011
[click to view]

[click to view]

ADITAL Noticias de America Latina y Caribe
[click to view]

Chilibre: cuevas, represas y ecoturismo
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Pueblo Naso exige reconocimiento a gobierno Panameño, 5/11/2014
[click to view]

Declaración del Relator Especial sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas al concluir su visita oficial a Panamá, 26/07/2013
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Lucie Greyl
Last update04/01/2016
Conflict ID:524
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.