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
NameGanadera Bocas S.A. in Naso indigenous territory, Panama
ProvinceBocas del Toro
SiteChanguinola 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)Land acquisition conflicts
Urban development conflicts
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIn 2012, the Naso people complained against dams and touristic complexes' development in the Changuinola and Teribe rivers.
Type of PopulationUnknown
Start Date22/08/1973
Company Names or State EnterprisesGanadera Bocas S.A. from Panama
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Panama, Municipality of Changuinola, Civil Defense Commission
International and Financial InstitutionsOficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (OACNUDH)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersACD - Panama, Naso People Native Communities of San San and San San Druy - Panama
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement 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-economic 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
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Negotiated alternative solution
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesThey demand the recognition of their Comarca which would demarcate their territory and protect it from further appropriation.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The indigenous communities have been displaced from their ancestral territory without any form of compensation.
Sources and Materials

Claiming for Comarca Naso Tjër Di


El pueblo Naso Tjër Di, Otra America, 09/04/2011
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Acaparamiento de las Tierras
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Chilibre: cuevas, represas y ecoturismo
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ADITAL Noticias de America Latina y Caribe
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Media Links

Pueblo Naso exige reconocimiento a gobierno Panameño, 5/11/2014
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Declaración del Relator Especial sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas al concluir su visita oficial a Panamá, 26/07/2013
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Other Documents

Pueblo Naso, Panama Revista Otro Mundo es Posible
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLucie Greyl
Last update04/01/2016