The Ecuadorian journalist and environmentalist Ligia Arreaga was arrested on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 2, in the district of Barú, when she was conducting an investigation into the abuse of human rights that the producers of this district are having, before the arrival of the transnational company Del Monte, informed the portal ensegundos.com.pa.
The social communicator said the judge of the peace, Ulzana Valdés, ordered her arrest for which she was transferred from Finca Blanco to the village of Puerto Armuelles.
“In minutes I’ll be kept in a dungeon; I’ve been handcuffed because I tried to interview the judge and she said I was invading her privacy, that’s why she gave that order, I hope they do something; because it’s my journalistic work, “Arreaga said.
Esposada. Así conducen a la periodista Ligia Arreaga por ordenes de una juez de paz. pic.twitter.com/gwkxOnxOjq— Castalia Pascual F. (@CastaliaPascual) 2 de enero de 2019
The National Association of Journalists (Conape), an organization of Journalists and Reporters Graphics of Panama, described the arrest of Arreaga as an “intimidating and repressive action” and demanded its immediate release, said the website actualidad.rt.com
It was known that the environmentalist was also out of the country for almost two years; after being threatened for denouncing the indiscriminate felling and destruction of the Matusagaratí wetland in Darién.
The National Police said in a statement that Ligia Arreaga was arrested for “disturbing the public order and attempting to attack the authority.”
According to Conape, Arreaga was fined 300 balboas (US $ 300) and could spend the night in a police barracks in Puerto Armuelles for not carrying his identity cell.
The journalist and environmentalist, originally from Ecuador, has a long career as an activist in the Panamanian region of Darién and was investigating the alleged collection of commissions from local producers in the district of Barú, in the province of Chiriqui, bordering Costa Rica.
Supposedly, the local peasants had to pay the amount to be able to sell their crops, before the arrival of a transnational company. Arreaga would have questioned the judge of the peace over the abuse against local producers before being stopped by the police, actualidad.rt.com added. (I)