Environmental activists in Panama experienced a tragic day on Tuesday when the local highway was blocked. On the same day, 77-year-old lawyer Kenneth Darlington traveled along the blocked road. He got out of the car and, saying “Today it ends,” started waving a pistol at the protesters to clear the barricade, after a brief exchange of views, he finally opened fire. It was reported by the British newspaper Daily Mail.
Darlington, a 77-year-old retired lawyer and university professor with US and Panamanian citizenship, was caught on camera pulling a gun from his pocket and starting to clear the highway barricade. At the same time, he argued with activists. One of the protesters can be heard saying, “Why don’t you shoot?” Darlington then opened fire.
Darlington was said to have killed two men in the shooting. The first victim in the picture immediately fell to the ground. The other is seen for a second holding his shoulder and grimacing in pain. Darlington then began clearing the roadblock and returned to his car where two women were waiting for him, one of whom was to call the police. Darlington was already in trouble with the law in 2005 after weapons, including AK-47 and M-16 assault rifles, were found in his Panama City apartment.
The incident took place on the Pan American Highway about 88 kilometers west of the capital, Panama City. Protesters have been campaigning for three weeks against the Panamanian government’s deal with a Canadian firm to operate Central America’s largest open-pit copper mine for at least the next 20 years.