Retired lawyer and university professor shoots dead on camera two environmental campaigners who had blocked the road

NEWS AND COMMENT: This shooting took place on the Pan-American Highway in the Chame district about 50 miles north-west of the capital, Panama City.

The exact moment Darlington shot the first man, a teacher.
The exact moment Darlington shot the first man, a teacher. Image provided by the Daily Mail.

The story is extraordinary and appears to be an example of a respectable man totally losing his cool. The shooting was captured on still camera and video camera so the evidence is a hundred percent against the alleged murderer.

The video was captured by news photographers as they were covering the environmental campaign.

It appears that the retired Prof and lawyer, Kenneth Darlington, 77, was frustrated with the campaigners on the road. He asked them to clear the barricade on the motorway and he argued with the demonstrators.

One of the campaigners, apparently, was heard to say: “Why don’t you shoot?” A provocative statement made by a man who thought that the professor would not shoot and that he was making an idle threat with his gun. He wasn’t. He shot both of the men. The first victim fell to the ground and died at the scene. The second man was shot in the shoulder and he died as well.

The professor shot the first man then continued to clear the road and then shot the second man afterwards according to reports.

He was arrested by the police without resistance. One of the victims was a teacher. He is the man who died at the scene. The other died at hospital.

Kenneth Darlington has a previous conviction for illegal possession of firearms. The motorway demonstration was one of several across Panama in recent weeks organised by a powerful construction union together with teachers’ unions.

The campaign was instigated by the government’s fast-tracked contract to a local subsidiary of a Canadian mining company to operate in open copper mine in a jungle known for its biodiversity.

Panama is the 14th largest copper-producing country. Copper is used in electric vehicles and is therefore in demand. The price is increasing rapidly worldwide because, I guess, of a shortage. The Panamanian contract stated that the area was to be mined for the next 20 years or up to 40 years if it remains productive.

The government defends the deal because it might earn the country $375 million annually. There were protests and as a consequence, Panama’s Parliament decided to not enter into any more contracts of this type i.e. mining contracts for metals.

The Times reports that another demonstrator had been killed in a separate incident when he/she was run over by somebody.

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