Panama police arrested Kenneth Darlington, a 77-year-old American lawyer and professor, after he allegedly fatally shot two climate activists Tuesday who were blocking a major highway.
According to The New York Post, Darlington, who is a dual citizen of the United States and Panama, was recorded approaching a climate activist blockade on the Chame sector of the Pan American Highway, before initially arguing and waving his hand at the climate activists.
Video footage shared on X, formerly Twitter, shows how Darlingon eventually pulled out a handgun from his pocket and began removing the protestors’ items from the barricade. Video footage also shows the 77-year-old professor fatally shooting two climate activists for refusing to move out of the way.
The first victim of the shooting, identified as Abdiel Diaz, was witnessed immediately collapsing dead at the scene, according to The Daily Caller; while, the second victim, Ivan Rodriguez, was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital.
Newsroom Panama reported that Darlingon was arrested by the police and currently remains in custody. According to The Daily Mail, Darlington was previously convicted for illegally possessing a firearm.
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According to The New York Post, climate activists have been blocking the Pan-American Highway over the last three weeks in protest against a mining contract that will allow First Quantum Minerals, a Canadian-based company, to operate the largest copper mine pit in the region for approximately 20 more years.
The massive protest has resulted in up to $80 million in losses per day for businesses. The Panama climate protest has also resulted in schools being shut down across the nation for over a week.
In response to the tragic shooting that resulted in two climate activists being killed, Panama President Laurentino Cortizo issued a statement on X. Cortizo expressed his sympathy to the families of the climate activists and emphasized that the type of violence exhibited in the shooting incident “has no place” in Panama.