Elderly American Arrested for Fatal Shooting of Protesters in Panama

An elderly U.S. citizen was apprehended following a shocking incident where he was filmed approaching environmental activists obstructing a highway in Panama and fatally shooting two of them. The chilling video shows a gray-haired, bespectacled man calmly walking up to the barricade on the Pan-American Highway, engaging in a heated argument with the protesters, and then drawing a firearm and firing shots.

Additional footage revealed bystanders surrounding the lifeless bodies on the road in the Chame region, west of Panama City. The same video also captured the moment the shooter was handcuffed and escorted to a police vehicle. Authorities later released an image of the suspect, identified as Kenneth Darlington, 77, a lawyer and professor with dual U.S. and Panamanian citizenship.

One of the protesters was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. The tragic incident occurred amidst the third week of demonstrations against a substantial mining contract that permits Canada’s First Quantum Minerals to run the area’s largest pit copper mine for at least two more decades.

The protests, marked by roadblocks, have reportedly resulted in daily business losses amounting to $80 million and have led to the closure of schools across the country for over a week. Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased protesters, stating that such a heinous act “has no place” in the country’s supportive society.

This fatal shooting follows reports from Panamanian media last week of a protester being run over and killed by a foreigner attempting to bypass a roadblock. The Pan-American Highway, where these incidents occurred, is the world’s longest route, stretching 19,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina, interrupted only by the Darién Gap.