This campaign is now closed.
Please take a moment to visit our active campaigns page.

Panama: Stop attacks on SUNTRACS

In partnership with BWI (Building and Wood Workers' International), a global union federation that brings together 361 free and democratic unions, representing a total of 12 million members in the Building, Building Materials, Wood, Forestry, and Allied sectors across 115 countries. BWI's core mission is to safeguard and promote workers' rights while enhancing working and living conditions, asserting that trade union rights are inherently human rights, rooted in principles of equality, solidarity, and democracy.

The Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and LabourStart urgently call on you to join us in demanding that the Panamanian government respect the freedom of association and stop persecuting trade unions. SUNTRACS, the Single National Union of the Construction and Similar Industries of Panama, and its leaders, is being penalized with persecutory, repressive and intimidating treatment by Panamanian authorities for its prominent role in the protests which defeated a 40-year mining concession for transnational company First Quantum Minerals. The extractive policy would have caused grave social and environmental damage. Due to the protests, the unionists are improperly being accused of terrorism. SUNTRACS leaders Saúl Méndez, General Secretary, Jaime Caballero, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, as well as the leader of the comarca Toribio García and the teacher Diógenes Sánchez are being sued by the Public Prosecutor's Office, accused of committing crimes against freedom and the economic order to the detriment of Panamanian society. Furthermore, on 13 November, the state-owned Savings Bank closed SUNTRACS bank accounts, in a deliberate action to obstruct the right to protest and the exercise of freedom of association, resulting in an illegal state interference in trade union life based on false accusations of terrorism. Unionism is not a crime! Trade unions should not be penalized for their mobilization in defense of social and environmental rights!
We ask the Panamanian government to immediately stop persecuting SUNTRACS and respect the freedom of association!

Your message will be sent to the following email addresses:,,,