Motorist, 77, guns down two road-blocking eco-protesters

An elderly American lawyer is reportedly under arrest in Panama after he allegedly shot dead two eco-protesters who were blocking the road.

Graphic video of Kenneth Darlintong, 77, attempting to get around the roadblock before opening fire on Iván Rodríguez and Abdiel Díaz, has gone viral on social media.

Díaz died at the scene, and Rodríguez was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to Newsweek.

The protesters were hit “with a pistol-type firearm, at the moment that there was an argument with the protesters who kept the road closed,” police stated.

For three weeks, Panama has seen nationwide protests “over a contract, given final approval on October 20, that allowed the local subsidiary of Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals to continue operating an open-pit copper mine in a richly biodiverse jungle west of the capital for the next 20 years,” Newsweek reports. “There was also an option to extend for another 20 years, in return for $375 million in annual revenue to Panama.”

Businesses in Panama have suffered as much as $80 million in daily losses because of the protesters’ roadblocks, Reuters reports. Schools across the nation have been closed for more than a week and over 150,000 medical appointments have been missed.

According to, Darlington is a civil law attorney in Panama and a partner at Mossack Darlington & Asociados.

On X, Panama President Laurentino Cortizo sent his condolences to the victims’ family and stated that such a shooting “has no place” in his nation’s supportive society.

Panama’s National Police gave few details on X, but did provide a video of Darlintong’s arrest.

“The National Police apprehends an older adult allegedly linked to a recorded incident recorded in the Chame District, where two people lose their lives,” the caption read.

On November 1, in the west of Panama, another foreigner who was trying to cross a roadblock ran over and killed a protester, according to Newsweek.

“Officials have urged people to end the protests, though construction workers’ and teachers’ unions have vowed to continue taking to the streets until the First Quantum contract is annulled,” Reuters reports.

Online, many were shocked by the lack of sympathy for the slain protesters.

“This is a lesson for those who still block the highway,” wrote one user on X.

“We need more people like him,” said another.

“Welp I am not endorsing his actions but this is a perfect representation of F around and find out,” remarked a third. “They found out.”

“Absolutely disgusting the way people are talking about the deaths of those people. I’m in utter shock,” stated one user. “Yes, they shouldn’t be blocking the roads. It’s very silly of them, but they did NOT deserve to die. What is wrong with you people.”


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