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See our latest multimedia piece on the Naso’s fight for their forests. The Naso People have lived in Panama and Costa Rica since time immemorial. Their vision of the world is rooted in a balance between human needs and the natural environment, which makes them natural guardians of the forest.

They have been fighting since at least the early 1970s for legal recognition and legal security of their territory. They were one step closer to this goal as the legislative branch unanimously approved the Naso Comarca, which would give them legal recognition of their ancestral lands. President Varela only had to sign into law what Panama’s congress had already approved.

Naso Comarca Veto

Signing the law should have been an easy step for the President but analysts speculate that special interests pushed him to veto the law.  Ostensibly the problem was that the Comarca overlapped with national park boundaries, However, Panamanian law allows for such overlaps and satellite data proves that lands under indigenous control have less deforestation than national parklands, making President Varela’s decision questionable.  

“The Naso Comarca will be a double shield for the park, because it will be a protected area and, we will reinforce the protection by our people and our territory.– Reynaldo Santana, Naso king. 

This puts the president’s veto of a unanimous decision to approve the Naso Comarca in a new light. Learn more about the threats to Naso lands and the fight for their rights.