legal cases


communities clients across Panama 



hectáreas protected


                                        Legal Cases

CIAM´s lawsuits are leading to have been a result of legal staff early or timely intervention. CIAM scientist staff provides technical advice and recommendations to ongoing legal and advocacy actions and projects.  


Our track record of success is based on expertise and collaboration with coalition of local and international partners.  The lawyers have files cases in the Judicial Processes Supreme Court and Administrative Processes , and pursue winning important legal victories that are advancing the state of environmental legal protection in Panama.  

CIAM has built a great reputation based on scientific arguments to support  our legal actions.  As a global legal advocacy organization dedicated to human rights, with expertise in both Panama constitutional and international human rights law, we concern anything affecting the environmental and  human rights, or health.  

CIAM is a non profit organization, with full-time attorneys, scientific and administrative staff who use the power of law in Court and represents the best legal actions in large of people. We go to Supreme Court  and Administrative authorities as legal representative of clients free of charge.  As a team we have accomplish very significant milestones in the legal defense of the Panamanian environment.   

Our cases are well selected looking to reduce human impacts on ecosystems and hold accountable those who damage them.   The power of law and the strength of civil society are the most important elements for the legal defense of the environment.  


CIAM works in strategic litigation as a legal method to bring about significant changes in the public awareness. Our clients are vulnerable communities, indigenous people, peasants, protected areas, and any ecosystems or species that requiere legal aid, people whom have been victims of environmental human rights abuses that are suffered by many other people, or authorities.  Our legal defense services are free of charge.

The power of law and the strength of civil society are the most important elements for the legal defense of the environment.

The Government has planned to build a concrete airstrip facilities on this UNESCO Heritage Site underpinned by a weak Environmental Impact Assessment, without properly consulting with locals, the scientific community or the park’s Council, which is its governance institution. CIAM has led the legal battle for transparency and accountability in regards to the airstrip issue. We filed a claim at the regional Tribunal arguing violation occurred.
Panama Bay Wetland
The National Assembly approved of Law 1 of 2015 (February 2, 2015), which “designates the Panama Bay Wetland wildlife refuge Ramsar site as a protected area”. CIAM’s technical team provided technical and legal support in drafting this Law.
limits to 10% the environmental flow
CIAM with the three Panamanian non-governmental organizations have presented a formal petition to Panama’s Ministerio de Ambiente, asking it to revoke a resolution that limits to 10% the environmental flow of all the rivers in Panama. The petition calls on the government to create a regulation for environmental flow that takes into account the environmental, human and cultural values of rivers.
CIAM informs the public opinion that the Investment Agreement between Canadian company Inmet Mining Corporation, owner of the subsidiary Minera Panamá, and South Korean companies Kores and LS-Nikko Cobre Inc., violates the second paragraph of the third article of the Panamanian constitution. This article of the constitution prohibits the partial cessation of territorial rights to foreign states, as is the case with mining concessions.
Contaminas anti-mining campaign
“Contaminas” campaign delivers more than 20,000 signatures backing CIAM´s  nitiative to ban open pit metal mining in Panama.
Interamerian Human Rights Commission
International hearing by Interamerian Human Rights Commission on Panamanian Environmental Legal Issues is let by CIAM and creates a major reversal
Mining Code
CIAM played a central role in organizing against reforms changes to the national mining code that would have make it easier for mining operations in Panama. The National Assembly approved the reforms, but the popular riots against the law forced the government to go back to the National Assembly and change the law to the original status.
Red Frog Beach
CIAM was approached by local residents of Bastimentos Island to challenge an oversized tourism complex on Red Frog Beach. This challenge went all the way to the Supreme Court, where CIAM won in 2008 overturning the environmental impact assessment approval for the first time in Panama’s history.
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Registered Charity: On April 28, 2010, the Ministry of Economy and Finance recognizing CIAM´s non-profit status issued Resolution No. 201-1508 whereby donations to the Center can be deduced from Panama’s income tax return.

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