You Won't Believe What's Happening In Nicaragua

On December 24, work began on one of the world’s largest industrial projects, but you probably haven’t heard about it because it’s proceeding so quietly. 

Without an economic or environmental assessment, last year Nicaragua approved the building of a canal that’s triple the length and much deeper than the Panama Canal. Super-sized container ships that can’t fit through Panama’s will make it through, elevating Nicaragua’s importance in the world economy and supposedly bringing lots of jobs. Proponents says it will lift the country out of dire poverty.

But at what cost?

The $50 billion, 173 mile-long Gran Canal will link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by cutting through critical rainforests, bisecting Lake Nicaragua – the largest freshwater body in Central America – and forcing relocation of hundreds of villages and tens of thousands of people that have lived there for centuries. 

Dredging and salt infiltration will permanently alter the lake’s  ecosystem and a major source of drinking water, while over 400,000 acres of rainforests and wetlands – part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor – are destroyed, say scientists in Nature

Nicaragua Canal

Hong Kong-based Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company received a 100-year concession to build and operate it – a new company selected without competitive bids last June. "It will possibly be the largest movement of earth that has ever been undertaken," says Bill Wild, Chief Project Adviser.

Nicaragua even amended its constitution for the project, granting the company "the right to expropriate land and natural resources as it sees fit for the success of the project and sub-projects." It has the right to build and operate industrial centers, airports, rail networks and oil pipelines, reports Nature.

At the same time, other parts of the constitution are ignored – the right of indigenous people to autonomy and self-determination, and the right to collective ownership of communal and indivisible lands. 

The whole affair is moving forward without public consultation or parliamentary debate. As you can imagine, there have been many protests and lawsuits are planned. 

"Swift and decisive international action is called for. The Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences is coordinating efforts with the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences to carry out an independent impact assessment. We need more conservation groups and social organizations to lend their expertise and funds if we are to prevent the tragic devastation of indigenous communities along with terrestrial, marine and freshwater biodiversity and resources in Central America," say scientists Axel Meyer and Jorge Huete-Pérez in Nature.

Read the article in Nature:

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Comments on “You Won't Believe What's Happening In Nicaragua”

  1. Itaia Muxaic de Ricart

    Most of the piece is twisted hype to create hysteria, because the canal is not approved by the USA. The impotent American “Green Movement” can’t stop the Keystone XL pipeline or fracking and does not even know about oil exploration around Florida’s Everglades. But the vast majority of Nicaraguans want the canal and both labor unions and industry are eager to partcipate. Nicaragua has 6 million inhabitants, of whom a half a million have to live or work as migrants in Costa Rica. Each year until 2020 Nicaragua has to feed and employ an additional 100,000 people.

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  2. Itaia Muxaic de Ricart

    (Continuation of above comment. I did not want to waste time on non-functioning sites). I SUPPORT THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT IN THE USA! But the environmental issue is being used by U.S.and NATO geopolitical strategists as “soft power” destabilization operation in “independent nations” (too damn uppity independent, like Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, also India and others). Each major national development project gets immediately attacked by U.S. and NATO “ops” – but instead of the Reagan era “Colonel Oliver North Contras” – in the 21st century, the USA uses the “activists” of European NGOs: They arouse no suspicion. In Nicaragua the initial lead NGO is “IBIS” from NATO Denmark. “IBIS” has been expelled from Bolivia in 2013 for identical “conspiracy”. 60+% of Bolivians are tribal Indians and the President Evo Morales is an Ayamara. Bolivia will become the leading exporter of lithium batteries for electric cars: Bolivians, Indian or Mestizo can’t live from “fishing and hunting” and growing bananas as people did in the pre-neolithic era. Stick to really working for the environment in the USA and do not become useful idiot-mercenaries for geopolitical adventure operations. which you do not fathom.

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