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Nicaragua repeals the law of the Interoceanic Canal, which was never built – DW – 09/05/2024

Nicaragua repeals the law of the Interoceanic Canal, which was never built – DW – 09/05/2024

parliament NicaraguaDominated by the ruling Sandinista Front, it reformed the rules on Wednesday (05/08/2024) on an ambitious scale. Interoceanic canal 12 years ago and repealed another law that had, since 2013, ceded its construction and management to a Chinese businessman.

The repealed Law 840 had awarded the planning, construction and management of an interoceanic canal, which would compete with the Panama Canal, to the Chinese group Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co., Ltd. (HKND Group), owned by Chinese businessman Wang Jing. For a period of 50 years, extendable.

Government Daniel Ortega In December 2014, Wang announced the start of construction of the canal, but the work did not progress The $50 billion project never came to fruition.

Chamber Vice President Raquel Dixon said the reform proposed by Ortega was unanimously approved in the National Assembly “to strengthen and modernize the national legal system, taking into account the ever-changing national and international environment.”

Huge dreams for a huge project

The project envisages the construction of a canal approximately 278 km long, with entrances to the Brito River on the Pacific coast and near the mouth of the Punta Gorda River, in the Caribbean. The route will cross Lake Nicaragua, the largest in Central America.

The Panama Canal, which transports 6% of global maritime trade, is only 80 kilometers long.

The issue of the Trans-Nicaraguan Interoceanic Canal, which aroused great interest at the time, was brought before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IDH Court) in 2021 by environmental groups who accused the government of “violating the rights of indigenous communities.” Branch and Creole, by not consulting them about approving the law.

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Opponents celebrate the repeal of Law 840

In the lawsuit filed before the Inter-American Court, the Nicaraguan state is accused of violating the property rights, political rights, equal protection before the law, judicial guarantees, judicial protection and the right to a healthy environment of nine indigenous communities living in the country. The area selected for the construction of the Inter-Oceanic Highway.

According to Maria Luisa Acosta, a lawyer at the Center for Indigenous Legal Aid, the court is expected to rule on the case in the coming weeks. It is estimated that at least half of the canal project expansion affected indigenous lands in Nicaragua’s southern Caribbean.

Environmental lawyer Monica Lopez Baltodano said the enactment of Law No. 840 is “a very important achievement for the peasant movement, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, environmental activists and civil society in Nicaragua.” He said, “It is true that the dictatorship still exists, but the defeat of this concession for the transoceanic canal, in the journey of 11 years of struggle, is part of the path out of tyranny. Let us celebrate it!” .

P (AFP, EFI, AP)