Nicaragua repeals law on yet-to-be-built maritime canal – DW – 05/09/2024

of Parliament NicaraguaDominated by the ruling Sandinista Front, reformed on Wednesday (05/08/2024) in ambitious rules Transoceanic Canal 12 years ago and since 2013 repealed another law to cede its construction and management to a Chinese businessman.

The repealed Act 840 would have given Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Co., a Chinese conglomerate owned by Chinese businessman Wang Jing, the planning, construction, and management of a maritime canal that would compete with Panama. Ltd. (HKND Group) Extendable for 50 years.

Government of Daniel Ortega And Wang announced the start of canal construction in December 2014, but work has not progressed. The $50 billion project did not materialize.

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

Mega dreams of a mega project

The project envisioned a 278-kilometer canal between the inlets of the Brito River on the Pacific coast and the mouth of the Punta Gorda River in the Caribbean. The road crosses Central America's largest lake, Nicaragua.

The 80 km Panama Canal moves 6% of the world's maritime trade.

The issue of the maritime canal through Nicaragua, which sparked great interest at the time, was brought to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IDH Court) in 2021, which accused the government of “violating the rights of indigenous communities”. Branch and Creole were not consulted about the approval of the Act.

Protesters celebrate repeal of Act 840

In the case before the Inter-American Court, the Nicaraguan state was accused of violating property rights, political rights, equal protection before the law, judicial guarantees, judicial immunity and the right to a healthy environment of nine indigenous communities. Area selected for construction of Marine Highway.

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

The passage of Law 840 was “a very important achievement for the peasant movement, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, environmentalists and Nicaragua's civil society,” said environmental lawyer Monica López Baltotano. “True, dictatorship still exists, but in 11 years of struggle, this concession of the maritime canal was defeated, part of the path out of tyranny. Let's celebrate it!”, he said. .

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Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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