Nicaragua Cancels Controversial Plan For Canal

May 14, 2024
Nicaragua Cancels Controversial Plan For Canal

 

Nicaragua has cancelled a controversial ten-year old plan to build a canal that would have linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The plan was initially approved in 2014, when a concession was granted for a Chinese business to build the canal, but critics have consistently argued that the plan would endanger the environment and rural communities.

In the decade that followed, no work was carried out on the canal itself. At one stage, work started on access roads nearby but the actual excavation for the waterway was never started.

Thousands of Nicaraguan farmers protested against land seizures along the proposed route, before a Nicaraguan judge sentenced three famer leaders to a combined 563 years in prison in 2019. They were convicted of promoting a “failed coup” against the government.

The  $50bn, 172-mile canal would have stretched across the Central American country and could have provided an alternative route to the Panama Canal. While President Daniel Ortega’s government claimed the canal would stimulate the economy and create tens of thousands of jobs, detractors argued that along with the detrimental environmental impact, it was not even financially feasible.

To make matters worse, the owner of the Hong Kong based business, that was awarded the 2014 concession, was reported to have lost 85% of his wealth in China’s 2015 stock market crash.

 

 

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