People’s rights for sale in Nicaragua

Mock consultations violate people’s rights

Throughout nearly 200 interviews, we gathered stories with the same messages: the authorities are selling their land without consulting the people. The State’s response to these allegations is silence.

Hundreds of families living along the proposed canal route are in fear of being forced from their homes and losing their land and livelihoods.

“Most of the people who live here live from the land, sowing the land, raising animals, we don’t know how to do anything other than work the land. That’s why we would prefer to die here. If we go to the city, what are we going to do?”

People have organized to defend their territory from the impacts of the canal. A number of campesino communities created the National Council for the Defence of our Land, Lake and Sovereignty. They demand the repeal of Law 840 that authorized the development of the Canal and associated sub-projects. As a result, they have been targets of harassment and threats.

I tell my children goodbye because I don’t know if I’m going to come back

A woman participating in protests against the Nicaragua Canal project

Stop the Nicaraguan state from forcing families from their homes

Thousands of people in Nicaragua could be forced out of their homes at any minute to make way for a huge canal that will divide Nicaragua in two.

This is thanks to a secret multi-billion dollar deal that the Nicaraguan government signed with a private company based in Hong Kong in 2013. This shady deal included passing Law 840, which might lead to forced eviction, without even consulting those that would be affected. By doing this, the Nicaraguan state violated national and international law.

This leaves thousands of families with no choice but to abandon their land and way of living – which is their basic form of survival.   

But the communities are fighting back. Despite facing threats and harassment, many of those affected have built a movement demanding that the law 840 be repealed.

If we act now, together we can support these groups in their fight to keep their homes. Sign the petition and call on the state to:

  • Repeal Law 840 to comply with human rights standards and prevent forced evictions
  • Guarantee genuine and effective consultation with all those likely to be affected by the construction of the canal.

We will deliver the petitions to the Nicaraguan state to add to the voices of those already fighting for their rights in Nicaragua.

Destroying communities

households will be directly impacted by the construction of the canal
people are in danger of losing their homes
demonstrations have been organized by local communities

Campesino and Indigenous communities alike, from east to west of Nicaragua, living in communities along the proposed canal route, told us that they had lived in the same land for several generations. People were proud of working the land to provide for their families. 

“Almost all of us living here live off the land, planting crops, raising animals. We don’t know how do to anything else; working the land is what we know. That’s why we would prefer to die here, because if we go to the city, what are we going to do?”

Our life is this land, without it, we have nothing

one of the members of the affected families

The Nicaraguan state is not protecting local communities

The interoceanic canal in Nicaragua will affect 119,000 people living in local areas.

Communities likely to be affected

We collected details from specific locations along the proposed canal route to show where the livelihoods and local traditional activities of the people who live there would be affected.

It’s time to put people’s rights first

Rumours continue to circulate around the construction of the canal. Lack of transparency around the Project remains. Insofar as the routes and areas affected by sub-projects linked to the Canal are not defined, or are not known, the concession could potentially leave anyone in any part of the country at risk of losing their home. The failure to inform and guarantee a genuine consultation process means there is a risk of forced eviction and other human rights violations.

The only way to avoid the continued disregard for people’s rights is for the law to be repealed and a new regulatory framework established that will guarantee the effective protection and respect for the human rights of the thousands of people affected by this project. 

Tell the Nicaraguan government to

Stop forced Evictions