Nicaragua: Authorities threaten protest against construction of canal

For several hours yesterday, Nicaraguan police officers prevented communities from participating in a peaceful march against the construction of the Interoceanic Grand Canal in Nicaragua.

The march, organised by the National Council in Defence of our Land, Lake and Sovereignty, was the 91st protest against the project which will affect thousands of people. The renowned human rights defender Bianca Jagger also participated in the massive demonstration.

The police temporarily stopped the protestors from arriving in buses to the starting point for the march taking place in La Fonseca, approximately 300km from the Nicaraguan capital.

These kinds of actions are, quite simply, acts of intimidation designed to suppress any expression of disagreement with the policies of Daniel Ortega’s government
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International

“Once again, the Nicaraguan police have violated people’s right to peaceful protest. These kinds of actions are, quite simply, acts of intimidation designed to suppress any expression of disagreement with the policies of Daniel Ortega’s government,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

This is not the first time that police have repressed people’s right to peaceful protest. Security forces, as an intentional and recurrent practice, block roads and restrict transport during marches organised by the communities.

Amnesty International launched the report "Danger: Rights for sale. The Interoceanic Grand Canal Project in Nicaragua and the erosion of human rights” in Nicaragua last week.

The document reveals the obscure legal framework that led to the concession of the project and the consequences the project could have on hundreds of families who could face forced eviction.