Mass protests in Nicaragua as farmers claim planned canal will 'sell country to the Chinese'

Farmers in local villages claim that up to 120,000 people could be displaced by the plans which will have a massive environmental impact

Alexander Ward
Sunday 14 June 2015 12:25
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Opponents to the construction of Nicaragua's transoceanic canal take part in a national protest march against the canal project, in Juigalpa, Nicaragua. The banner reads: "Ortega traitor."
Opponents to the construction of Nicaragua's transoceanic canal take part in a national protest march against the canal project, in Juigalpa, Nicaragua. The banner reads: "Ortega traitor."

Thousands of locals in Nicaragua have demonstrated against plans to construct a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Mass protests in Nicaragua as farmers claim planned canal will 'sell country to the Chinese'

The project, billed as longer and deeper than the Panama canal, will cost $50bn (£32bn) and is to be built by Chinese contractors.

While the Nicaraguan government have said that the canal will bring vital investment to the country, demonstrators are concerned that it will have a dramatic effect on the environment.

Protestors have also accused the Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, of “selling the country to the Chinese,” although this has been refuted by authorities.

According to various sources, the number of protestors gathered in Juigalpa is between 15,000 and 30,000. They believe that up to 120,000 people could be displaced by the project.

Initial work by the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Group on the canal began in December and is expected to last for five years.

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