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Nicaraguan Canal and its Impact on Human Rights

    Trading on people's basic human rights for the sake of money is not only morally questionable but also illegal.
    -Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnericas Director at Amnesty International

    In June 2013, the Nicaraguan Congress passed a law granting a concession for the development of the ‘Great Interoceanic Canal’ to a Chinese company. According to news reports, the Canal will cost USD 50 billion, it will have the length of 278 km (three times bigger than the Panama Canal) and it will divide the country in two.

    Human rights activists report that the Canal will affect the Cocibolca Lake, considered the biggest fresh water reserve of Nicaragua, which would endanger the access to water and sanitation of millions. The Canal development will also imply the forced migration of thousands of inhabitants of nearby areas, threatening their right to land and housing. Peasants and indigenous groups have organized dozens of demonstrations against the negative impacts of the project, some of which have been violently repressed by the government.

    This project will document HRVs occurring due to the Canal development project and place national and international pressure on the Nicaraguan government to respect the right to free, prior and informed consent to land, to housing, among others rights.

    Amnesty International will be one of the first international organizations to document the violation of human rights around the Canal construction. AI’s actions during 2016-2017 will be key to ensure that the rights of groups in vulnerability are respected and that the international community reacts against the Canal’s most negative impacts.

    Project Activities

    • Launch of the research report
    • Public presentation of audiovisual material
    • Advocacy meetings with groups in vulnerability, communities and other international community members
    • News articles/blogs/features/public statements/press releases on selected days
    • Campaign digest/case studies

    For more information about our current projects, please contact: Janet Park at (416) 363-9933 ext. 335 or by email

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