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🇳🇮 Nicaragua's Great Divide – TechKnow



Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Americas, second only to Haiti. Poverty is rampant and easily witnessed on its streets.

The dream of building a trans-Nicaragua canal connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific has been around for centuries, but despite prospects for economic growth, the latest China-backed canal project in Nicaragua is dividing the nation.

The proposed Nicaragua Canal Project presents a classic trade-off between economic development and the protection of natural resources to the country.

In this case, it is Lake Cocibolca (also known as Lake Nicaragua), the largest lake in Central America and a source of drinking water to thousands of Nicaraguans, that is in danger.

In my legal opinion, it is completely evident that the canal law is against the constitution.

Monica Lopez Baltodano, environmental attorney, Popol Na

On the Pacific side, the coastal town of Gigante relies on the sea for its basic needs. This is set to change if the canal project goes through, as Gigante will serve as the Pacific port entrance.

However, the less fortunate – in spite of the lack of information available to them – continue to embrace the project as a potential means to escape poverty. They have been promised a change and more opportunities as a result – but this is without knowing the consequences.

Monica Lopez Baltodano, who is an environmental attorney and director of the Popol Na Foundation, an organisation which looks after local civil rights, sees the canal project as one of the biggest threats to local communities.

She warns of the dangers of how the fallout for local resources will affect Nicaraguans.

“They sell people dreams, that a huge investment like this is going to change completely the economical system in Nicaragua, and the poverty in Nicaragua … it’s completely unreal. It doesn’t work that way,” says Baltodano about the way in which President Daniel Ortega’s government has sold the project to the desperate public.

With most of the mainstream media consumed by everyday Nicaraguans completely controlled by Ortega’s government too, the legal battle ahead for Baltodano and Popol Na is long and uncertain.

Salvador Montenegro-Guillen is one of Nicaragua’s leading scientists, a professor of ecology and limnology who was once the director of the Center for Research in Water Resources of Nicaragua.

He echoes Baltodano’s sentiments and voices his own concerns about the importance of the lake.

“Lake Cocibolca is actually the jewel of the crown for this country because no other body of water has the quality and quantity of this lake,” he says.

As scientists continue their research to try to rescue the lake, one thing has become apparent – the technical and, in due effect, environmental effects of digging the canal will bring irreparable damage to Lake Cocibolca. Local newspaper Confidencial even took a depth finder through the proposed course of the canal to find that most of the distance across the lake was just too shallow for the purposes of the project.

“That means that they would have to dig up 20 metres, almost. How are they going to get the sediments out [of the water], where are they going to put it? What does that mean for the lake? There needs to be more studies done,” says Katherine Vammen, a microbiologist and research scientist at the University of Central America.

When it comes down to a pros and cons debate, Monica Lopez Baltodano fears the worst.

“To risk all of our most valuable resources, affecting more than 119,000 people, just to get 25,000 jobs for a small period of time … it doesn’t make any sense at all. And I worry that we are putting all of our future at risk by destroying Nicaragua’s lake,” she says.

Could the project change the fortunes of Nicaragua or ruin the country’s most environmentally sensitive areas? TechKnow went to Nicaragua to look at Nicaragua’s canal project and the potential fallout.

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50 comments

  1. You people are paranoid dolts who probably work for some NGO financed by NED. I say this as your route into Nicaragua resembles that of the CIA and not a typical western tourist who actually flies into Managua via Copa airlines.

  2. You only opinion it dosen't count, because the7% of Nicaraguense whant de Canal.

  3. We dnt want this canal in Nicaragua !! We want to protect our Flora and Fauna !!!!!

  4. Losing the natural beauty would be a shame.

  5. These are really interesting, why aren't these on US tv

  6. We need Abby Martin to do a report on this revolution in Nicaragua.

  7. I see the butcher has his trolls doing his dirty work pretending to be posting their "opinion". Trolling is the dirtiest work in the world. Only slime like this would troll that Nicaragua is safe, that travel is unrestricted and that over 400 assassinations by Ortega paramilitaries and over 1000 disappeared, incarcerated, kidnapped or tortured is a normal state of affairs. This Stalinist monster will leave the power that he usurped over sabotaging every single institution of governance in the republic of Nicaragua for the past decades, culminating in his reign of terror that has won him global condemnation for his brutal, well documented, human rights violations and attacks against citizens and institutions protecting student and peasant groups that have finally had enough of his usurping land for the fake Chinese canal through Nicaragua, and raiding of the INSS pension system for cash now that his Cuban masters have run out of Venezuelan money. The world will be too small when the Magnitsky Act takes away every bit of money you have stolen and all of the patrimony of so many you have killed maimed tortured and stolen from so that you wont be able to write a check for a pack of gums you murderous dictators Ortega and Murillo. You have cast a dark shadow on your children and grand children and all of your future generations. and shame on the hired trolls below. The blood of all the murdered is also in your hands and those who contracted you to minimize this humanitarian nightmare.

  8. Socialists taking money to destroy their country? Yep!

  9. Nicaragua is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I hope they do not build that canal, it has disaster written all over it. It is poor, no doubt the result of the USA funded war, but that is History. Moving forward, I think Costa Rica offers a great model- eco-tourism, agriculture, infrastructure improvement (no canal), better education and health care-which Nicaragua ranks pretty well on. People will visit, retire and invest there.

  10. No pictures allowed? That is a ruled in any airport… This "reporter" is dramatizing.

  11. Nicaragua is rich with natural resources, people with beautiful culture. The problem to overcome is the corrupt leaders of the country..

  12. this journalist strikes me as a spoiled Orange County man who failed as a Hollywood actor LOL.

  13. Nicaragua has been peaceful for 30 years, now china and nicaragua team up to build a canal which will be bigger and better than the panama canal. this is the last thing the u.s wants as they have alot of power by running the panama canal and suddenly ironically… look at all the problems that mysteriously pop up in nicaragua. they will make the leadership change hands, they will put an end to the canal. they will maintain nicaragua as a banana republic. they have done this for over 100 years, anyone gets ideas of prosperity and freedom and they get dealt with. sad but true. latin america needs to integrate and become its own united states if it wants freedom and prosperity.

  14. this is prostitution of press, whole report is one-sided

  15. If a canal doesn't bring wealth then why is Panama the wealthiest country in Central America, by far?

  16. You tried very hard to make Nicaragua look dangerous. But you were too obvious. Fail!
    Also, just take a look at Panama. Its way more developed than any other Central American country, and it's because of the Canal. So it has been proven that the Canal will create a huge economic impact in favor of the Nicaraguans.
    I hate it when people care more about saving a strip of a jungle than lifting people out of poverty.

  17. April 29.2018…..Not one dam thing has happened concerning the CANAL (thank God). Seems that this is another "PIPE DREAM" of Ortega and the China money movers for future "control" posts on this side of the world……The USA knows all this and nothing is going to happen. It's all Bullshit! (THANK GOD).

  18. Oh my goodness how brave of you! When I go there directly from the US I'm met with such hostile comments like "what's your purpose for traveling?" then they stamp my passport violently! It always leaves me with chills…

  19. Nicaragua is super safe and these idiots make it sound so bad

  20. Please don't publish such terrible low brow low brain garbage anymore AJ. I value my time and this was a waste of it. Maybe 3 minutes worth of interesting content spread out and diluted with 21 minutes of self indulgent, dramatic, dishonest, fluff. Im disappointed in you.

  21. She is Right! I hope they don’t go through out their plan.

  22. I am not NicaraguAn but friends there ! They don’t want the canal there. Because it will kill all living animals and the beauty of that area.

  23. The American government and the Costa RicAns are given bad Propaganda about Nicaragua.

  24. "You can't put a price on sunsets like that…" umm it's called living there that would be the price of seeing something like that

  25. What I would do is use the dirt that is removed from the land and put it on two straight lines across the lake. It will divide the lake freshwater and saltwater So the salt water doesnt touc

  26. pendejo perio dista dejarias ser de al jazzeera el los paises musulmanes respetan alas mujeres? no tiene ni vos ni votos ayi anda y ase tu noticias hala y pregunta por que la mujer yeva la burca

  27. … simpática la Mónica L. Baltodano! En realidad, no hay por qué preocuparse. Todo megaproyecto se acompaña de impactos negativos. La cuestión está en el balance a mediano y largo plazo, ya que se esperan beneficios en diferentes campos tanto para inversionistas, así también como para la población local y la comunidad internacional, Centroamérica en particular. En su momento sucedió lo mismo cuando se construyeron enormes represas y acueductos para suplir necesidades de agua en algunos sitios en USA o bien, cuando se decidió construir nuevas carreteras interestatales, también en USA. Se destruyeron negocios privados, muchas propiedades fueron obligadadas a entregarse para tales fines; decenas de miles de hectareas de bosques destruidos, etc. Será que todos estos tontos que se oponen a esta megaobra civil, consideran que la construcción del Canal de Panamá no se acompañó de cuantiosos y diversos sacrificios de toda índole?

    Hoy en día todo mundo está consciente del impacto positivo del prodigioso Canal en la economía nacional panameña y nos olvidamos de todos los perjuicios que en su momento generó, incluso se olvida hasta la ocupación militar de la zona canalera por décadas e incluso la falta de participación directa en el control de las operaciones de la obra hasta hace unas décadas atrás.

  28. What's with the lies? There is nothing dangerous about entering Nicaragua. Non sense.

  29. A few people who never know what poverty is, managed to stop progress.

  30. Seems like the US State department isn't aware about this so called ban on journalists in Nicaragua….more bullshit

  31. Miami international has straight flights into Managua daily departing all day long. This you were looking for dramatics rather then facts.

  32. I wanted to see the video about what kind of country Nicaragua is, and found only this sad story

  33. All BS , the best thing ever created was the internet , no more making people believe what they want , now is so easy to just look up things and find out if they really true visit nicaragua and this video will make not make any sense ….

  34. Lmao Nicaragua is the one of the safest countries in Latin America and safer than panama….

  35. Get your facts right stupid people Nicaragua was the 2 poorest country at the end of the war but not amymore eight nows ia the 13 or 14th ok ! You are a liar

  36. sobran los ejemplos que podemos mencionar estoy seguro que cuando se descubrio petrolio en venezuela, en mexico en nigeria cuando se hizo el canal de panama les prometieron al pueblo el sol y las estrellas….no nos dejemos engatusar ya mas….

  37. As soon as HKND is announced that it is involved, it is a public announcement that British money is also involved. Nothing comes out og Hong Kong without some form of British involvement financially and politically. This is how it works. Chinese money is tied to the HK money which is tied to the UK money which is tied to the American money which is tied to the Gulf oil money which is tied to the Bush family which is tied to Washington DC and CIA etc.. This canal will allow US naval fleets to operate more efficiently and protect American interests. Without the blessing of US, no matter how much Chinese money is involved, accomplishing the canal will be impossible.

  38. THIS is FAKE NEWS PEOPLE. …….

  39. LOL! Too much drama in this lousy video. Why going back and forth from Panama to El Salvador and then to Costa Rica and then by land to Nicaragua?, there are practically daily flights from Panama City to Managua City. The safest way? Come on! Nicaragua is by far the safest country in Central America. They did their best to show the worst picture of Nicaragua. But I guess everybody who's been in Nicaragua noticed it.

  40. Anti-Nicaragua Propaganda, worry about Sweden/Europe where you belong. Leave Latin America alone. Legal Opinion? A stupid 3rd world lawyer paid to bad mouth the canal. That's the shill you interview??

  41. Use Eminent Domain Laws to build the canal. Nicaragua only has 6 million people. This canal will generate Jobs, foster Tourism, New life, buildings, hotels, beach front property like in Panama. Each ship pays a fortune to cross, it will generate Billions, it will connect Brasil and eastern Southamerica with China. El canal va a generar empleos, El turismo va a crecer como en Panama, edificios y hoteles en la playa, cada barco paga una fortuna para poder cruzar… Brasil y el este de Sudamerica va estar mas conectado con China. Petroleo se puede exportar a China por el Canal de Nicaragua. Nicaragua va a ser el mas rico per capita de Latinoamerica.

  42. Forget about the canal Nicaragua! …Live in Misery and Poverty.

  43. You don't have to worry about being mistaken for professional journalists!

  44. If you think a canal is going to magically make Nicaraguans economically stable and prosperous you people are naive knuckle heads.
    It will make Daniel Ortega and his cronies rich.

  45. I appreciate you shine like on the effects of building the canal. But I cant take it serious when you misrepresent the country as dangerous to go as far as going to El Salvador of all countries to get in, and claim they hate journalism and one army person who will send a signal..

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