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8 May 2016

Peter Costantini, Confidencial (Nicaragua)

Nicaragua: Inter-oceanic canal linked to land grabs, lack of transparency & consultation according to analyst

“A Nicaraguan canal is not a “field of dreams””, 29 Apr 2016

…So far, the gestation of Nicaragua’s canal has been secretive, with little public elaboration of the business model, investors or active partners in the enterprise…The corruption behind the canal is “absolutely mind-boggling,” according to Rodrigue, author of a standard transport geography textbook.“It’s simply a land grab and a real estate project. That’s what they’re betting their money on.” The canal concession enables HKND to expropriate large areas of land for the canal and side projects, and requires compensation for current owners merely at assessed value – although more recently HKND has said it would pay a fair price for the expropriated properties...Many see the root of the problems in the initial failure of the Nicaraguan government to broadly involve citizens in vetting or approving the project…

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