Nicaragua. At the same time as the redevelopment of the Panama Canal was entering its final phase, the large Gran Canal project, the construction of a canal between the Caribbean and the Pacific, was surrounded by great turbulence throughout the year. At the end of September, an ecological and social impact assessment of the project was presented to a specially appointed government committee, and in November the committee gave a clear sign for the construction. But the locals, especially in the province of Chontale, protested in the thousands against the project they considered lacking transparency and environmental considerations. Particular concern was expressed about the consequences for the large Nicaragua lake, which will become part of the sea route through the country. According to COUNTRYAAH, Managua is the capital of Nicaragua which is located in North America. The Committee also noted that no fewer than 6,900 families, or 27,000 people, will be forced to relocate, and environmental organizations claimed that the correct figure is rather close to 100,000. In August, a local organization organized the largest demonstrations against the project with up to 15,000 participants since President Daniel Ortega signed the channel’s completion with the Chinese company Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Company (HKND) in June 2013. In October, a protest march was held with thousands of participants to the capital Managua.
Even around the gold mine El Limón in the province of León, it became uneasy when police in the beginning of October with tear gas and rubber bullets were deployed to miners who demonstrated that three of them were dismissed on unsavory grounds. The mine was forced to close after the clashes, where a policeman was killed and 31 people injured.
A new chapter in the history of the country’s relations with the United States was written in August. Washington then lifted the restrictions imposed by Nicaragua in the 1990s for the confiscation of American property that the Sandinian government implemented in the 1980s.
A report supported by the World Bank, among others, was presented at the beginning of October and showed that poverty in Nicaragua, long one of Latin America’s poorest countries, decreased from 42% of the population in 2009 to 29% in 2014. The development was attributed to, among other things, the government’s successfully implemented poverty reduction programs and increased private transfers from the United States.