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Have you heard the news? The Nicaraguan government has revealed the route for a canal it plans to build across the country with help from a Hong Kong-based company.

The proposed canal would stretch 173 miles, about three times the length of the Panama Canal.  It would originate at Punta Gorda in the Caribbean, pass through Lake Nicaragua, and end at Brito, a port on the Pacific Ocean.

Nicaragua workshopELAW partner Lottie Cunningham Wren is a Miskito attorney from Nicaragua who has worked for decades to defend the land rights of indigenous people .

“I am concerned about the impact the canal will have on indigenous communities,” says Lottie, who has called on ELAW for help.

New laws have severely limited public participation in the decision making process and may allow the project to bypass environmental reviews.

For more information, please see the following:

New York Times
Nicaragua Approves Building Its Own Canal

BBC
Nicaragua canal route: Atlantic-Pacific link unveiled

National Geographic
Nicaraguan Canal Could Wreck Environment, Scientists Say

We will keep you posted on our work with Lottie. Many thanks for your interest!

Michele Kuhnle
Donor Liaison

Ana (left) and Lottie

Last week, Lottie Cunningham Wren and Ana Lucia Maya arrived in Eugene for ELAW Fellowships.

Lottie is a Miskito attorney from Nicaragua who has worked for decades to conserve biological diversity, sustain cultural practices, and advocate for sustainable fisheries.  Her organization, CEJUDHCAN, collaborates with indigenous communities on Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast.

Ana gives voice to afro-descendant and other marginalized communities in Colombia that face problems involving hydroelectric dams, mining, hydrocarbons, agro fuels, and more.  Ana is a staff attorney at the Instituto Latinoamericano para una Sociedad y un Derechos Alternativos.

ELAW is thrilled to be collaborating with Ana and Lottie and connecting them with our local community and colleagues in the Northwest. We will post updates about our work throughout the summer.

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
ELAW Fellows Program Coordinator

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