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Nicaragua Takes Land by Force for New Ometepe Airport

Article Summary:

Nicaragua wants to increase the flow of tourists to Ometepe island, but lacked government land for an airport. One Nicaraguan family had the misfortune of owning the land of interest to the government, and when purchasing negotiations failed, it was taken by force.

Photo Credit: Prensa Nicaragua

Original Article Text From Prensa Nicaragua via Google Translate :

They look at it and … Expropriate Land

On October 25, 2010 the president of the International Airports Management Company (EAAI), Orlando Castillo, presented himself proud with the official journalist Ervin Vega to advertise on Channel 8 TV, owned by the presidential family, two major projects that boost tourist flows towards two of the most beautiful of Nicaragua Rio San Juan de Nicaragua, and Ometepe Island.

The construction of two international airports in the sites mentioned oxigenaría local economies, to place these sites in a direct line to tourists with higher purchasing power than traditional “backpackers”. But what the president said EAAI not, of course, was that the start of these works would get back to the entity that manages a series irregular procedures, affecting local women even families who believed that these projects would benefit them.

First discovered by a team of investigative journalism Connections Central American University (UCA), that projects would be financed by funds from the EAAI, as Castillo said the same, but this instance is endeudaría by $ 18.3 million (plus interest) with Alba Caruna, the parastatal bank controlled by the presidential family.

Then EAAI would be involved in the ordeal of a family of Ometepinos who had the bad luck to have properties on the site chosen to build the airport La Paloma, corresponding to the island of Ometepe.

It all started when Toño Lino, who was the keeper of a little over 40 acres of his family in an area of ​​the island called Santa Rita, called his nephew, Juan Carlos Mayorga Arcia to tell him that he had contacted representatives of the EAAI to say they were interested in buying some tracks of different properties, to build the airport.

Days later, this was presented to the EAAI headquarters for a meeting with authorities, and reach an agreement. “I went to the airport (Managua International), the legal department. I received politeness, with coffee and every story. They show me a map of where the airport would be I saw all parts of the properties of my family who would be affected by the works. The made me an offer of 2.50 dollars a track, but it was rather informal, and always seemed to me,”says Mayorga Arcia.

CASTLE obfuscated
That meeting would be chaired by Martha Lorraine Chavarria EAAI legal representative, as Arcia has Mayorga. There would be a second meeting, where in addition to Chavarria, Hildebrand participate Blandon Reyes, deputy general manager, Alejandro Moncada Castillo, chief financial officer and unexpectedly, and the same Orlando Castillo.

“We were talking, when suddenly Orlando Castillo enters the room where we were and we have been, and tells us so rude and arrogantly what was my problem, to accept the offer. I get scared because it seemed incredible that such an attitude he had when we were negotiating. When he finally leaves the room, someone tells me, one of the girls that came to Martha Lorena, apologizes, Orlando walked obfuscated because the project operator was pressing him for a ruling on the airport project, and they already had assured the project operator that he was about to close on the land purchase, but in fact we had not yet reached agreement” continued Arcia Mayorga.

The negotiations continued. Arcia Mayorga says that he spent weeks reviewing offers made which hovered between 3.50 to 3.75 dollars, all informally according to him, until he got the “call”.

“It was between me and government legal counsel and then he said that the call was also with Orlando (Airport) in a three-way calling, and I said to Orlando (to be listening) agreed to give me $ 3.95 per track. Let them five percent to cover legal expenses. I agreed. That told me a Thursday afternoon. I told them that came on Monday because I was in Costa Rica, with the documents ready. But ideay, I come to Managua, call the Legal Advisor and tell me no longer, no longer going to do the project there, they were doing studies elsewhere. That was the last time I spoke with them. What is my shock when I look in the newspapers that the machinery was already working in the area, “Mayorga said Arcia.

AN ADVANCE GACETAZO
Among this last conversation between the individual and the legal advisor for the EAAI, and the beginning of the work in the area, spent two months in which a ministerial agreement was published in the Gazette, and sued for expropriation against Arcia Mayorga and their families.

“They put on trial for alleged expropriation decree Gazette, even when there is judgment. But judgment will never be. They have entangled everything. This is my property, which is where they are working, the trial is not who are involved in the trial, I will be ruling on that! Same with the properties that are affecting my mom and my uncle, these are not stuck in the trial, “Arcia says Mayorga.

The ministerial agreement, held by La Prensa, issued by the EAAI, was published in La Gaceta, the official newspaper, on July 11, 2011. This, in short, declared of public utility and social interest in favor of the state portfolio, the properties of Arcia Mayorga and their families, to build the airport.

According to court documents, a total of 21 acres of land in Santa Rita, which would be included in the trial undertaken by the EAAI expropriation. According to the legal process, the supply of EAAI for land is $ 1.30 a track.

Arcia’s hope Mayorga was the amparo against the trial undertaken by the EAAI filed in the Court of Appeals of Granada. This was accepted and referred to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, which issued a judgment on this case ambiguous.

“You’re right, but never mind”
The official court of January 19, 2012, in possession of this newspaper, sent by the Constitutional Court accepts the appeal lodged by Arcia Mayorga, but states that since the works were already underway, the damages that cause them to EAAI were suspended if the work would be difficult to repair, so these should continue, no matter what the final resolution of this instance brought under the affected.

Airport on disputed land
Work on the construction of the airport has not stopped. According to information from the media under the control of the presidential family, the airport would be culminated in two months. Meanwhile, Arcia Mayorga still sees everyday machines Meco Santa Fe company changed the landscape of their rural properties in the beautiful island located in the Cocibolca. Insurance mutters to himself that which he repeated several times during our interview: “Brother, salted the time that my farms were where they were to do that blessed airport.”

AIRPORT MUTE
As is customary on the part of this public servant, even had the courtesy to respond in any way the queries made by this newspaper. Therefore, when contacted through their mobile to Orlando Castillo, General Manager EAAI.

This listened attentively to the inquiry made by us, and finally let go of his answer: “I forgive you, but right now I’m in the middle of a meeting. When you leave, I promise I’ll return your call. ” The promise was not fulfilled.

Link to Original Article:

From Prensa Nicaragua

  • Ometepino

    This can happen to you in any part of the world. Imagine you put yourself in the way because New York, Washington, Toronto, London or Paris want to build a new airport or extend the ones they have already. Do you think your house would stop anybody? I don’t say it is good, but that’s the way it is. You better take the money and run, that’s what others in this case did.

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