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Indigenous communities in Nicaragua presented a request to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to halt the country's US$40-50bn inter-oceanic canal project.
The Rama y Kriol territorial government, which represents indigenous groups, asked the commission – which is part of the Organization of American States (OAS) – to stop the project until a public consultation process is held, it said in a release.
Preliminary work began on the canal on December 22. China's HKND Group was awarded a 50-year concession to build and operate the canal, which will compete with the Panama Canal.
The controversial project has provoked protest marches and road blockades.
In recent weeks police have broken up protests, resulting in injuries and the arrest of 30 people, who were subsequently released.
BNamericas will host the 2nd LatAm & Caribbean Ports & Logistics Summit on January 28-29 in Panama. More information.