The non-governmental organization Fundación del Río denounced this Friday that a group of "settlers" carried out an invasion in the core area of the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua, allegedly with the support of local authorities.
The invasion area is located in the core zone of the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, one of the seven protected areas that make up the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua, which has an area of 7,677.1 square kilometers, superior to the Palestinian territory .
"A new invasion sector has been established in the core area of the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve. Municipal officials have pledged with the invaders to support them in the construction of schools, churches, bridges and roads," denounced the Fundación del Río, dedicated to environmental protection work in the area.
The authorities of the mayor of El Castillo did not confirm or deny the complaint.
According to the complainant organization, about 50 families have invaded the east of the reserve, and "intend to make a farmhouse in a lot of about 10 blocks (seven hectares)", where they allegedly "have cleaned a road", waiting " of the mayor's commitment, to carry out a trail that allows entry to the invasion sector. "
Nicaraguan laws prohibit human settlement in Indio Maíz, however, the environmental NGO maintained that "the support and endorsement of the municipality of El Castillo to colonization processes motivate invading families to stay within the reserve."
A fire that consumed 5,945 hectares of forest in 2018 inspired student protests that served as a prelude to the popular uprising against President Daniel Ortega, which culminated in armed attacks by the Government that left hundreds dead, prisoners or disappeared, thousands of wounded and dozens of thousands in exile, according to humanitarian agencies.
The Nicaraguan government does not provide information on the state of the Southeast Nicaragua Biosphere Reserve, but data from the Fundación del Río indicate that in Indio Maíz alone, 30,000 hectares of forest have been lost in the last decade.