Activists reject Project Diquís: Costa Rica

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Faced with the announcement of the president of the republic for the reactivation of the Diquis Hydroelectrics the indigenous and environmentalists of Costa Rica came out and tell President Rodrigo Chaves that this type of destructive megaproject are history and that we must return to the future.

Pablo Sibar, leader Brerán, said that indigenous peoples will fight to the death because a project like this is not carried out. “The state of the river is regrettable today – this year it almost looked like a ravine, no longer saw water, imagine that river (Térraba) with a dam,” Sibar said.

For the leader Bre’rán rather the president should be thinking of “deturning the land to us and that these lands regenerate into forest and have an abundant water again so that the river does not die, so that the river continues to live. And if the river dries up, what’s up? If the river no longer exists, how are we gonna feed the Térraba wetland?

Sibar finally sentenced us to think about the future of the country, let’s think that the world has to regenerate in order to continue living, so that future generations have a little more atmosphere.

The leader Luisa Bejarano of the people Ngabe Buglé and the National Front of Indigenous Peoples (FRENAPI) reminded the ruler that a few years ago he was paralyzed by the indigenous peoples, that we do not agree to that project, because sincerely it comes to destroy more, to take away the right of the indigenous people for the benefit of the great landowners and the government.

He recalled that the struggle of a few years ago brought together more than 500 indigenous people in Térraba and that if necessary – there will be more than 500 people, because we are all ready to defend our rights, as much as water, land and nature.

Meanwhile Fabián Pacheco ecologist of the Bloverde stressed that these types of destructive megaprojects are part of the past and recalled the unfortunate state in which the agro-industry has the river: “made wood and is full of sediments, so in addition to the project not going to serve them, it will end up causing serious damage to the wetland of the Térraba Sierpe a RAMSAR site, a heritage of humanity.”

Pacheco recalled that environmentalists and the indigenous movement of Costa Rica, we have been able to defend the river Térraba, so repressing and destroying it, is unacceptable. In addition, he found that they will not solve the energy crisis by doing such destruction because that dam is going to take years of years to build it. It is time to seek solutions more according to a new humanity and a project that is truly sustainable and that we learn from the indigenous people who have been able to live in this country without destroying it.

Paulino Nájera of the Indigenous Territory of Brirán-Térraba said that the river is not only a little water running, but it is life. It is life for the peoples who live on the margins, who have lived historically and for those wetlands such as the Traba Sierpe. The river Térraba that bears our name, it is a brother, it is a friend, it is an ally, it is a living being that has fed our peoples for generations.

Danny Nájera Díaz, recoverer of Crun Yaigó from the indigenous territory of Térraba, assure us that we will be forced to migrate, let our lands, our territories unite, our ancestral places where we have our whole life and experience, many older people, children, children who will have to leave to an uncertain place and forced to these situations so that a state says that is a development, so they call a development, while they continue to see us as objects or well-dwelling to us the original peoples.

Finally, they remind the president that the legal fight already succeeded in 2022 in 2022 that the Constitutional Chamber declared unconstitutional Decree 34312, for violating the principle of irreducibility of the forest, the principle of the reservation of law and the unique non-derogability of the norm, by violating the provisions of the Indigenous Law and also the lack of consultation of indigenous peoples, according to Article 6, of the ILO Convention.

Mega Impacts of the PH Diquís

The PH DIQUIS could affect more than 365 species of terrestrial animals that inhabit the forests that would be flooded. In addition, it would lead to the disappearance of 13 species of fish that are not found anywhere else in the world.

The PH Diquís will cause sediment to the Humedal Toérraba-Sierpe. With this, mangrove forests can be reduced and some of their biodiversity lost. This generates a negative effect on fishing activity, both upstream and downstream (including the Térraba Sierpe wetland), due to changes in the influx of the River Térraba.

The reservoir of the PH DIQUIS would flood 108 archaeological sites, thus losing much of the millennial history of our villages, as well as the possibility of explaining the enigma represented by the spheres of the delta of the Diquís.

In the specific case of Térraba, several sacred sites would be affected, for example: a series of ancestral cemeteries, in addition to the flooding of all caves on the banks of the river, as well as the modification of the channel of the Treba, will alter the ways of life of the indigenous peoples. In addition, the practices of the population used by the river as a transport route, use irrigation channels, or persist through fishing, would be impacted.

This artice has been translated after first appearing on El Pais