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Of the 60 hydroelectric projects that the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) is considering to build for private power generation, 23 have already been subjected to an environmental impact study submitted to the government’s National Environmental Technical Secretariat. The organizations, social movements and local communities of all over Costa Rica are very concerned about the increasing dams being built in the country.
“The large number of projects shows that they are already applying the new system for call for bids set up by the Government based on laws that are still being discussed in Congress. Add to that the projects already built, plus those that are being planned at ICE, co-operatives, public utility companies and the National Power and Light Company”, reads a document circulated by several groups to call a march on March 13th, in the Costa Rican capital, San Jose, during the celebration of the International Day of Action Against Dams.
The document, which was used as a press release for calling a national demonstration under the name: “Water for the communities, not for business!” highlighted that the march was “in defense of rivers, its ecosystems and communities” and that “political favors increase the proliferation of private dams”.
Mariana and Alejandra Porras, of COECOCEIBA – Friends of the Earth Costa Rica, share with Real World Radio some of the speeches given at San Jose’s public square.
Miguel Sojo spoke about the struggle in defense of Pacuare river, while Osvaldo Duran of the Costa Rican section of the Latin American Network Against Dams and for Rivers, its Communities and Water (REDLAR) spoke about the bill on Electric Contingency. Finally, MP and former presidential candidate for the Frente Amplio party, Jose Maria Villalta, focused his speech on the proliferation of hydroelectric projects in Costa Rica.
Imagen: COECOCEIBA – Amigos de la Tierra Costa Rica.
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