of the Indigenous communities affected
by the proposed Boruca Hydro-electric Project, Costa Rica.
WE, men and women, inhabitants of the South Zone of Costa Rica,
- In the 1970’s, the Costa Rican governement, through the Costa
Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), began studies on the river
Térraba for the so called Boruca Hydro-electric project (PHB),
which, if realized, will be the biggest project of its kind
in Central America, with the capacity to produce 1,500 Megawatts
of electricity, more than the total produced by all the existing
hydro-electric projects in the country, combined.
- The constuction of the PHB will require the flooding of 25,000
hectares of land pertaining to the indigenous reserves of Boruca,
Babagra, Rey Curré, Salitre, Térraba and Ujarrás, among others.
- As a consequence, thousands of members of the communities
that today inhabit these lands will be relocated to other areas
of the country. The figures reveal that this movement will affect,
in principle, 1000 estates, 350 local businesses and approximately
1200 families, adding to a long list of people displaced by
hydro-electric projects around the world.
- The potentially affected indigenous populations run the risk
of suffering expropriation of their lands by public entities,
without any legal foundation.
- Until now, the ICE has facilitaded the affected communties,
however, the information is superficial; access to written,
broad and detailed information about the true consequences of
the PHB is blocked.
- With these acts, the government is not complying with the
Indigenous Law (No. 6127 of 29th November 1977) and the convention
about Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries
(Law No. 7316 of 3rd November 1992), better known as Convention
169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO)
- Besides which, the Costa Rican government will be uncompliant
with the International Covention for the Conservation of Wetlands,
better known as the Ramsar Convention (see www.ramsar.org),
as, if the PHB is realized, the Térraba River will be divided
and the ecosystems sustained by the river will be irreversibly
damaged, as is the case with the famous Térraba-Sierpe Wetlands,
the main Ramsar site of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica (30,654
Hectares) and one of the principle mangrove swamps in Central
- Our history, our identity and our cosmovision are, since forgotten
times, intrinsically linked to the land, the rivers and all
of nature in our territories. Separation of our territories
for us is like death.
THEREFORE WE STATE:
- Our absolute OPPOSITION to the Boruca Hydro-Electric Project.
- We call for NATIONAL and INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY.
- We urge all international financial entities to abstain from
financing this project.