Was Nicaragua Right About the Tico RSJ Border Road?

When Costa Rica started construction on a road along the Rio San Juan there was a salvo of politic-speak going back and forth between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Costa Rica claimed the road was needed to protect its interests against Nicaraguan agression. Nicaragua claimed that the road was causing environmental damage in the area and, in particular, the river itself.

The boarder is the south shore of the river. That is, the river is entirely in Nicaraguan territory. Thus, the Costa Rican construction, while within Costa Rican territory was a serious environmental issue. Costa Rica denied there was an issue.

Today, I found an article titled Authorities hoping to prevent the rain from washing out Nicaragua border road in Tico Times. From the article

Engineers from the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) and the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) are preparing a contingency plan to prevent the rains from washing out Route 1856, a road along Río San Juan in the border with Nicaragua.

As much of the road is extremely close to the river, it is safe to assume that if part of the road does wash out, the material will end up in Nicaragua's river.

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``Engineers from the Public

``Engineers from the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) and the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) are preparing a contingency plan to prevent the rains from washing out Route 1856, a road along Río San Juan in the border with Nicaragua. ``

That`s what public works engineers are supposed to do! Any construction involves hazards and environmental impacts and responsible builders try to mitigate them. Costa Rica has a right to develop its northern areas just as Nic. has a right to develop its southern areas. And , as wimpy as CR is for not having an Army, it still has the right to defend its national territorry. If it had the money, I`m sure Honduras would be building a road, too!

We have the same drill in southern Arizona. Watermelon environmentalists oppose border roads on the US side but ignore the environmental damage done by illegal aliens and drug dealers. The US has a right to a southern border road just as Mexico has a right to its southern border road to help keep out problems coming fron Guatemala.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

More tails of woe from the road to nowhere.

http://www.laprensa.com.ni/2012/06/12/ambito/104793-nuevo-allanamiento-c...

COSTA RICA

The National Emergency Commission (CNE), one of the institutions responsible for the construction of the failed border highway, was raided again this morning by the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) and prosecutors looking for evidence of alleged corruption in this way.

The raid was at the CNE headquarters in Pavas, west of San José, the capital, to seize information on payments made by the government to construction companies that worked on the road.

The CNE disbursed the money, about 40 million total, and the National Roads Authority began construction of the road by emergency decree issued by the government led by Laura Chinchilla.

This is the second time that the judicial authorities have raided that office since last week OIJ, prosecutors and judges conducted another 40 raids in several parts of the country in search of evidence.

Except

Costa Rica could and did patrol the border. The Nicaraguan government allowed Costa Rica access to the river for those patrols.

There was an issue that Nicaragua didn't want armed Costa Ricans patrolling the river (which makes sense) but the flow of people from Nicaragua to Costa Rica are poor folks looking for work, not drug runners who are going the other way and is an issue for Nicaragua, I don't buy the reason for the road.

Since the court

decision, Costa Rica wasn't allowed to use the river for patrols. That was the reason for building the road.

and..

river travel isn`t as good as road travel for many things, including shipping goods and materials from San Jose and allowing access to tourists, etc. to develop the area for whatever purpose, a good all-weather road is necesary. This is in addition to the national security issues.

I know how bad roads are for the environment, including all the new roads in northern Nic., but you have to balance environmental needs with other needs. Hopefully the Tico environmental ethic will cause them to preserve a lot of the natural wonders that haven`t already been destroyed without roads. Hooved locusts do more damage in the long run than roads.

The new Nica paved road to San Carlos and the proposed bridge accross the Rio have their environmental costs, and Nicaragua is in a much worse position to mitigate damages, but they are worth it to open up the area and to give the region another international road so it isn`t completely dependent on the Panam.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

dose the border..

change as the river gets wider on the c.r. side..

There was recent talk of a canal again

That should spark another environmental fight.

This new route would keep them apart

I didn't see

whether it was all canal or whether it would be part dry canal (train) like they had discussed once before.

The Rio San Juan has been

The Rio San Juan has been out of consideration for a long time because of environmental and other reasons. The Transit by steam boat went up the river in the 1850s, but that was about the last of it. In the planning for what because the Panama Canal, there were several sites in Nic and Panama/Colombia and the current site won out because the engineers convinced Teddy Roosevelt that it was the shortest and safest (for the ships) route. Politics had nothing to do with it, other than TRs uphill battle to get congress to drop the Nic. route.

Personally, I think the current government is blowing smoke. Panama is in the process of doubling the capacity of their canal, Ungle Sugar is not likely to ante up the money for a Nicaraguan canal, and a canal built by a coalition of dictarorships and roque states would certainly raise a lot of eyebrows in the region.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

i lived in guatamala..

20yrs ago..they were going to build a train track across the country..moved to hondurus..they talked about one..and nica has been talking about one..before the panamal canal..it is a good way for engineering companies to make money..it aint never gone to happen..its not needed

I agree on the skepticism

the Nicaragua will get much done, but a deep water port on the Atlantic and a rail to haul containers at least to Lake Nic. would be more doable than other options and would do wonders for Nicaraguan exports and imports. Currently, much goes thru Honduran ports and then is trucked down the Panam.

Incidently, the construction of the Panama Canal was a railroad project organized by railway engineers brought in from the American west. The gates and locks were small potatoes compared to the task of moving all that dirt and rock, which was done by the rainroads.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

There is also a railroad

There is also a railroad track from coast to coast in Panama - they have that much traffic. The new channel there is for longer and wider boats, the ones that are now called "post-Panama" in size.

There will be too many oil

There will be too many oil rigs to steer ships around! I suspect the Northwest Passage is a reason behind Canada's F-35 purchase.