Chinandega, Leon, Managua, Rivas and Esteli are the most affected departments, where entire estates have been invaded and divided into lots.
By Martha Vasquez, Saul Martineez and Roy Moncada (laprensa.com.ni)
HAVANA TIMES — Invasions of private properties have increased swiftly in different Nicaraguan departments, including Managua, in recent days. People affected have reported that land-takers are taking advantage of the country’s socio-political crisis and the National Police’s decision to not deal with such illegal actions, which is making legal uncertainty in the country worse.
Invasions go hand-in-hand with fences being torn down, trees being cut down and private properties being looted. Chinandega, Leon, Managua, Rivas and Esteli are the most affected departments, where entire estates have been invaded and divided into lots.
El Viejo, Villanueva, El Realejo and Chichigalpa are some of the most affected municipalities in Chinandega. Most of the lands being taken are used for small-scale mining, dairy farming, agricultural lands, old cotton processing plants and baseball fields.
One of the 18 properties that have been invaded in Chinandega belonged to the San Miguel Foods Industry, located on the exit towards El Viejo, where land-takers destroyed motors and storage facilities, Oscar Gonzalez, the manager of this company, reported.
Land is also being invaded in the capital
On Tuesday, residents on the capital’s outskirts came to Managua and invaded lands located on the edge of the Surburban Highway, at km 8 on the Southern Highway, heading towards the monument of the Sandino Memorial neighborhood. You can see women and men with machetes here, cutting hills and tree branches to divide up the land into lots.
Property invasions in this part of Managua began on June 18th in the community known as San Patricio, on the remains of a land bordered by the church which shares the same name. Part of this property has been reclaimed by the Lumen Christi Catechist Missionaries, although the invaders are claiming that they aren’t touching the land that belongs to the religious missionaries and that’s why they are fenced.
Plus, Sergio Torres Cruz claimed to be the owner of 25 parcels of land in the San Patricio community, on the Suburban Highway, because he is Humberto Torres Molina’s heir. He said that he wouldn’t cause trouble with the over 80 families who invaded this space because it’s the Government’s responsibility to resolve this issue and give him compensation.
Kelly Gutierrez, one of the women who went to take a 10×20 yard lot there, claimed that she found out that they were dividing up the land into lots from a neighbor in the Pochocuape region and decided to go because she lives “with her family”, with her mother, and it was a chance for her to get her own piece of land.
Other settlers dedicated themselves to marking out lots with rope and explained that if the Government didn’t give them a property, then they would take this land, because the alleged owner (referring to Sergio Torres) told them that he had no problem with them taking it.
The Ecologica Progresiva Planes de los Brasiles complex, which was developed by the Institute for Sustainable Development (INDES), was another one of the properties that was invaded. It was taken illegally on June 13th by 300 people who are occupying about 70 parcels of land.
The invaders argue that these lands belong to the Nicaraguan State, where they have cut down trees and put up shacks with the intention of staying, Antonio Belli, INDES’ president, said.
In Managua, several lands have been taken, one in the 18 de Mayo neighborhood, in an area which Managua City Hall declared uninhabitable in 2014, after a retaining wall collapsed and killed nine people in October that year.
Approximately 200 men armed with shotguns violently stormed Romulo Sanchez and his wife’s property in Villanueva, Chinandega, and kicked them out without their belongings on June 11th, taking control of it. Deleyda, the couple’s daughter, reported that her parents are now staying a someone else’s home.
This property has 720 parcels of land and has belonged to the couple for over 36 years. “Paramilitaries have usurped this property and they protect themselves by taking children along to the invasion,” Sanchez said.