Costa Rican environmentalist in exile in Nicaragua

Costa Rican environmentalist in exile in Nicaragua

Alberto Cabezas is a Costa Rican environmentalist who now finds himself in exile in Nicaragua. Cabezas is president of a Costa Rican environmental group that asked its country’s Supreme Court to issue an injunction against the highway being built next to the San Juan River for 120 kilometers. He was told not to return to his homeland after arriving in Nicaragua to spend Christmas and New Years with friends. Cabezas said he was confident that his petition to the Constitutional Panel of the Court would be heard sympathetically because one of the members has a doctorate in environmental law. 

He received messages on Facebook, however, telling him that it would be better for him to remain in Nicaragua because he was not seen as a true Costa Rican in his homeland. He has been denounced in his country’s newspapers and called a traitor on his Facebook page. He didn’t want to talk to reporters about death threats he has reportedly received. “What really motivated me,” he said, “was when our president said to Daniel Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, that she was not going to give him any information about the highway. She didn’t open up channels for peace. How can it be that our country, which talks so much about peace, acts that way?”

(La Prensa, Dec. 29; El Nuevo Diario, Dec. 27, 2011)

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