San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

La Chureca Conflict Ends, Managua Opens Its Purse

Garbage trucks were again allowed to enter Managua’s sprawling La Chureca dump last Friday after protesting trash scavengers who had blocked the dump for more than a month finally reached an agreement with the mayor’s office of Managua.

The protests ended when the municipality agreed to increase the salaries of municipal garbage collectors by 11 million cordobas ($579,000), in exchange for trash crews agreeing not to sort out the recyclable garbage from the trash trucks, leaving the “more valuable” trash for the 120 families who live in La Chureca.Mayor Dionisio “Nicho”Marenco has warned the arrangement is “unenforceable” and shaky at best.

Municipal spokesman Horacio Inarte said the protests also cost the municipality $260,000 in extra transportation expenses to truck Managua’s trash to neighboring dumps for the past month.

The protests had pitted Marenco, a Sandinista, against President Daniel Ortega, who has had problems with Marenco’s popularity and “disobedience” within the party.

Inarte said Managua is still awaiting word from the government of Spain, which is considering a $45 million proposal to close the landfill, build new homes for dumpdwellers and a recycling plant for them to work in, and construct a biomass power plant.


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