Nicaragua’s National Police don’t have the authority to confiscate trucks or horsedrawn carriages being used to dump trash illegally throughout the city, despite the vice mayor’s call for police to crack down on such dumping, according to police spokeswoman Vilma Reyes.
“As I understand the law, it doesn’t order that we confiscate vehicles (of illegal dumpers) without a judge or a prosecutor’s order as part of an investigation” she told The Nica Times.
Reyes’ comments come after Managua Vice Mayor Neri Orochena asked police to confiscate the transportation of illegal dumpers who dispose of their trash in 700 illegal open-air dumps around the capital.
Orochena has called for a crackdown on dumping that would also include jail time for illegal dumpers, a reform that would have to be approved by the city council, according to city spokesperson Linda Guaramus.
The Managua municipality, which recently received donated dump trucks from Italy, has only 80 dump trucks for trash pick-up in this garbage-ridden city of 2 million.
The municipality is also considering a proposal to organize small-scale trash pickups with bicycles or motorcycles to round up neighborhood trash in one point so that dump trucks can make quicker stops, according to Guaramus.
The garbage issue in Managua is already shaping up to be a central campaign issue in the upcoming mayoral elections between Sandinista candidate Alexis Arguello and Liberal candidate Eduardo Montealegre.