ICE given six months to resolve Diquís conflict

October 4, 2011

The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled Friday to give the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) six months to resolve the on-going conflict with the Térraba indigenous community over the construction of the Diquís hydroelectric dam. Construction of the dam, in the Southern Zone town of Buenos Aires, expected to generate 622 megawatts of electricity per year, would require the flooding of nearly 900 hectares of Térraba territory.

The ruling also deemed the 2008 decree that approved construction to be unconstitutional. The court considered that the boundaries of the hydroelectric project were not properly discussed with the Térraba community prior to commencement of construction.

In February 2008, then-President Oscar Arias approved the construction of the dam, which was deemed a project of “national interest.” Construction began in 2009 though was halted on March 21 when the lawsuit was filed against ICE to force workers off the land.

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