Nicaragua’s agricultural frontier is on the march


Pearl Watson, a nurse and community leader in the Atlantic-coast village of Monkey Point, fears for the health of the surrounding forest. If you could fly west from Monkey Point, she says, “You would see all kinds of lines. They are advancing.” The lines mark the 125-acre (50-hectare) plots opened with fire and machetes by peasants moving east from Nicaragua’s agricultural Pacific region. Some come illegally, others with the blessing of government authorities. And every year, the swath of tropical rainforest covering eastern Nicaragua becomes thinner. All of which adds up to a crucial test for Enrique Bolaños, Nicaragua’s president-elect. Bolaños, who this month defeated Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega in national elections, faces myriad problems—the most immediate being severe unemployment... [Log in to read more]

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