Electricity, Indigenous People, Development

In Costa Rica the high electricity rates are driving out foreign investment while indigenous opposition impedes progress of the construction of a 650 MW hydroelectric power plant.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It is time that the region starts to balance conservation policies with the needs of development so as to allow an escape from poverty for those who are currently held down by it and who at the same time are holding the rest of society hostage.

Three years after having started studies and investing $129 million in feasibility studies and design of the Diquis hydroelectric dam, the project has stalled pending a consultation process with native indigenous communities in the area.

"The (indigenous) consultation is vital in order to complete the environmental impact study which must be subjected to scrutiny by the national environmental technical secretariat (Setena)."

"With the Diquís we are in one of those endless discussions in which Costa Rica seems to have been engaged and wasted part of its energy and its ability to reach a consensus,' said the Minister of environment and energy Rene Castro in an article on Nacion.com, who urged the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad to make an effort to speed up the procedures."

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More on this topic

Revival of El Diquís Hydroelectric Project in Costa Rica

March 2016

A story that has now been going on for twenty years could be resumed with the adoption of a legal framework to be used to consult with the natives living in the area where the 650 MW plant would be built.


Finally, there is a legal framework to start once and for all the "intercultural dialogue" that is needed to give the green light to the construction of one of the most important hydroelectric projects for the future energy supply of the country.

How to Ensure Eternal Poverty for Indigenous People

December 2015

In Costa Rica a 650 MW hydropower project in which $129 million has already been invested, has made no progress in 20 years, pending an "intercultural dialogue" which has not even begun.


The problem is not that infrastructure is to be built in indigenous territories without dialogue .

Never Enough Electricity

June 2015

The great hydroelectric project in southern Costa Rica, is back on the discussion table, with debate centering around the necessary vision on future energy supply versus the strong opposition by indigenous and environmentalist groups.

An article on Crhoy.com reports that "...

Hydroelectric Megaplant at Risk in Costa Rica

April 2011

Complaints by indigenous natives from the El Diquís area are jeopardizing the project.

The native peoples in the area where the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) intends to develop a mega hydroelectric power generation say their land has been usurped without right.