Marchers seeking to protect wetlands surprise backhoe operator

The estimated 80 marchers included some municipal officials of Santo Domingo de Heredia and of Moravia, said organizers. Photo: Comité Bandera Azul Ecológica de San Miguel et al.

Marchers protesting work near the Río Agra said they were surprised Sunday to find a backhoe digging in a wetland near the river.

The Río Agra is the boundary between the cantons of Moravia and Coronado, and a consortium of private groups there have been protesting development work.

This is the backhoe marchers spotted. Photo: Photo by Comité Bandera Azul Ecológica de San Miguel et al.

The organizations reported in a Sunday press release that a wetland that was there in 2005 and 2006 has been drained. They are asking national and local officials to stop the work and protect the remaining wetlands.

There were about 80 marchers, the organizations said. They also reported that they haled a Fuerza Pública patrol car seeking action against the operator of the backhoe. However, they reported, officers declined to take action because the backhoe had stopped digging.

It was not enough to have the testimony of 80 persons or the presence of Santo Domingo de Heredia municipal officials or videos taken by individuals before the police arrived, said the press release.

The river provides water for about 14,000 persons in Santo Domingo, the organization said. Marching were members of Comité Bandera Azul Ecológica de San Miguel, the Consejo de Distrito de Pará, the Asociación TASBAYAM and the Movimiento Comunal AGRAdecido con el Río Agrá, and residents of Tornillal de Moravia, of San Isidro de Heredia, of San Gerónimo de Moravia, of Coronado, of Santa Barbara, and of various districts of Santo Domingo, the organizations said. Also marching were professors, university students and students from the Escuela Ecológica Braulio Carillo de San Gerónimo.

The organizations also said they replaced placards that had vanished from where they had been placed earlier.

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