Constitutional court rejects appeal over Río San Juan roadway

The Sala IV constitutional court has thrown out a legal challenge to the new roadway that the central government is building parallel to the Río San Juan in northern Costa Rica.

The appeal was lodged by the Fundación Mundial Déjame Vivir en Paz against the Consejo de Seguridad Vial, the country’s road agency, and President Laura Chinchilla.

The appeal was filed in December. The Sala IV gave no reason for its action, although a written decision is likely. The foundation said that there had been no environmental studies or planning for the road and that the needs of the disabled were not taken into account.

The road is a hurry-up job designed to open up the northern area to transport so that residents there can avoid the river, which is Nicaraguan territory.
Casa Presidencial quickly applauded the court action. The route is designated Ruta 1856, Juan Rafael Mora Porras, a name that has political overtones. Mora led the war in 1856 to oust U.S. filibuster William Walker, who wanted to take over Central America.

Costa Rica is engaged in a legal battle at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, over Nicaragua’s invasion of its territory near the mouth of the river.

Also Wednesday, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said it would begin new work on some 20 kilometers of the highway in two weeks. The project will be to put down more gravel. The section is between La Trocha and Medio Queso.

Nicaragua also has raised the environmental issue, claiming that Costa Rica was causing damage to the river by building the highway.

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