From Thu Oct 16 11:25:04 2003
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 10:59:46 -0500 (CDT)
From: Nicaragua Network <>
Subject: Nicaragua Network Hotline
Article: 165780
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

MARENA Exhibits Confusion over Free Trade Zone Contamination

Nicaragua Network Hotline, 29 September 2003

In response to press reports that Free Trade Zone factories were seriously polluting waters which served local communities and drained into Lake Xolotlan (Lake Managua), high-level MARENA (Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources) officials were in open contradiction. On the one hand, Roger Perez Elizondo, departmental delegate for Los Brasiles just outside Managua, denied that the local FTZ was polluting the lake, while Hilda Espinoza, MARENA Director of Environmental Regulation, claimed the FTZ situation was out of control. Perez Elizondo assured reporters that all of the Los Brasiles factories were supervised and that all were in compliance with the law. The outflow waters which pass through local communities and into Xolotlan are being treated, he insisted. They represent no danger to the lake whatsoever. However his colleague said equally firmly, There is contamination. It is not confined just to residual waters, either. There's the whole question of the zones' solid wastes, and how to deal with them.

Whatever you say about these particular factories at this particular time, trade zone contamination is a major problem, she went on. There's the solid waste and the residual water situation is uncontrollable. To date, MARENA has sanctioned three FTZ textile factories, Nien Hsing, Shung Shing and Chentex (Masaya) for releasing untreated toxic materials into the local environment.