The conflicts over land continues in Indio-Maíz

On August 5th David Martinez was transferred to the nearest hospital, located in the community Boca de Sabalos in El Castillo, because he was shot in the face in his home at Cristo Rey, a community settled illegally in the core area of Indio Maiz Biological Reserve.

According to some people from the area, this person sells the land inside the reserve, a practice that has increased in the last years due to the institutional abandonment of the area.

The land sellers take advantage of the corruption of the authorities to get land in an illegal way and sell it to buyers who arrive from other parts of the country. Usually the same land is sold in several occasions which provokes conflicts which in many cases ends with death.

An acre of land in the reserve can cost between 4 and 10 thousand C$, according to the area and the condition. The less forest in the land the more expensive it is because it is mainly used to cattle.

According to the chief of police in El Castillo, they are aware of this and they are following up on the case even though they haven’t been able to solve it. On the other hand the organization MARENA mentioned they do not know about this case even though they said they have information about other conflicts within the reserve.

In the hospital in Boca de Sabalos, we were informed that Mr. Martinez was transferred to San Carlos where he is in a stable condition. The question remains, when are the authorities going to stop the illegal land trade in the core zone of the reserve.