Mokorón Hill, Nicaragua

City dwellers demonstrate against the urbanization of the Mokorón Hill. One of the last tropical dry forest ecosystem in Central America and the most important aquifer recharge for the water supply in Managua.

The Mokorón hill constitutes the “the last lung” in the city of Managua and its importance stems from its biological diversity, which large quantities of birds species, fauna, flora. Mokorón is also is the refuge of the Guardabarranco (Eumomota superciliosa), which is the national bird of Nicaragua. Furthermore, the Hill is known for its archaeological importance and the memory of the Nicaraguan history; until today there are still remains of young people who died during the Nicaragua’s internal conflict. According to the Centro Humboldt, Mokorón Hill is one of the last tropical dry forest ecosystem in Central America and the most important aquifer recharge for the water supply in Managua. In the past, the Hill was used as a military base and with the fall of the Somoza dictatorship in the seventies, the Hill became property of the Sandinist Army and was later donated to the Instituto de Previsión Social Militar (IPSM). Since 2003 the Hill has been distributed among the high command of the IPSM with the aim to urbanize its areas and sell it. The communities around claim that the Hill belongs to the State and all Nicaraguan people. Due to the urban sprawl, deforestation and an urbanistic project called “Monte Cielo Hill” where the IPSM is the principal developer, the Centro Humboldt, the Movimiento Comunal Nicaragüense and the Comité pro Defensa Cerro Mokorón presented a draft law to declare the Mokorón Hill as a National Park. This effort did not succeed and in 2013 the same organisations presented a new draft law to declare the core area (around 30 ha.) as a natural reserve. The whole area, including the buffer zone, constitutes an area of 716,393 ha. and at the moment 35% of the Hill has been destroyed by a building materials mine called “Nido de Aguila”, an urban development project, a football stadium, houses and hotels. In December 2012, the army built a perimeter wall 5 kilometers causing serious damage to the ecosystem, this action restricts access and visibility to the population at Cerro turn impossible to know the actions that are taking place in the forest.
Basic Data
NameMokorón Hill, Nicaragua
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Urban development conflicts
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
Desarrollo habitacional Monte Cielo Hill
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Project Area (in hectares)716,393
Level of Investment (in USD)unknown
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population1,800,000
Start Date01/04/2003
Company Names or State EnterprisesInstituto de Previsión Social Militar (IPSM) from Nicaragua - Owner
Sociedad Anónima Negocios Inmobiliarios S.A. (NISA) from Nicaragua - owner
Relevant government actorsEjercito Nacional, Gobierno de Nicaragua, Alcaldía de Managua, Asamblea Nacional, Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARENA)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersComité pro Defensa Cerro Mokorón, Movimiento Comunal Nicaragüense (MCN), Centro Humboldt, Juventud Comunal Nicaraguense (JCN), Asociación Martin Luther King (AMLK), Comunidades Eclesiales de Base, Movimiento Comunal Miguel Bonilla, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, Managua (UNAN-Managua)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
young groups
Forms of MobilizationArtistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
On 11 November defenders formed a human chain of 2,000 people demanding that the National Assembly approve the bill to declare Mokoron a national park.
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Global warming, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherEl aumento de los deslaves y erosión del suelo por la deforestación amenaza a las comunidades que viven en sus faldas
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Draft law to declare the Mokoron Hill as a National Park or Natural Reserve
Development of AlternativesThe presentation of a draft law to declare the Mokoron Hill as a National Park or Natural Reserve. Proposals to develop the zone with a sustainable tourism and other activities related with protected areas such as trails for trekking, camping areas, reforestation projects, tree nurseries, and educational facilities.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The damage to the Mokoron Hill continues, the effort to declare the Hill as a National Park did not succeed but the declaration as a natural reserve is undecided.
Sources and Materials

Ley General de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
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Constitución Política de Nicaragua. Artículos 59 y 60 establece que los Nicaragüenses tenemos derecho a la salud y que el Estado establecerá las condiciones básicas para su promoción y protección, igual que el derecho de habitar en un ambiente saludable, siendo obligación del Estado la preservación, la conservación y el rescate del medio ambiente y los recursos naturales
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Ley No. 626, “Ley que crea la comisión de desarrollo sostenible de la cuenca hídrica de los lagos Apanás, Xolotlán y Cocibolca, y del río San Juan". Protege la Cuenca sur de Managua, y en este caso por medio de la Protección del cerro Mokorón, ubicado en la micro-cuenca “D” de la Cuenca sur del Lago Xolotlán
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Centro Humbolt (2010) Reporte de Monitoreo a Zona de Amortiguamiento y Zona Núcleo del Cerro Mokorón
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ALOP (2013). Las organizaciones y movilizaciones sociales por la defensa de los recursos y bienes naturales: Un desafío para la democracia y el Desarrollo en América Latina, IDD capítulo Nicaragua.
[click to view]

Centro Humbolt (2009) Propuesta de lineamientos estratégicos para el plan de manejo del Parque Nacional Cerro Mokoron

Arnoldo Paniagua E. (2008) Documento técnico para la declaración del Cerro Mokorón como Área Protegida
[click to view]


Amalia del Cid (2010) Reportaje Mokorón, el pulmón herido
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Campaña virtual por el Mokorón
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Madrono, Nicolas. La voz del sandinismo (2013) "Promueven proyecto de ley para declarar al Mokorón reserva natural".
[click to view]

Movimiento Comunal Nicaragüense "Lucha permanente por la Defensa y Protección del Cerro Mokorón"
[click to view]

MOKORON Área Protegida Nacional, Parque Nacional (2014) Pronunciamiento juvenil sobre el Cerro Mokorón
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El Nuevo Diario, (julio 2008), Cancelarán permiso de urbanizar en Mokorón
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Hoy, (octubre 2013), Por el Mokorón
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El Nuevo Diario, (julio 2008), "Negocios con Mokorón son todos ilegales"
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Trinchera de la Noticia, (2012), ¿Realizarán esta vez algo en defensa del Mokorón?
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Movimiento Comunal Nicaraguense, (2014), MOKORON Area Protegida Nacional, Parque Nacional
[click to view]

Media Links

Masacre ambiental en Cerro Mokorón, Televicentro
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Other Documents

Manifestacion frente al Parlamento Nacional en el 2009 Pobladores de la colonia “Miguel Bonilla”, estudiantes de la UNAN y oficiales del Centro Humboldt se plantaron frente al Parlamento demandando que se declare el cerro Mokorón Parque Nacional. Manuel Zapata para El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua.
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Campaña de Parque Nacional
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Meta Information
ContributorGrettel Navas, Fundación Neotrópica
Last update15/03/2016