Nicaragua: women’s coop may lose its land

The Nueva Vida Women’s Cooperative Maquiladora (COMAMNUVI), a Nicaraguan women’s sewing cooperative in Ciudad Sandino, just outside Managua, says that it is about to lose its land. According to the cooperative, a certain Yelba Carvajal is suing in court to take over the land because of a typographical error in COMAMNUVI’s land title; the cooperative says it purchased the land from another cooperative in the 1990s and that Carvajal bought some other land from the same cooperative.

Doing business as the Fair Trade Zone, the Nueva Vida cooperative has been operating for nine years, providing employment for 50 people, mostly single mothers. The cooperative has official free trade zone status and says it is the only worker-owned free trade zone in the world. It was formed with the support of the Center for Development in Central America (CDCA), a project of the North Carolina-based Jubilee House Community Inc. foundation, which was invited to Nicaragua in 1993 by former foreign minister Father Miguel D’Escoto. Supporters can write first lady Rosario Murillo (, with a copy to asking her “to investigate this situation and…to assure that justice is done.” (Campaign for Labor Rights Labor Alert, Feb. 8)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Feb. 10

See our last post on Nicaragua.