Bianca Jagger leads Nicaragua canal protest

Nicaraguan former actres and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger called on Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega to scrap the canal project (AFP Photo/INTI OCON) (AFP/File)

La Fonseca (Nicaragua) (AFP) - Celebrity rights activist Bianca Jagger lent star power on Tuesday to a protest against the building of a major canal in her native Nicaragua.

The 72-year-old is a former actress and ex-wife of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger.

She joined dozens of demonstrators who marched in La Fonseca, a remote village on a dirt track, where her visit caused a commotion.

They say La Fonseca and other places along the proposed canal route will be destroyed by the project.

"I am here to give them my support and to show them that they are not alone, that their cause is just," Jagger told AFP.

She called on Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega to scrap the project.

They were protesting against plans to build a major waterway that Nicaragua's leader hopes will rival the Panama Canal to the south.

Nicaragua has authorized Chinese firm HKND to build and operate the canal.

Activists estimate that between 30,000 and 120,000 people could be displaced from their land by the development.

They have challenged the project at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.