REPORT 2020

REPORT
Sociopolitical situation of Nicaragua

In Nicaragua nothing is normal, although the authorities strive to build a fictional scenario.

The people were outraged and protested after observing the violent aggression suffered by older adults (retired), who were protesting against social security reform on April 18, 2018.

On April 18, 2018, it represents for Nicaraguans, a civic revolution that the regime was responsible for turning it into a national mourning, which brought with it repression, pain and weeping for thousands, who to this day continue to suffer siege, persecution, physical and verbal aggressions, murders and even disappearances and exile.

What caused the civic uprising was an unpopular social security reform, which later became a demand for resignation by the representative Daniel Ortega.

On 22 April President Ortega overturned the Social Security reforms that led to the protests, but the citizen’s dissatisfaction continued and remains to date due to the abuses committed by the government, which unleashed against the unarmed population aggressive police and para-police repression.

Being an opponent of Daniel Ortega’s totalitarian regime translates to being a terrorist, jailer, coup, sells homeland, imperialist and other qualifiers who keep the Nicaraguan population divided and confronted by the same government policies, fanaticism and impunity where the fundamental rights inherent in human beings and everything contemplated in the Political Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua are daily disrespected.

Insecurity and instability

These are the figures that the first month of the year 2020 leaves us, numbers that have only been on the rise since 2018 as a result of the economic insecurity and instability caused by the regime.

Nicaraguans have to simply refrain from their right to express themselves, inform themselves and be informed by independent means that do not reproduce the “hate” discourse promoted by the regime of Daniel Ortega and which keeps fractional, totally divided to the Nicaraguan family.

Repression figures

Since April 2018 Nicaragua has been experiencing a socio-political crisis that has left at least 328 dead, according to the IACHR, although local agencies raise the number to 651 and the Government recognizes 200 and denounces an alleged coup attempt.

According to the register updated in January 2020, the Blue and White National Unit, registers 148 political prisoners; 6 indigenous peoples killed by hand of invading colones; 10 missing.

Nicaraguan society but above all relatives of political prisoners demand greater pressure from the regime of Daniel Ortega to achieve the immediate release of political prisoners, which after the leaders were imprisoned Students and self-convened in the media, those still in prisons have been forgotten, continue to suffer the unjust imprisonment and inhumane torture to which they are subjected by the jailers.

The figures are joined by the thousands of injured and dozens of people with permanent psychological and physical consequences (people with firearm injuries, stones, balines, marbles, beatings), some were left in wheelchairs, others lost some member of their body and even without one of his eyes. As well as torture and kidnapping.

As for the exiles, the figure varies because the fluid of Nicaraguan migrants fleeing the socio-political and economic crisis occurs daily.

There are more than 6851 exiles in Spain and Nicaraguans’ applications for international protection increased by 360% in 2019.

The Spanish authorities value As a record year in applications for international protection of Nicaraguans.

Between the first of January and 30 November 2019, 5,483 Nicaraguans applied for protection from Nicaragua, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior. The figures show that, far from decreasing, the number of exiles has tripled compared to last year, when 1,368 asylum applications were received.

55% of exiles are men and 45% are women. Most have settled in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Seville, Murcia and other cities.

For its part, the IACHR counts 328 dead and 88,000 exiled by the crisis in Nicaragua. It also registers more than 50000 Nicaraguans in Costa Rica.

But the number of exiles in other countries such as Panama, El Salvador, Mexico, the United States and European countries, have not been supplied by official entities.

Of the 328 deceased, 24 are children and adolescents, according to the report entitled “Situation of human rights in Nicaragua” and prepared by the Monitoring Mechanism of Nicaragua (Meseni), of the IACHR.

Another 21 dead are National Police officers, according to “repression figures,” updated until October 5, 2019.

Costa Rican Chancellor Manuel Ventura recently said the number of refugees will go from 70,000 to 100,000. Although Costa Rica has delivered more than 30,000 refugee cards, the lawsuit has imploded the system, according to a report on the AA page October 2019.

Retaliation to workers, teachers and students

Another retaliation against citizens was the dismissal of workers and the expulsion of university students and teachers who were inserted into anti-government protests.

In addition, more than 400 health professionals have been dismissed by the state, and 144 students from public universities expelled in retaliation by the Ortega government. Most of them have had to go into exile.

There are also more than 90 journalists and independent media workers exiled mainly for security reasons, after receiving threats, siege, harassment and persecution.

Lack of justice

Judicial proceedings are riddled with irregularities. The judiciary has interpreted Nicaragua’s electoral laws in favour of the FSLN party, to the interests of the totalitarian regime.

Because the justice system and other public bodies are generally subordinate to Ortega and the FSLN, there is little chance that corruption allegations against government officials will see a thorough investigation or prosecution. Corruption charges against high-ranking government officials are rare, while corruption cases against opposition figures are often criticized for being politically motivated.

No freedom of assembly (According to a Freedom House publication in December 2019)

Freedom of assembly deteriorated severely in 2018, when more than 300 people were killed and at least 2,000 injured in a fierce crackdown on an anti-government protest movement that began in April, after authorities announced reforms to social security. Most of the abuses have been attributed to the national police and allied armed groups, which the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in an August report that they operate with “total impunity”. OHCHR noted some cases of violence by anti-government protesters, but said there was no evidence of such violence being planned or coordinated, and that the police, with the help of allied forces, responded with lethal force to non-lethal threats. The office concluded that “most of the protesters were peaceful.”

As the movement continued, the authorities moved to restrict the demonstrations. In July, the government passed the Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and The Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act, which has drafted vague provisions that broaden the definition of terrorism. Convicts of the law, which was widely seen as a tool to intimidate and prosecute anti-government protesters, can receive sentences of up to 20 years. In September, the National Police issued a statement stating that unauthorized marches and demonstrations were “illegal. “Police subsequently denied permits for public demonstrations and occupied public spaces to avoid protests.

By mid-2018, more than 1,900 people had been arrested for participating in protests, according to CENIDH. Amnesty International reported that some had been charged with terrorism, while hundreds more were detained without charge. The IACHR reported in December that more than 500 people were detained in connection with actions taken during the protests.

Organizations are not free to do their free work either

Groups critical of the government or focusing on issues such as corruption have operated within an increasingly restrictive environment under Ortega’s administration, which among other things has used registration laws to stify its sources of funding.

Since April 2018, human rights defenders and leaders of civil society organizations have suffered severe harassment, arbitrary detention and arbitrary expulsion. During the year, nine prominent civil society opposition organizations had to revoke their legal status, raided their offices and took away their property.

Formation of the National Coalition

Daniel Ortega, current president of Nicaragua, could achieve his fourth term in power in 2021, due to the lack of unity of the Nicaraguan opposition, which is marked by a “presidential fever”, according to Mauricio Díaz, Nicaragua’s former ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS).

At the moment there are 18 political parties with legal personality, most of which are allies of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), which is an obstacle to achieving unity in the opposition.

“There are movements in the territories, there is a lot of personal prominence, some are trying to sell theself as great leaders, but ideally steer all that effort towards a common goal and that’s the hard part,” Mauricio Diaz explained.

“There is no structure, no organization, no party, without a programme of political change, you are not going to provoke the phenomenon of a civic insurrection,” Diaz said.

They demand democratization and free elections

On January 17, 2020, the Civic Alliance and UNAB presented the Grand National Coalition.

The oppositions Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, and Blue and White National Unity, which in recent days had announced a strategic separation, reported the creation of the National Coalition, and invited Nicaraguans to join it, to join it, to to restore democracy.

Opponents did not specify whether the new National Coalition will become a political party, ahead of the 2021 elections, which they hope to be ahead of schedule, but made it clear that they will pressure the Ortega government for electoral reforms that allow some “free, fair, transparent, and observed” elections.

After the unification of the opposition, common interests must be put first. As in 1989 as the National Opposition Union (UNO) did, a process of governing unity must be ensured that the candidates who will represent the opposition in the elections are chosen.

“This is a call to start this process of a National Coalition, which fundamentally generates a change in the way we do politics, that exclusion is eliminated,” said Alliance executive director Juan Sebastián Chamorro.

Violations of press freedom

As of April 18, 2018, journalists, cameramen and photo journalists, as well as some media outlets began to receive siege, censorship and destruction of their equipment and real estate. They were also objects of verbal and physical aggression, abduction (theft with force), from their cell phones and technological equipment in order to make it impossible for the acts of violence and repression to be recorded as evidence of extreme repression by government supporters, officials from state entities and mayors linked to the ruling party also actively participated in paramilitaries and police.

  • On 20 April 2018, government supporters and paramilitaries, burned and destroyed Radio Dario in the city of León, were intended to kill all the workers (14 people), who were inside and on 21 April of the same year they murdered the p eriodist Angel Gahona in the city of Bluefields, during he was covering for an anti-government protest.
  • Closure of Canal 100% News and incarceration of its owner Miguel Mora and its chief information company Lucia Pineda Ubau. It was closed on 21 December in the evening, 2018 by the National Police who raided the facilities. Television was the only television in the country that broadcast 24-hour news about Nicaragua’s political crisis since April. However, 100% News was also taken off the air for six days when the crisis erupted in April.
  • At the time, Mauricio Madrigal, head of information of Channel 10, which broadcasts the news Action 10, reported that this channel, as well as Channel 9 and Channel 11 were also taken out of the cable companies. In addition to the siege of journalists and administrative workers of that media.
  • The Nicaraguan State held for more than 75 weeks raw material from the written medium La Prensa, it was until 7 February that the Directorate-General for Customs Services (DGA) authorized the delivery of the supplies for the printing of the newspaper.
  • The most important newspapers; The Nuevo Diario y La Prensa suffered significant economic losses by having to limit the pull of editions.
  • In addition, the Editorial Group La Prensa also closed El Periódico “Hoy” in its digital edition. In December 2019, the Newspaper La Prensa announced the closure of the print edition of the weekly satirical supplement “El Azote”, after almost 25 years of Sunday publications, because the regime retained its role.
  • Meanwhile, the newspaper La Prensa, the oldest newspaper in Nicaragua, announced on Sunday the closure of its print edition.
  • ND Media, of Nicaragua’s financial group Promerica, owns El Nuevo Diario, as well as the Rotary Metro, Q hubo (closed in December 2018), and the Maje digital medium, all were shut down.
  • Sergio León, owner of Radio La Costeñita, reported that in July 2018 he was besieged and threatened with death. “Sell homelands” was one of the menacing pints that people linked to the government party made on the walls of their home and on the station’s premises.
  • According to national and international human rights reports, around 90 journalists are accounted for in exile.
  • Both journalists and media owners are also falling victim to what is called “advertising asphyxiation,” as well as the loss of job sources amounting to more than 500 workers, both journalists and administrative staff.
  • Radio Corporación is another communication company that has been the victim of threats and siege by the regime. On some occasions it has been boycelled in its signal and have even tried against its transmission tower and assaulted its workers.
  • After 22 months of public protest, journalists and the media continue to resist abuses for the right to report and be informed, denouncing human rights violations by the Ortega regime.

Attack on the Catholic Church:

In Nicaragua there are direct attacks on Catholic temples, hierarchical (0bispos), and priests. The church of divine mercy was an example of the brutal repression against opponents of the government.

The Archbishop of Managua, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, made the decision to suspend the procession after receiving calls telling him that there could be incidents. “There could be accidents (riots), I imagine, ” replied Brenes to reporters’ questions. He didn’t reveal the names of the people who called him. While in the Eucharist, parishioners and priests were besieged by police forces.

Exile of priests

The auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, Monsignor Silvio Báez, confirmed that “there are two or three” (priests) who have had to go into exile. Although the religious did not mention the names of priests who have resorted to exile, he did state in a short way that they have done so for “different reasons”, but acknowledged that most have left the country “as a precaution of their lives” in the face of the death threats they have re heard after the events in the nation after April 18, 2018.

The auxiliary bishop of Managua, Silvio Báez, was transferred to Rome for an indeterminate period, as announced by him at a press conference. The transfer has been the decision of Pope Francis, surely motivated by the danger that the bishop’s life is in.

Failure of national dialogue and non-compliance with agreements

Attempts to reach a solution to the socio-political crisis went through the implementation of a national dialogue, between opponents grouped together in the Blue and White National Unity and the Civic Alliance, and as a counterpart the representatives of the government, where the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua served as mediator. The results of hours of conversations yielded little results, after several attempts to resume these talks there was a suspension of the dialogue that failed to be installed.

International management

The country that is in the middle of a social, political and economic crisis that, in addition to hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands in exile, has left a significant reduction in advertisers, closed media and others about to collapse.

Democratic countries around the world have spoken out against the repressive policies implemented by the Nicaraguan government. National and international human rights organizations have joined this clamour for the democratization of Nicaragua.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Acnudh) agree to hold the Ortega Government accountable for the violence in Nicaragua.

A special commission of the OAS is working on the process of implementing the Democratic Charter for Nicaragua, which could suspend the agency’s country.

A report by an OAS diplomatic commission, published on Tuesday 19 November 2019, has concluded that there is an alteration of the constitutional order that severely affects the democratic order in Nicaragua.

The high-level commission of the OAS, in its report presented last December to the permanent council, decreed that the control and subordination mechanisms that the Government of Nicaragua has been developing towards the other powers of the state, including the powers of the legislation, judiciary, electoral, among others make the democratic functioning of the country unfeasible, transforming it into a collapsed state and incompatible with the rule of law.

Therefore, in the permanent council of the OAS there is already a draft motion for a resolution on the measures to be imposed on the regime in Nicaragua, on the basis of the report of the Commission of the High.

The last time Nicaragua experienced a political crisis like the current one was between 1980 and 1990, also under the dictator of Ortega.

OAS

The General Assembly of the Organization of American States, OAS, has met several times to assess the situation in Nicaragua, and has provided recommendations to the government of Nicaragua that have not been met to this day.

On 27 December 2018, the Organization of American States had an extraordinary meeting at which it appreciated the situation in Nicaragua and the GIEI report.

At this meeting, the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro referred to the government of Daniel Ortega as a dictatorship and took a number of steps to follow, including sending the GIEI report to the European Union, that the IACHR denounce the government of Nicaragua before the In-Court Union on Human Rights and begin the process for the implementation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which at the same meeting was requested by the representatives of Argentina, the United States, Colombia and Chile.

Nicaragua and Venezuela rejected the report of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) and ranted against the OAS, calling it a “ministry of colonies” and calling it an “interferenceist”.

Expulsion of international human rights organizations

On 19 December, the government of Nicaragua expelled the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and its two mechanisms from the country: the Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (Meseni) and the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), one day before the latter will submit its report on Nicaragua.

Nica Act

On December 20, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Nica-Act, a law that seeks to sanction Nicaragua’s government for human rights violations and corruption. With this law, the United States is committed to making every effort to prevent the government of Nicaragua from accessing international loans to finance the crackdown. The law also provides for individual sanctions against all officials involved in corruption, violence and undermining of democracy since Daniel Ortega returned to power in 2007.338

The Report of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI)

On December 21, GIEI presented its 460-page report in Washington on the events of violence that occurred from April 18 to May 20, in which it determined that Nicaragua’s state committed crimes against humanity against protesters. Including in his report important facts such as the murder of journalist Angel Gahona and the Massacre of Mother’s Day. The report was recognized by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and was valued by the Organization of American States.

The general secretary, Luis Almagro, announced today that the process was beginning. The first thing that needs to happen is a vote to define whether there is institutional disruption or not. After different diplomatic bodies, the country may be suspended from the agency.

The Charter is a legal instrument approved in 2001 for the preservation of democratic institutionality in Latin America. Article 20 provides that the Secretary-General or any OAS Member State may request the immediate convening of the Permanent Council where in a country of the organisation “there is an alteration of the constitutional order that seriously affects its democratic order.”

IACHR sees for Nicaragua and calls on the Government to release political prisoners.

February 2019 “Release of Political Prisoners” requested the government of Nicaragua, Paulo Abrao, Executive Secretary of the IACHR, during the 171st session on Human Rights in Nicaragua. Although the State of Nicaragua was absent from the public hearing, it sent a letter insisting that “it was a coup d’état and that there are no political prisoners, but that the detainees committed crimes”.

Sanctions against people close to the Regime

The United States announced a new round of sanctions against the regime of Daniel Ortega, this time against the Corporate Bank (Bancorp) and Laureano Ortega Murillo, son of the Nicaraguan presidential couple and adviser to the regime.

Hate and intolerance

Through Rosario Murillo, Vice-President of the Republic and coordinator of the Communication and Citizenship Council, hatred and intolerance against opponents has been sown.

The rhetoric of hatred and intolerance is used by the regime to subdue its will, besieged, assaulting, torturing and murdering.

The followers of the regime are non-thinking beings, who react to political orientations, who serve sick ideological doctrines and which have distorted the identity of the true Nicaraguans. We are talking about those who make up the Sandinista youth, government officials, fanatical supporters, armed criminals or paramilitaries, and the National Police itself that has deformed and become a military body that serves the orders of the totalitarian regime.

In his eagerness to continue to conceal his atrocities committed against the opposition, President Daniel Ortega argues that it is opposition leaders who promote the protests.