Nicaragua: The Secretary-General of the United Nations and the OAS should condemn State repression more vigorously

Press release
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París, 16 July 2018. In view of the escalation of violence in Nicaragua, FIDH asks the Secretary General of the United Nations to give a more vigorous response to the repression of demonstrators by the Nicaraguan government, and urges the member States of the OAS to pass a resolution condemning State repression of the civil population.

In Nicaragua, in the context of the joint operations of the police, anti-riot units and vigilante and paramilitary groups, known as the “clean-up operation” to remove the barricades on the country’s roads, since 8 July, at least 40 people have been murdered. The deceased include two students from the Autonomous National University of Nicaragua (UNAN), who were shot in the head during the siege on the parish of the Divina Misericordia.

“The international community has to take tough measures to stop this bloodbath in Nicaragua. During his visit to Costa Rica today, the Secretary General of the United Nations must publicly recognise the role that the Nicaraguan government played in the serious violations of human rights committed since 18 April and demand the immediate cessation of the repression”

, stated Francisco Soto, FIDH Vice President.

The recent joint operations have marked the resurgence of the violence, sinking Nicaragua deeper and deeper into a serious political, social and human rights crisis. Between 18 April and 13 July 2018, in less than three months, at least 272 people have been murdered, and more than 2,000 have been injured. The arbitrary arrests, kidnappings of civilians by paramilitary groups and forced disappearances continue.

“It is unacceptable that, on the one hand, the government of Nicaragua pretends to agree to dialogue whilst, in reality, it continues to massacre its people. The OAS must pass as a matter of urgency a resolution that condemns the repression unleashed by the Nicaraguan government against the civilian population”,

said Gloria Cano, FIDH Vice President.

On 13 July, the OAS met at an Extraordinary Meeting to consider the situation in Nicaragua, and seven countries presented a draft resolution which has still not been passed. Although this draft supports the recommencement of dialogue and condemns the serious violations of human rights, it does not make any express reference to the government’s role in the repression.

“It is the responsibility of the international community to plead for cessation of the massacre of the people of Nicaragua and to bring about the disarmament of the paramilitary forces”,

Elsie Monge, FIDH Vice President, stressed.

The FIDH urges the Nicaraguan government to take the appropriate measures to dismantle vigilante and paramilitary groups and repeats its demand that it should put an immediate end to the repression. After the attacks against the bishops in Diriamba, the attack against the bishop Abelardo Mata and the attack against the Executive Director of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Public Policies (IEEPP) Félix Maradiaga, FIDH also requires the Nicaraguan government to ensure that members of the Catholic Church who act as mediators in the National Dialogue and people who defend human rights can perform their tasks without exposing themselves to reprisals.

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