Nicaragua Dialogue Frozen, Says Bishops


They condemn the brutal repression of Ortega and demand respect for the peaceful demonstration.

From left to right: bishops Rolando Alvarez and Silvio Baez and cardinal Leopoldo Brenes. Photo: Carlos Herrera /confidencial

Monsignor Baez: “We do not speak generically of “violent acts” but of acts carried out by “armed groups related to the government against the civilian population.”

By Carlos Salinas Maldonado  (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The Nicaraguan Bishops’ Conference condemned the brutal repression ordered by Daniel Ortega on Wednesday, near the end of a massive march held to pay tribute to the mothers of the young people killed by the April and May repression unleashed by the government and its paramilitary forces.

The bishops worked all Wednesday night to issue a statement in which they affirm that “the National Dialogue cannot be resumed as long as the people of Nicaragua continue to be denied the right to demonstrate freely and continue to be repressed and killed.”

This week the mixed commission formed by representatives of the Government and the Civic Alliance agreed to resume the National Dialogue to try and find a solution to the crisis, after four work sessions in which the delegates of the Government showed their intransigence.

The Ortega representatives maintained their position that it is not possible to negotiate without ordering the lifting of the barricades that block several important roads in the country. After the negotiations this week it was expected that the dialogue would resume on Monday, but after the killings yesterday, the Episcopal Conference, mediator in the negotiations, informed that that talks remain postponed indefinitely.

“With the communiqué today, May 31, the bishops of Nicaragua do not generically “regret the violent acts” of yesterday, but this time “we strongly condemn and in an absolute way “this organized and systematic violence against the people”, wrote Silvio Baez, auxiliary bishop of Managua, on his official Twitter account.

Nicaragua lived yesterday one of the most violent and bloody days since April. The Government, in a show of unprecedented intolerance, ordered the armed attack against hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans who marched peacefully to commemorate the “mothers of April” and their children, already considered heroes, killed by the repression unleashed from the State.

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) reported Thursday that at least 11 persons died and 79 were injured during the violent attacks Wednesday in Managua, Esteli and Masaya.

The massacre yesterday opens a new scenario in Nicaragua. Ortega, who maintains his position of clinging to power through an agreement sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS), now faces the generalized repudiation of the country, which demands his immediate exit from power.

The president has already lost the confidence of the private sector and only counts on the strength of his vigilante groups and the National Police that he controls. It remains to be seen what the position of the Army will be after yesterday’s fierce attack.