Nicaragua’s Free Trade Zone Multinationals Ask Ortega to End Repression

Daniel Ortega with Alvaro Rodriguez of AMCHAM and Jose Adan Aguirre of COSEP at an event in June 2017. Photo: Carlos Herrera / Confidencial


“We urge your government to continue with the negotiations, and we recommend that you act in accordance with the recommendations of the IACHR (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights).

By Maynor Salazar  (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The main brands of clothing, footwear and other industries operating in Nicaragua’s Free Trade Zones issued a statement on Saturday, demanding that the government of President Daniel Ortega respect the rule of law, cease repression and guarantee freedom of assembly and expression.

The companies that made this request to the Ortega government are Adidas, Patagonia, New Balance, Nike, Fanatics, Fair Labor Association, Under Armor, Gab Inc., and the American Apparel & Footwear Association. They all signed a letter addressed to Ortega with a copy to the national authorities and the Higher Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep).

“We write to express our concern regarding the current political and social crisis in Nicaragua that we believe threatens not only the rights, the means of subsistence and the physical integrity of the workers, but also the capacity of the industries of Nicaragua that export around the world, “says the first part of the letter.

One of Nicaragua’s many Free Trade Zone industries.  Photo: Corporación de Zonas Francas

The companies state that the national situation has impacted on their workers and their operations. As such they urge the Government to take the necessary measures to ensure respect for the rule of law, to end the excessive use of force by the National Police, and to protect the freedom of assembly and expression of Nicaraguans.

“We were encouraged by the agreement of June 15 between the Government and civic groups in which great hopes have been placed for a peaceful solution to the crisis. We urge your administration to continue with these negotiations. Finally, we recommend that you act in accordance with the recommendations in the report issued by the IACHR (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights) on June 21, 2018,” the letter concludes.