OAS Special Session Friday on Nicaragua Crisis


HAVANA TIMES – The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) meets on Friday morning at 10 AM in Washington D.C. (8 AM in Nicaragua) in a special session to hear and address a report on the crisis taking place in Nicaragua, reports laprensa.com.ni.

According to the agenda, the OAS special session beings with the words of Secretary General Luis Almagro followed by the report from the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on their visit in situ to Nicaragua.  The third agenda item is a presentation from the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation on the implementation of recommendations for the Nicaraguan electoral system.  After these reports the ambassadors of the member states will present their considerations on the Nicaraguan crisis.

Between May 19 and 21, a mission of the IACHR visited the cities of Managua, Matagalpa, Masaya and León and received hundreds of complaints from citizens who were victims of the repression by forces controlled by president Ortega. In its preliminary report the IACHR indicated that, until the end of that visit, there were 76 deaths, more than 800 injured and 438 people detained.

Based on the allegations, the IACHR concluded that “the repression was carried out by the National Police, its riot squads and vigilante groups, which would have acted with the support of state agents.”

The IACHR made 15 recommendations with which it demanded the cessation of violence against the people; However, paramilitary and riot squads have intensified attacks against citizen protest, which demands the resignation of the president.

Progress of the agreement

Luis Almagro (r) with Rosario Murillo and Daniel Ortega. File photo.

The third agenda item of the session on electoral reforms is highly controversial. Opposition groups and civil society organizations have questioned the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, noting a lack of transparency in his agreement with Ortega.

Before the crisis broke out in April, it was unknown if there was progress in negotiations with the Ortega government, which did not report anything either.

Almagro has criticized opposition sectors, which he has not identified, because, according to the official, the OAS will not support non-democratic mechanisms to resolve the crisis in Nicaragua.

The OAS gave its tacit blessing to the 2016 elections in which Ortega ran virtually without opposition, after prohibitting the coalition of his chief contender from participating.

At the beginning of June of this year, the General Secretariat of the OAS informed that, according to the route previously agreed with the Government, it will not present a final proposal for reform of the Electoral System of Nicaragua until January 2019, which would guarantee Ortega to complete its term in office through 2021. Such a scenario is now widely considered unlikely under the current crisis.

To watch the session live click here: http://www.oas.org/es/centro_noticias/webcast_agenda.asp