Ortega Imposes His Own Amnesty Law

The FSLN bands used different types of weapons to attack the protestors in their civic marches. Photo: Carlos Herrera


The Government sent the proposal to the National Assembly for its rubber stamp as an emergency to avoid consultations

The legislation is part of the monologue in which the regime has converted the national dialogue: The Mothers of April and Civic Alliance reject amnesty


By Juan Carlos Bow / Ivette Munguia  (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The Ortega government turned into law a reparation plan for victims, which has been criticized by several sectors of civil society, because it would grant amnesty to the police and paramilitaries accused of committing crimes against the population.

The so-called “pardon law,” whose official name of the legislation is Integral Plan for Attention to Victims of Coupist Terrorism, was sent this Wednesday to the National Assembly for urgent approval. Under this procedure, Ortega avoided the consultations with other sectors. The law was immediately approved the same day, where the governing party has an overwhelming majority of deputies and allied parties.

In the last year, Ortega has sent to the National Assembly at least nine bills or legislative reforms under the “urgent procedure,” such as the failed purchase of his sanctioned Banco Corporativo (BanCorp).

Foreign Minister Denis Moncada Colindres had announced on Tuesday that the proposal would be discussed “widely” in the plenary of the Assembly. However, less than 24 hours later, he had changed his position.

The approval of this emergency legislation is framed in the “Work Program of the Government,” which it presented last week, as part of its unilateral agenda in the national dialogue. Ortega and his wife/VP Rosario Murillo promote a monologue after the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy (ACJD) withdrew from the negotiations on Monday, May 20, because of the breach of agreements signed by the government delegates.

Foreign Minister Denis Moncada Colindres assured that the legislation will benefit “those peoples and families, victims of coup-plotting terrorists, people who lost loved ones, who suffered material losses, and who still today must be treated for serious psychological injuries, derived from the violent acts of the failed coup d’état.”

They fear impunity

The Mothers of April Association rejected the creation of this amnesty law in Nicaragua, because it believes that this legislation seeks to leave unpunished all the nationally and internationally documented crimes against humanity committed by the Ortega Government in an attempt to erase the collective memory of the Nicaraguan population.

The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) determined in its final report that the regime committed crimes against humanity, in the context of the repression of the civic protests of 2018.

Josefa Meza, mother of Jonathan Morazan murdered on May 30, 2018, read a statement from the Mothers of April Association that says: “No to the so-called National Reconciliation Law because it omits central elements such as the clarification of the truth about human rights violations, their causes and consequences, and diligent and impartial criminal processes that would allow for identifying, judging and punishing those responsible for said violations.”

“No to an amnesty law as a legal solution to the crisis. We will not admit an amnesty not only because it allows those responsible for the crimes against humanity committed to be free from trials and sentences, but also because it allows the imposition of oblivion and erases the collective memory of Nicaragua,” Meza continued.

Amnesty will not be valid for crimes against humanity

Constitutionalist lawyer Gabriel Alvarez clarified that an amnesty does not include crimes against humanity, so the first democratic government that is established in Nicaragua could “nullify” a law that establishes it.

“Amnesties are political decisions. The first problem we have in Nicaragua, is that our institutions are in ruins,” he said.

Alvarez explained that amnesties can work if approved by consensus and do not break with elementary principles of coexistence and the contemporary rule of law.

Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition

Lizeth Davila, mother of Alvaro Conrado, one of the murdered teenagers, demanded “truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition.” She also pointed out that in the last year there were no investigations and nobody was prosecuted for the murder of more than 300 protestors in the country.

These four demands of mothers are included in the chapter of justice, which the Civic Alliance sought to negotiate with the Ortega regime.

Davila expressed: “From the beginning it has been seen that there is no political will to clarify any of the crimes that have been committed… how is someone going to investigate themselves?  That is why they have no interest in clarifying these cases,” she said.

“The wound is still open”

The approval of the “pardon law” came on the eve of the first anniversary of the massacre that occurred during “The Mother of All Marches.” That is why the mothers of the victims called on the Nicaraguan population to participate in a mass held this Thursday, May 30, at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua.

Guillermina Zapata, mother of Francisco Reyes Zapata, murdered during the May 30 Massacre, called on the Government to “respect the pain” of families.

“For the Government of Dona Rosario (Murillo), if she says peace, love and reconciliation, then she has to show it, instead of deploying (police) patrols at the entrances of the Cathedral, and respect the pain that we still have, because it is a wound that has not closed a year after the death of so many boys,” stated Zapata.