Ortega’s Agents Raid Headquarters of Community Organization Network in Managua

Amaru Ruiz, coordinator of the federation that brings together more than 20 organizations, denounced that the administrator and the accountant were detained.

By Leonor Álvarez (La Prensa)

Amaru Ruiz.  File photo

HAVANA TIMES – The headquarters of the Nicaraguan Network for Democracy and Local Development (known as the Red Local or Local Network), in Managua, was raided without notice by the Ministry of the Interior on Thursday morning, confirmed Amaru Ruiz, coordinator of the organization.

Ruiz also denounced that the administrator and the accountant, Reyinela oópez and Eduardo Maya, respectively, had been detained and later released in the afternoon, under threat if they spoke.

“Regrettably once again, the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship attacks civil society organizations in the country. We also call on other NGOs to safeguard and protect their equipment, their legal documents, because the regime is likely to continue this persecution of civil society organizations, as it has already done with nine other organizations” [that were ransacked and closed], Ruiz said.

The Local Network is a federation of civil society organizations, which brings together more than 20 organizations with a presence in 111 municipalities of the country, which work on issues of local development, municipal autonomy, democracy, citizen participation, decentralization.

Some of the organizations that make up the Local Network were raided with violence and without a court order by the Ortega Police last December, among them the Institute of Strategic Studies and Public Policies (Ieepp), the Rio Foundation, the Popol Na Foundation and The Leadership Institute.

Haydee Castillo, director of the Leadership Institute, said yesterday that the raiding of civil society organizations is violating the constitutional right of free association.

“We denounce to the world how, in Nicaragua, all rights have disappeared. Nicaragua is a country that has a Constitution that clearly states that citizens have the right to organize themselves, to associate and to work for the collective good, and this is a right that the government of Nicaragua is cutting down on us.

“We lament how the social and legal state has been dismantled, how in Nicaragua the law disappeared, justice disappeared, the independent of the powers of the State disappeared and we are really in a state of siege, where liberties do not exist.

“That is why it is vital that the citizenry continue to protest, opposing this type of regime that harms the basic rights of Nicaraguans,” said Castillo.

Since last year, the regime of Daniel Ortega and his wife and VP, Rosario Murillo, intensified the attack directed against Nicaragua’s non-governmental organizations, which are contrary to its dictatorial model.

To do this, it uses laws and the criminal prosecution apparatus that complies obediently with its orders, say human rights activists and lawyers, [including recently resigning Supreme Court Justice and Ortega crony, Rafael Solis.]

These non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that address issues of citizenship, governance, democracy and human rights, are persecuted by the Ortega regime under the application of a [catch-all] anti-money laundering and terrorism law.



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