Renewed Violence in Nicaragua Condemned by IACHR


Dictates precautionary measure to protect students

Scene from the attack of Ortega paramilitary forces against protestors in Leon on May 23rd. Photo Eddy Lopez,

HAVANA TIMES – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Friday condemned new acts of violence that took place Wednesday in three cities in Nicaragua, where three people were killed and dozens more wounded, reported dpa news.

In a press release, the autonomous body of the OAS (Organization of American States) referred to the attack, on Wednesday, of “private groups” or “shock forces” linked to the government against demonstrators who maintained barricades in the city of Leon.

One man was killed by a bullet in the head and dozens more were wounded, the report said, citing health sources.

The report pointed out that similar events occurred in Chinandega that same night, north of Leon, where Ortega “shock forces” had also acted and another person passing by the scene lost his life.

According to the information available, the paramilitary groups armed with shotguns and mortars allegedly attacked demonstrators, “and more than 20 people were injured in the confrontation that followed,” the IACHR noted.

The Commission reported the death on Thursday of another adult in Managua, who was shot by several hooded men on motorcycles who chased him “because he had a blue and white Nicaraguan flag in a window of his car.”

The IACHR recalled that during their recent work visit to Nicaragua, it received “hundreds of testimonies indicating that repression in the country has been carried out by the National Police, its riot police, and by para-police groups and armed third parties.”

“We urge the State of Nicaragua to immediately cease the repression of the demonstrators and the arbitrary detention of those who participate in the protests,” said the Rapporteur for Nicaragua, Commissioner Antonia Urrejola.

“Nicaragua must comply with its obligation to respect and guarantee the full enjoyment of the right to protest, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and political participation of the population, and the Nicaraguan State must immediately disband the irregular armed groups,” she insisted.

In its preliminary report of May 21, the IACHR accounted for 76 dead, 868 injured and 435 detained, most of them young people and students.

Nicaragua is experiencing a crisis that began with a student protest against a Social Security reform that affected thousands of workers and retirees, and greatly intensified after the government responded with the deadly actions of police and its paramilitary forces.  


IACHR Issues Precautionary Measure to Protect Students in Nicaragua

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has adopted a precautionary measure to protect 13 university students and their families, several of whom have led recent protests in Nicaragua.

Students mourn one of the latest killed allegedly by Ortega paramilitary forces.

In a statement, the Commission, based in Washington, explained that the measure was issued in view of the fact that the young people and their families “are, in principle, in a situation of seriousness and urgency since their rights to life and personal integrity are at risk.”

“The IACHR asked the State of Nicaragua to adopt the necessary measures to preserve the life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries and their families,” said the report of the autonomous organization of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The protection benefit includes spokespersons and leaders of the student movement.

The measure was taken based on the visit of a mission of the IACHR to Nicaragua from May 17 to 21, when it interviewed students who said they had been “the object of acts of violence as a result of the repression in the context of their participation in the protests” that began in April.

According to this measure, the State of Nicaragua must ensure “that its agents respect the life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries, in accordance with the standards established by international human rights law” and “protect their rights in relation to acts of risk that are attributable to third parties.”

According to their testimonies received by the IACHR, the young people consulted were repressed “even when they performed medical assistance, help for the wounded, or to provide water or food.”

“The risk continues both through death threats through telephone calls or through social networks, or through being followed by motorized people or in vans in the form of intimidation,” the document added.

It also stressed that the proposed beneficiaries “would be subject to great stigmatization” that places them at risk due to the circulation of their faces, the data of their identity cards and the identification of their relatives.

The Commission reported that it will continue to evaluate other requests received during and after the visit led by its executive secretary, Brazilian Paulo Abrao.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous organ of the OAS, charged with promoting the defense of human rights in the region.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian organization Amnesty International announced that on Tuesday May 29 it will present in Nicaragua a report on “the current context of state repression and gross violations of human rights.” The press conference will be given by Erika Guevara Rosas and Bianca Jagger.