Scathing Human Rights Report on Nicaragua at OAS

Antonia Urrejola, president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) – Photo:Giorgio Viera/Archivo / EFE

By Karen Diaz Lopez (La Prensa)

HAVANA TIMES – Antonia Urrejola, President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) appears before the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), to present the IACHR report on the situation of human rights violations in Nicaragua.

On Wednesday morning, the President of the OAS Permanent Council, Ronald Michael Sanders, asked the President of the IACHR to present an updated report on the situation in Nicaragua. Urrejola began her presentation of the report on Nicaragua, expressing her concern about the escalating repression.

“In less than 20 days they have criminalized five presidential candidates: Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, Arturo Cruz, Felix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastián Chamorro and Miguel Mora,” said Urrejola. Likewise, she emphasized the conditions of the arrests, stressing the little access that relatives have had to provide food to the detainees.

The president of the IACHR added that “the seriousness of the human rights situation in Nicaragua in recent weeks are reflected in the increase in the number of requests for precautionary measures. So far in 2021, 27 requests have been received, particularly in June.”

Urrejola immediately pointed out that the events that occurred this week show “a new phase of the repression regarding the coming elections” and that they cast doubt on the will of the Nicaraguan State to hold fair and transparent elections.

Before concluding her presentation of the report, Urrejola addressed the ambassadors present at the OAS and told them that “it is more than evident that there is a worsening human rights crisis in Nicaragua, with serious political and democratic consequences. I urgently appeal to the international community —she quotes UN Human Rights Head Michelle Bachelet— for the immediately release of all those arbitrarily arrested, to cease all acts of persecution against dissidents, to restore the rights and freedoms that make possible a free, credible and equitable electoral process, by repealing the restrictive legislation.”

The Ortega regime outright rejected the report

Minutes after the presentation ended, the representative of the regime of Daniel Ortega, Luis Alvarado, requested to speak to reject the report and brand it as “Machiavellian,” taking the opportunity to lash out at the United States government.

“The Government of Nicaragua rejects the presentation of the fallacious and malicious report of the IACHR on Nicaragua. We condemn the manipulation and instrumentalizing of these entities that are being used as the spearhead of the United States Government in its war of aggression against Nicaragua, and their blatant interference against the Nicaraguan electoral process.

“The IACHR reports do not have any credibility and relevance. The Nicaraguan population already knows them very well and knows what interests they represent. They know that they misrepresent national reality, using a one-sided and biased vision on purpose, with the aim of minimizing the criminal actions that have been committed against the Nicaraguan people by terrorist groups, mercenaries and traitors financed and directed by the US Government,” Alvarado expressed.

Afterwards, the president of the Permanent Council emphasized that no type of rebuttal against IACHR members is warranted.  “We recognize the right of Nicaragua to speak, but it has no right to rebut the character of these people. This Council does not condone such observations,” said Ronald Sanders.

Condemnations from other countries

The Government of Chile expressed its concern over the deterioration of the political and democratic context in Nicaragua.

The Government of Canada took the floor to condemn the Ortega’s regime persecution of opponents.

The US ambassador immediately referred the statements made by Ortega’s representative and said that “the predictable rhetoric of the Nicaraguan representative regarding the United States is not worthy of any comments.”

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.