HAVANA TIMES – The United States asked the Nicaraguan Police to return vehicles donated by that country because they were “used to violently repress” the peaceful protests against the government, a statement from the US Embassy in Managua reported today, reports dpa news.
The report indicated that on Monday, the police were asked to “return or pay for the vehicles that the United States Government donated to that institution for their legitimate activities.”
“Some of these vehicles have been used by the National Police of Nicaragua and irregular forces under their command to violently repress the voices of those who peacefully protest against the actions of their government,” the report said.
The embassy assured that such actions “violate the terms of the Letter of Understanding” for the cooperation of the United States with the Nicaraguan Police and added that the Police began to return the vehicles yesterday, Tuesday, without specifying how many vehicles it is.
In recent weeks, groups of police along with hooded and heavily armed men have carried out operations in different cities of Nicaragua aboard pick-up trucks, firing at civilians or carrying out the kidnapping of young people.
The report recalled that the US State Department “has condemned the ongoing violence and the intimidation campaign by the Government of Nicaragua, describing as unacceptable attacks and threats against those who demonstrate peacefully and against the population in general.”
While the government of Daniel Ortega has had a cozy relationship with US corporate interests and one of financial cooperation with the US government during the last decade, it frequently vilifies civil society organizations for receiving funding from US government agencies.
The crisis in Nicaragua began with a student demonstration on April 18, but the protest turned into a civic rebellion as a result of the violent action of police and paramilitaries against the demonstrators.
According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), until the middle of June the conflict had left 212 dead and more than 1,500 injured, although local independent bodies raise the death toll to 285.
On Wednesday, Nicaraguan human rights activists and women from the Mothers of April movement (whose children died during the protests) met with a mission of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“The situation is very worrisome, we hope that the violence and the violation of human rights will stop,” said Alicia Londoño, a member of the team, who met Tuesday with government delegates and envoys of the IACHR, who are already working in the country.