2018–2021 Nicaraguan protests
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|2018–2021 Nicaraguan protests|
|Part of the 2014–2020 Nicaraguan protests|
|Date||18 April 2018 – ongoing|
(3 years, 4 months, 3 weeks and 3 days)
|Parties to the civil conflict|
The 2018–2021 Nicaraguan protests began on 18 April 2018 when demonstrators in several cities of Nicaragua began protests against the social security reforms decreed by President Daniel Ortega that increased taxes and decreased benefits. After five days of unrest in which nearly thirty people were killed, Ortega announced the cancellation of the reforms; however, the opposition has grown through the 2013–2018 Nicaraguan protests to denounce Ortega and demand his resignation, becoming one of the largest protests in his government's history and the deadliest civil conflict since the end of the Nicaraguan Revolution. On 29 September 2018, political demonstrations were declared illegal by President Ortega. More than 2,000 protests were part of this significant mobilization.
Pensions for small contributors
The 2013–2018 Nicaraguan protests began in June 2013 when some elderly people with only a small contribution (less than 750 weeks) demanded a reduced pension from the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute.[dubious ] Soon, students and young people joined their protests. After a week of demonstration, the peaceful protesters were attacked by paramilitary groups associated with the Sandinista Youth, while police had moved back only moments before. Later, to calm down the protests, concessions to the pensioners were made by president Daniel Ortega to supply a reduced pension.
Over a year later protests started again, this time opposing the construction of a proposed Chinese-funded inter-oceanic canal through Nicaragua, with environmental impact, land use, and indigenous rights, as well as Nicaraguan sovereignty among the chief concerns of demonstrators. By February 2018, the project was widely viewed as defunct, though a 60% absent vote to revoke the 2013 legislation creating the project, the Chinese company (HKND) granted the concession to develop the canal maintains legal rights to it as well as to ancillary infrastructure projects.
In early April 2018, demonstrators marched in Managua, the country's capital, to protest what they regarded as an insufficient government response to forest fires that burned 13,500 acres (5,500 hectares) of the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, a tropical nature preserve that is home to Rama and Kriol indigenous people, as well as significant biodiversity and endangered species. There were suspicions that the government had an interest in the fire, as it is the largest natural reserve through which the Nicaraguan Canal is planned to make. Counterprotests also occurred at the time in support of the Sandinista Front government.
In 2013, the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute was in a deficit situation that had been grown annually, reaching 2,371 million Nicaraguan córdobas by the end of 2017. This deficit has increased by over 50% annually for the last two years. The IMF alerted Nicaragua in 2017 that in the absence of the reform, the cash reserves would be depleted by 2019. The government of Daniel Ortega prepared a reform plan for the INSS based on the IMF's report. The government rejected some of the proposed remedies, such as increasing the retirement age, arguing that older people have fewer possibilities of finding employment, and that the urgency of the reform required fast results to ensure the INSS's viability, as some measures suggested by the IMF would not yield results for three or four years.
In early April 2018, the Superior Council for Private Enterprise (COSEP) announced the start of negotiations with the government to reform the INSS, declaring that the solution must include an increase to the contribution of the employers and employees, as well as fiscal reform. These negotiations excluded small and medium-sized enterprises. The reforms were announced on 16 April 2018, and published by presidential decree in March 2018 in La Gaceta (official government record) on 18 April 2018. The reform included an incremental increase of 0.75% (from 6.25% to 7%) on the employee contribution and 2% (from 19% to 21%) on the employers, starting July 2018. The employers' contribution would increase annually until reaching 22.5% in 2020. Pensions would also be taxed 5%. The 5% tax has been criticized as unconstitutional, since only the National Assembly has the power of taxation, and Law 160, signed by Ortega, indicates that pensions are not subject to any retentions.
The government-aligned unions Workers' National Front and the Employees National Union supported the reform, while the COSEP rejected it, indicating it did not have consensus and filed a writ of amparo in an attempt to reverse it.
Timeline of events
Citizens protest on 18 April after already being angered by the handling of the fires in response to the Ortega administration's announcement of social security reforms that raised income and payroll taxes while reducing pension benefits by 5%. Demonstrations involving mostly elderly individuals, university students, and other activists broke out in Managua and six other cities, which were repressed by authorities reporting to President Ortega. Authorities were seen using live ammunition on protesters while also arming Sandinista Youth members with weapons. At least 26 people were killed, including journalist Ángel Gahona of the news program Meridiano, with Gahona being shot to death outside of the city hall in Bluefields while streaming on Facebook Live. Various forms of independent media were censored during the protests.
The following day on 19 April, Vice President and first lady Rosario Murillo made a speech mocking the demonstrators and labeling them of "small groups, small souls, toxic, full of hate", bent on the destruction of the country, assaulting peace and development. She also labeled the demonstrators that had been attacked as "aggressors" and the attack by pro-Ortega groups and police as "legitimate defense". Protests began to intensify with confrontations occurring in León, Managua, Granada, Boaco, Carazo, Estelí, Rivas, Matagalpa and Masaya. TELCOR ordered the suspension of transmissions of four independent TV channels that were reporting the news: channels 12, 23, 51, and 100% Noticias. Also the Catholic Episcopal Conference's TV channel. The suspension lasted several hours, except for 100% Noticias, who was off the air until 25 April. Murillo accused the protesters of being manipulated and trying to "destabilize" and "destroy" Nicaragua.
Two days after the beginning of protests and the subsequent crackdown by authorities, Ortega made his first public appearance on 21 April and announced he would hold negotiations for a possible revision of the reforms, planned to take effect on 1 July 2018; however, he stated he would meet only with business leaders and alleged that demonstrators were being manipulated by gangs and other political interests. Demonstrations increased in response, with protesters objecting to the repression of demonstrations and the exclusion of other sectors from the negotiations, as well as the reforms themselves. The COSEP business chamber announced it would only participate in the negotiation if police violence ceased, detained protesters were released and free speech were restored. Nicaragua's Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops also called for an end to the police violence and criticized unilateral reforms; Pope Francis subsequently added his call for peace in the country.
As the press began to describe the unrest as the biggest crisis of Ortega's presidency, Ortega announced the cancellation of the social security reforms on 22 April, acknowledging they were not viable and had created a "dramatic situation". He again proposed negotiations on the issue, which would now include Catholic Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes as well as the business community.
On 23 April, marches of citizens, businessmen and students were held in Managua demanding the end of violence in the country, the release of students arrested by the police, the cessation of censorship of television media, and a response from the government about the students who died during the protests. The protests were the largest seen during the Ortega administration, with tens to hundreds of thousands of demonstrators participating and calling for the president's resignation. The next day on 24 April 2018, detainees were released by Nicaraguan authorities as a result of dialogue between the government and other organizations.
Investigations and resignations
Nicaraguan Attorney General Inés Miranda announced on 26 April that a formal investigation into the deaths during the protests. On 27 April, President of the National Assembly Gustavo Porras announced a truth commission to examine the deaths and violence during the unrest. Head of the National Police Aminta Granera announced her resignation in face of the criticism of her handling of the unrest and alleged police repression of protests.
Intensification of protests
Hundreds of thousands participated in marches for "peace and justice" organized on 28 April by the Catholic churches in Nicaragua in the cities of Managua, Matagalpa and León. At the events, "bishops, feminists, homosexuals, family members of those killed in the repression... and thousands of peasants" gathered in unity to demonstrate. Peasants who lived in rural areas traveled to Managua by a caravan of trucks, arriving to protest against the Nicaragua Canal proposal by Chinese businessmen and the Ortega government.
Days later on 30 April, tens of thousands of Ortega's supporters participated in a rally showing him support, though there were some reports of government workers being forced to join the pro-Ortega rally. The rally consisted mostly of singing and dancing to music of the 1960s and 1970s, popular to the former Sandinista guerrillas.
On 2 May, police in riot gear blocked a student march from Central American University (UCA) to the National Assembly, with students instead marching to the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI) to show solidarity with other groups entrenched there. After pro-Ortega groups appeared on their route, they cancelled another planned march, so students reinforced barricades surrounding UPOLI under the watch of authorities. Anonymous Nicaragua hacked the website of the National Police of Nicaragua, calling for them to support of anti-Ortega protesters. The next day, elite troops of the Nicaraguan armed forces and police assaulted UPOLI in the early morning at about 01:00 CT, dispersing students stationed at the university. The incident left six students injured, one seriously. Student group Movimiento 19 de Abril responded to the incident stating that they would not participate in a dialogue with Ortega after he sent forces to attack them, placing peace talks in jeopardy. By 9 May, members of the independent press of Nicaragua condemned the killings, censorship and repression of the Government of Nicaragua.
More than 10 cities were the scene of heavy fighting on 12 May in at least eight departments in the north, center, and Pacific areas of Nicaragua. The biggest clashes took place in Chinandega, Granada, León, Managua, Masaya, and Rivas in the Pacific, as well as Estelí and Matagalpa in the north. In Masaya, the clashes lasted for more than 12 hours between demonstrators, anti-riot police and youth shock groups of the Sandinista party. The following day, President Ortega called for a cessation of violence, reading a short statement, in which he called for "an end to death and destruction, that does not continue to shed blood of Nicaraguan brothers". The Military of Nicaragua assured that it would not engage in acts of repression against citizens who were protesting and advocated a dialogue to help resolve the crisis in the country, according to statements made by spokesman Colonel Manuel Guevara. In a demonstration, thousands of people arrived on 13 May from Managua to Masaya in a caravan to support that city for the loss of at least one life and 150 wounded in the past days.
National dialogue and clashes
After weeks of conflict, the national dialogue began on 16 May 2018. When Ortega and Murillo arrived at the Seminary of Our Lady of Fatima, the site of the national dialogue, the presidential couple was greeted with shouts of "assassins, murderers" by people on the outskirts of the event.
A delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) arrived in Nicaragua on 17 May to observe in loco the situation of human rights in the country. The IACHR visit occurred as Nicaraguan human rights organizations were reporting between 61 and 67 people dead and more than 500 injured in the repression exercised against protesters. The delegation was headed by Antonia Urrejola, rapporteur for Nicaragua at the IACHR.
On 18 May, the second day of dialogue, the IACHR now included in talks called "on the State of Nicaragua to immediately cease the repression of the protest, the commission also calls on the State to guarantee the independence and functioning of the media in the country", the rapporteur said, also indicating that the mission of the IACHR in the country will be the observation in the field in accordance with human rights. She indicated that she would meet with all sectors. There was friction between university students and members of the state-media press before the dialogue. The government and the Nicaraguan opposition agreed to a truce over the weekend, a month after having started demonstrations and protests. Several people appeared before the Inter-American Commission to lodge complaints against the violations carried out by the police forces and supporters of the Daniel Ortega government.
The national dialogue continued on its third day on 21 May where the resignation of Ortega and his wife and the Nicaraguan government was requested in order to return the country to normality. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), issued a preliminary report on the investigations of what happened in the protests in Nicaragua. The IACHR counted at least 76 people killed in the protests in Nicaragua and more than 800 injured, and denounced serious events and violations of human rights by the Government of Nicaragua. It included the official visit of the IACHR to Nicaragua. The representatives of the organization were in Managua, Masaya, León and Matagalpa.
A week after beginning, the National Dialogue between the government of Nicaragua and students, the private sector and civil society was suspended indefinitely. The leader of the Nicaraguan Catholic Church, Bishop Leopoldo Brenes, who had acted as a mediator of this dialogue, explained that the lack of agreement on an agenda of issues to be discussed prevented negotiations from continuing.
On 30 May, the day on which the Nicaraguan mothers are celebrated, a march was held in honor of the victims killed during the protests. It was repressed by the national police in the company of paramilitary groups and pro-government mobs, leaving approximately 15 dead. Most of the victims died from accurate shots to the head, neck and chest. The march was led by the Mothers of April Movement, the Student Movement 19 April, Civil Society and Private Enterprise.
In the early hours of 1 June, there were reports in Masaya of a new wave of looting and robberies against businesses and stores in the city. Movements, associations of professionals and Nicaraguan social groups called for a civic-citizen national strike and civil disobedience since 1 June, as a means of pressure for President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, to leave power. Five banks have closed in Masaya for lootings. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemned the deaths and new acts of violence that occurred in Nicaragua and urged the state to stop the repression of the protests. The IACHR also urges the government to investigate and punish the use of force by parapolitical actors, dismantle these groups, and seek a peaceful, constitutional and democratic solution to the current political crisis affecting the country. On 8 July, at least 38 were killed during skirmishes between protesters, authorities and pro-Sandinista paramilitary groups, raising the death toll to more than 300 Nicaraguans killed since the beginning of protests.
Mobs, some hooded and armed, set out on 9 July surrounding and assaulted Catholic bishops, including Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Báez, and the ambassador of the pope in Nicaragua Waldemar Sommertag, after arriving in Diriamba, Carazo. Men in plain clothes, hooded and some armed, first verbally offended the religious and then attacked them physically, wounding some of them, while the journalists robbed and beat. The next day, Vice President of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo, said that the government presiding over her husband, Daniel Ortega, is "indestructible" and that the opposition "could not" defeat him, while also justifying the actions of violence against the Nicaraguan bishops and the apostolic Nuncio in Diriamba.
On 11 July, the Nicaraguan opposition and academic Felix Maradiaga was attacked in the city of León (northwest Nicaragua) by a group of Sandinista sympathizers of the government of President Daniel Ortega.
Church of Divine Mercy incident
Police and paramilitaries attacked the Rubén Darío University Campus (RURD) of the UNAN Managua on 13 July. After hours of facing attacks, more than 100 students took refuge in the nearby Church of Divine Mercy where they were fired upon by police and paramilitaries, after the youths left the facilities the paramilitaries set fire to the university campus setting fire to a CDI and one of the pavilions of the college The Church of Divine Mercy was then the target of attacks and was besieged throughout the night of Friday the 13th and into the early morning of Saturday the 14th, leaving two students dead. The bullet holes in the walls, windows and religious objects in addition to the bloodstains were still visible in the days following the attack.
On 14 July, clashes were reported in Granada, Masaya and Managua. Leaving two students killed by Nicaraguan police and pro-government paramilitary forces had to go with the presence of Cardinal Brenes, the apostolic Nuncio accompanied by members of the national and international organizations to rescue the wounded and besieged. Those rescued were received at the Cathedral of Managua, where they were received by ecclesiastical authorities and national and international human rights organizations. In the cathedral were also dozens of people waving flags of Nicaragua and UNAN to receive the students.
Government crackdowns, national lockout, and ban on protests
As a result of crackdowns in July 2018, the government forced people from protest centers and established a more firm presence in Nicaragua, though protests still continued in the following months.
The international community intensified pressure on the Government of Nicaragua on 16 July in order to stop the repression and disarm the paramilitaries after nearly 300 deaths during three months of protests demanding the exit of President Daniel Ortega. The United States, 13 Latin American countries and the Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, demanded Ortega to end the repression of the demonstration. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also denounced the Law on Terrorism that was recently approved by the pro-Ortega Parliament of Nicaragua, which it said can be used to criminalize peaceful protests.
On 17 July, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua raised its "strongest protest" for the "biased declarations" of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, defending the Law on Terrorism. Days later on 24 July, President Ortega said that he will not resign from the presidency of Nicaragua before finishing his term in 2021, ignoring the demand of opponents who demand his immediate exit from power to overcome the crisis.
An early-September general lockout organized to demand the release of political prisoners saw 90% participation of businesses in Nicaragua. It was estimated that the national lockout cost the country $20 million to $25 million per day.
On 29 September 2018, President Ortega declared that political protests were "illegal" in Nicaragua, stating that demonstrators would "respond to justice" if they attempted to publicly voice their opinions. The United Nations condemned the actions as being a violation of human rights regarding freedom of assembly.
In December 2018, the government revoked the licenses of five human rights organizations, closed the offices of the cable news and online show Confidencial, and beat journalists when they protested.
The Confidential newspaper and other media were seized and taken by the government of Daniel Ortega Several service stations of the Puma brand were closed in the afternoon of 20 December by representatives of the Nicaraguan Energy Institute (INE), a state entity that has the mandate to regulate, among others, the hydrocarbons sector. Puma Energy entered the Nicaraguan oil and fuel derivatives market at the end of March 2011, when it bought the entire network of Esso stations in Nicaragua as part of a regional operation that involved the purchase of 290 service stations and eight storage terminals of fuel in four countries of Central America.
On 21 December 2018, the Nicaraguan police raided the offices of the 100% News Channel. They arrested Miguel Mora, owner of the Canal; Lucía Pineda, Head of Press of 100% Noticias; and Verónica Chávez, wife of Miguel Mora and host of the Ellas Lo Dicen Program. Subsequently, Verónica Chávez was released. Miguel Mora and Lucia Pineda were accused of terrorist crimes and provoking hatred and discrimination between the police and Sandinistas.
Application of the Democratic Charter
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, announced that he will begin the steps for an eventual application of the Democratic Charter to the State of Nicaragua, which would isolate the country from the inter-American community.
Dialogue and IACHR resolution
The national dialogue began on 16 May. Ortega kicked off the "dialogue for peace Wednesday" saying, "We all suffer the death of our loved ones, but we have the obligation not to respond to violence with more violence, because otherwise we have scales that end in wars, and the people are tired of that." Students led with a strong demand. "We have decided to be at this table to demand them right now to order the immediate cessation of the attacks that are happening in the country," said student leader Lesther Alemán, as protests continued throughout the country. After hearing the student, Ortega questioned the wave of protests, calling it "irrational violence". Monseñor Mata made three requests to Ortega.
On 23 May, the national dialogue was suspended. Archbishop Brenes suggested to create mixed commission of three representatives by each part to discuss an action plan to restore the table of the National Dialogue. The Nicaraguan Foreign Minister, Dennis Moncada Colindres, objected that the agenda of the National Dialogue involves 40 points that all lead to a single point; an agenda for a coup d'état for a change of government outside the constitution and violating the laws of the country. On the other hand, the university students, businessmen and civil society asked that a Framework Law be debated, which would allow to advance the elections, prohibit the presidential re-election and change the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE).
Following the repression and over a dozen deaths in the 30 May protests, the Nicaraguan archbishops cancelled the National Dialogue and protests continued.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights adopted precautionary measures of protection for the entire leadership that make up the University Coalition in Nicaragua and that have led the civic protests against the government since 18 April. The US government urged Nicaragua to fully implement the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to prevent further violence in the protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega.
Protest violence and allegations
325 people have been killed as of 6 February 2019, as a result of the Nicaraguan government's repression of protests.
At least 42 people were killed in the first week of protests in April, with most injured by bullet wounds. Nicaraguan authorities used live ammunition to fire upon demonstrators resulting in hundreds of injured. Government forces were also reported to have armed pro-Sandinista groups with weapons to use against protesters. Following the government crackdown, rioting and looting ensued. On 2 May 2018, The Miami Herald reported a total dead of "At least 63 people, almost all of the student protesters" since the start of the demonstrations. By the end of May, over 105 people killed. As of 4 April 2019, between 325 and 568 have died over the period of the protests.
In July 2018, police arrested the mayor of Mulukuku and accused him of being involved in the deaths of three police officers.
Individuals detained during protests alleged torture by the Nicaraguan authorities, with hundreds of prisoners later released by the roadside in the outskirts of Managua with shaved heads and bare feet.
The Inter-American Human Rights Commission received allegations about some families being forced by the government not to file complaints about the deaths of their family members, mistreatment of detainees and threats against human rights defenders in the Central American country.
Many protesters tortured have reported hearing both Cuban and Venezuelan accents in the clandestine prisons operated by the Nicaraguan government.
There were reports of media organizations being censored during the protests. Miguel Mora, the director of 100% Noticias de Nicaragua, stated that the Nicaraguan government censored his channel on cable networks in the country. The censorship of 100% Noticias was not lifted until 25 April. One journalist, Ángel Gahona, was shot and killed while reporting on the protests on Facebook Live. Radio Darío, a radio station known for being critical of the Ortega government, was said to be attacked and burned down on 20 April 2018 by pro-Ortega groups, leaving the facility at a total loss.
The United Nations Human Rights Council criticized the attacks on media and censorship performed by the Ortega government. The Inter-American Press Association also called on the Ortega administration to stop its efforts of censorship, with its president Gustavo Mohme Seminario stating that its actions toward the media "unmasks the authoritarianism of a government that in its eleven years in power has only sought to dismantle the State for its benefit and that of his family members".
Anonymous Nicaragua, a group of the Anonymous movement, joined the protests against the government and launched Operación Nicaragua, or #OpNicaragua. The operation consists of a campaign of cyber attacks against Nicaragua's government web pages or accused to be related to it. The campaign started on 26 April with an attack that left the National Assembly website out of service. The attacks continued against the websites of Juventud Presidente, Canal 2, and the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, the Nicaraguan Institute of Civil Aeronautics, Nicaraguan Institute of Culture, El 19 Digital or Canal 6.
The state agency Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Postal Services (TELCOR) cited the corporations that provide the internet service to see what actions to take to form unity against hackers. TELCOR summoned these providers to a meeting to address security measures to take around the cyber-attacks executed by the international hackers against web portals of the government and private corporations.
The Nicaraguan Medical Association (AMN) denounced the alleged arbitrary dismissals of 146 doctors, specialists and subspecialists of the state health units, as a form of retaliation for their participation or support in the protests carried out in the last three months. With clashes, a medical march in Nicaragua has ended against the dismissals for treating the wounded during the protests against the Ortega government since last April.
The dismissal of state teachers who support the demonstrations against the government caused an act of "student disobedience" in the city of Condega, in the north of Nicaragua, which is going through a crisis that has left between 317 and 448 dead since last April. Marist Institute students refused to enter the classrooms, in rejection of the decision of the Ministry of Education (Mined) to dismiss several of their professors "because they have their own criteria and do not support the murderers", informed the Student Movement 19 of April-Condega.
Flight of Nicaraguan citizens
Since the end of July and the beginning of August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship and the Directorate of Immigration and Foreigners of Costa Rica reported a moderate increase in the entry of Nicaraguans into Costa Rican territory. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an average of 200 Nicaraguans per day apply for asylum in Costa Rica, overwhelming the country's immigration authorities. In addition, the Commissioner reported that about 8 000 Nicaraguan refuge requests have been reported since the beginning of the protests.
Among the Nicaraguans who have sought refuge in Costa Rica are several university leaders, who fled Nicaragua after constant threats that forced them to leave the country. Among them the university leader Victor Cuadras Andino.
The Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, Epsy Campbell, reported that more than 1,000 Nicaraguan refugee claims have been denied, in order to avoid an immigration crisis and to prevent the entry of illegal persons and maintain security in the region.
On 3 August 2018 Nicaraguan singer-songwriter Carlos Mejía Godoy reported that he left his country because his life is in danger as part of protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega, of whom he is critical and adding to the hundreds of Nicaraguans who have refuge request
The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH), highlighted in the rescue of injured, detained or harassed protesters in the Nicaraguan Protests of 2018 announced on Sunday 5 August 2018 the temporary closure of their offices due to serious threats and siege by illegal armed groups sponsored and supported by the President of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. The flight from Nicaragua of the human rights activist Álvaro Leiva, after the popular singer-songwriter Carlos Mejía Godoy, for threats attributed to pro-government groups, triggered the alarms between humanitarian agencies, the UN and the OAS. Representatives of the Special Follow-up Mechanism for Nicaragua (Meseni) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Acnudh) discussed this situation
Nicaragua cut its spending budget for 2018 by $186.3 million, 1.3% of its GDP, in the midst of the crisis. An amendment sent urgently by President Daniel Ortega mainly affects public investment programs, health and education portfolios, and transfers to municipalities, according to the project approved by the FSLN deputies and their allies.
OAS working group and new protests
The Organization of American States (OAS) approved the creation of a 'working group' for Nicaragua, whose mission will be to support the national dialogue and contribute to the 'search for peaceful and sustainable solutions' for the crisis, the bloodiest since the 1980s. Nicaragua closed its doors to a Working Group of 12 countries created by the Permanent Council of the OAS, which seeks to support the national dialogue and contribute to the search for solutions to the crisis in the country. The government of President Daniel Ortega declared the presence of that Working Group for Nicaragua unacceptable, which he described as an "interventionist Commission." While so many protests continue in the capital and several departments of the Central American country. Affiliation to the INSS is in a tailspin: Nicaragua retreated to 2005 Villagers who were demonstrating in the municipality of Santa María, in Nueva Segovia, were kidnapped by Sandinista paramilitaries. Citizens participated in a march against the government of Daniel Ortega.
Alleged household searches
Several families claimed to have had their homes searched without a warrant from Nicaraguan Paramlitary and Police forces. Video footage of the alleged incident was released from their neighbours, which showed paramilitary groups exiting the premises and leaving on national police vehicles. The video does not make clear what those groups were doing prior to their exit.
Expulsion of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, has expelled from the country a mission of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which denounced the "high degree of repression" of the protests against the Government. announced the president of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), Vilma Núñez, who described as "unprecedented" the decision of the Government of Daniel Ortega, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua said in a statement that "they stopped the reasons" they gave walk to that invitation.
NCHR legal personality cancellation
The National Assembly of Nicaragua, canceled the legal personality of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh), the main organization of its subject in this country, which has denounced the abuses and misuses of the Government since April when The demonstrations that demand the departure of the former Sandinista guerrilla began. This decision, considered a "revenge" by activists, is a blow to an organization with a long history in the defense of human rights in the Central American country, which has made it worthy of several international recognitions. The legal personality of Hagamos Democracia was also canceled, an organization dedicated to, among other activities, overseeing the actions of the Nicaraguan Legislative Body. Previously, it had canceled the legal personality of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Public Policies (IEEPP), which directs Felix Maradiaga and the feminist organization Information and Health Advisory Services Center (CISAS), run by feminist Ana Quirós, who three days earlier had been expelled to Costa Rica, by orders of the government of Nicaragua. Accusing them of terrorism and putschists  fact that has outraged international organizations.
The Sandinista parliamentary majority, composed of 70 deputies, has canceled the legal status of three Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), including the Institute for the Development of Democracy (Ipade), which is headed by Mauricio Zúniga. The other two organizations that have been canceled this morning are the Segovias Leadership Institute Foundation, led by Hayde Castillo and the Foundation for the Conservation and Development of the South East of Nicaragua (Fundación del Río), directed by Amaro Ruiz.
Expulsion of international human rights organizations
The Nicaraguan government headed by Daniel Ortega expelled two missions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), after accusing them of acting in an "interventionist" and biased manner in their assessment of the country's situation in the context of anti-government protests, The country remains "practically without independent human rights bodies," declared the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, claiming to be "very alarmed" because the Government of Nicaragua has expelled two MESENI institutions from the country. the GIEI * -established by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts report
Repression, torture, and sexual assault "among other crimes. It has been eight months since the last wave of protests against Daniel Ortega's government in Nicaragua began, and the crisis does not seem to subside. The demonstrations have already left at least 325 dead and hundreds injured and detained. On behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) and the Nicaraguan government itself, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) began an investigation six months ago to clarify the first deaths. The group presented a report this Friday, two days after being expelled from the country by the Nicaraguan authorities.The report focuses on the violent events that occurred between 18 April and 30 May 2018. In this period, the GIEI has 109 deaths (95 due to firearms), more than 1,400 injured and more than 690 detainees. Where the Nicaraguan government is held responsible for the violent acts.
On 20 December 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Nica Act, a law that imposes a series of financial sanctions on the Nicaraguan government, and on migration to officials involved in acts of violation of human rights. Trump signed the law in the White House, according to information provided to journalists by the press office of former congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of the driving forces behind the project. The Nica Act was approved in the Senate on 27 November and in Congress on 11 December. The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) rejected the approval, by the United States Congress, of Nicaragua's Investment and Conditionality Law (Nica Act). Jorge Arreaza, the Venezuelan chancellor, explained that the mechanism limits the capacity of the Central American country to obtain financing from international organizations.
Death of political prisoners
The Nicaraguan Ministry of the Interior reported the death of the 57-year-old political prisoner Eddy Antonio Montes Praslin due to a shot by a prison guard when they "allegedly" controlled a riot, the events happened during a visit of the Cross International Red. The death of this prisoner provoked protests at the head of the La Modelo Prison by relatives of political prisoners who want to know about the physical state of the detainees from the Sandinista government.
On 11 June, several political prisoners were released. Among them were the journalists Miguel Mora Barberena and Lucía Pineda Ubau, the peasant leader Medardo Mairena and the student leader Edwin Carcache.
On Sunday 16 June, after a thanksgiving Mass for the release of political prisoners in the Managua Cathedral, there was a protest on the grounds of that temple which was attacked by the police with tear gas and rubber bullets. The protesters took refuge behind the perimeter wall of the cathedral.
On 4 February 2020, the end of the retention, at customs, of the paper and ink of the newspaper La Prensa was reported. This newspaper confirmed that, through the efforts of the apostolic nuncio, a communication channel was opened with the General Directorate of Customs (DGA) to deliver the retained material.
On 25 February various opposition sectors founded the National Coalition in an act held at the Hispamer Bookstore auditorium in Managua, despite the police siege outside.
From the early hours of 25 February 2020, the Nicaraguan Police kept all the entrances to Managua taken on the same day that the opposition to Daniel Ortega's regime plans to demonstrate to demand the release of political prisoners. At the checkpoints, the officers requisition private vehicles, buses and detain people to question them about the reasons for their visit to the capital. In several places, the police attacked citizens who protested and showed their disagreement with the authoritarian government of Ortega and in these actions the police and civil or paramilitary groups related to Sandinismo attacked and threatened Journalists.
Followers of the ruling Sandinista Front of Nicaragua desecrated on 3 March 2020 with insults, robberies and aggressions the mass present in honor of the late poet and revolutionary priest Ernesto Cardenal in the Cathedral of Managua, denounced the assistants. The attacks began when Bishop Rolando Álvarez spoke and intensified at the conclusion of the ceremony. At least one young opponent and four journalists were beaten, and some of the communicators were robbed of their equipment. Government supporters occupied the benches on the left side and around the church, from where they shouted government slogans and expletives to relatives, friends and opponents who attended the ceremony, which was chaired by the apostolic nuncio Waldemar Stanislaw. Support coup d'état, criminals, free country or die, Long live Sandino!", Shouted the Sandinista supporters carrying flags and handkerchiefs of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN, left), when the poet's family tried to get his coffin out of the cathedral behind end the mass. At the end of the Mass, the relatives decided to remove the coffin of the poet as soon as possible from the church before the tension increased. They couldn't do it through the front door. They had to remove it from the side of the Cathedral. After the coffin was removed in the funeral carriage of the religious precinct, government supporters and media reporters harassed Gioconda Belli and other assistants. Diplomats and cultural personalities witnessed the embarrassing episodes.
On 5 March 2020, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury sanctioned the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP), the main law enforcement entity in Nicaragua, and three NNP commissioners because they are "responsible for human rights abuses in Nicaragua" according to the US Treasury.
On 18 March 2020, Rosario Murillo confirmed Nicaragua's first case in a growing COVID-19 pandemic to be a Nicaraguan man who had recently traveled to Panama. Two days later, a second case of COVID-19 was confirmed for another Nicaraguan who had recently traveled to Colombia. Nicaragua took fewer government actions to address the pandemic than its neighbors. They notably allowed for major sporting events and the annual Easter celebrations to carry on as usual. The health minister justifies this decision by stressing the need to support the Nicaraguan economy, after the recession caused by the protests of the two previous years.
José Luis Rugama Rizo was assassinated when leaving his house with a blue and white face mask and shouting "Viva Nicaragua libre" to a caravan after Ortega's speech this July 19 in Estelí. The murder occurred on Sunday night in the city of Estelí, in the north of Nicaragua, when Jorge Rugama Rizo was outside his house and the Sandinista caravan passed, according to the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) and the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH), which received complaints from the victim's relatives and witnesses to the event.
On July 20, 2020, while burying the murdered opponent, the house of some relatives of the deceased was burned by Nicaraguan social networks, and a campaign was raised to collect funds to meet the main basic needs of the family. The Nicaraguan Police presents on Tuesday July 21, 2020 Abner Onell Pineda Castellon as the main person in charge of José Luis Rugama Rizo 
The family of the released prisoner and youth leader Bayron Estrada, continues to be besieged by the sanctioned Sandinista police, thus the young Estrada announced through his social networks.The family of the former political prisoner and youth leader Bayron Estrada, continues to be besieged by the sanctioned Sandinista police, thus the young Estrada announced through his social networks. The former political prisoner and professor Juan Bautista Guevara denounced in the Permanent Commission on Human Rights (CPDH) the escalation of the siege of the Nicaraguan police, as well as paramilitaries in his home since he was released under the Amnesty Law in 2019. According to Guevara, he and his relatives are subjected to police harassment "every day and at all hours", taking photographs of people entering and leaving the house and even pointing guns at them.
Nicaraguan journalist Gerall Chávez denounced that he was threatened through an anonymous letter sent to his relatives in Carazo y de igual manera, le enviaron un vídeo en el que simulan cómo lo van a matar. On the other hand, the journalist and sports reporter for Radio Corporación, Julio «El Porteño» Jarquín denounced the police siege outside his home. Along the same lines, a police operation moved for hours outside the facilities of Radio Darío in León on the afternoon of July 25, 2020. Since late afternoon, the police chief, Fidel Domínguez located traffic agents in every corner leading to the station. A group of policemen from the Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo regime, under the command of the León police chief, Fidel Domínguez, stole a motorcycle and a vehicle from Radio Darío collaborators in the hours of Saturday night, denounced the means of communication on their social networks. The station, located east of the Óscar Danilo Rosales Argüello Hospital (Heodra), in León, spent more than nine hours under siege, before the occupation of the motor vehicles was recorded, according to the director of the media outlet, Aníbal Toruño.
The Nicaraguan Independent Press forum demands the cessation of attacks, intimidations and attacks against the Independent Press by the Ortega Murillo dictatorship, in different parts of the country.
Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo confirmed that the 41st anniversary of the Sandinista revolution would take place virtually due to "difficulties in these times" (referring to the COVID-19 pandemic that is raging in the country), Murillo announced that virtual concerts and activities will be held for those who like to participate in caravans. Also in the mayoralty of Managua a platform would be placed for the celebration of the anniversary.
Subsequently, various users who opposed the regime proposed a counter-march for July 19, flooding with blue and white flags before the red and black government's withdrawal of the FSLN flag. Users seek to generate actions of rejection in the face of the political crisis in the country and to remember the victims of the anti-government protests that emerged in 2018
Attacks on the Catholic Church in Nicaragua
A drunk man broke into a van in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua (Nicaragua), and destroyed part of its infrastructure, a fact that was condemned by the local church, which asked the faithful for prayers. In a statement, the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Maria de Managua (Nicaragua) reported that on July 20 at dawn, a drunk man broke into a truck in the Cathedral Church and destroyed three interior doors, and then ran away.
The Catholic priest of the Our Lord of Veracruz Catholic Church Pablo Antonio Villafranca Martínez denounced the sacrilegious and robbery in the El Carmen Chapel "this is our complaint we will not put any before anyone else."On the official website of the church, the priest informed the parishioners that criminals entered the chapel and caused damage to the temple “we will have to replace microphones, cables, amplifiers, speakers, locks, padlocks, piggy banks and repair everything. We have nothing but tears, helplessness, pain and frustration. "
The Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro chapel in the municipality of Nindirí, in Masaya (Nicaragua), was desecrated with "fury and hatred", because the unknown individuals not only stole custody and the ciborium, but also broke images, trampled the hosts and made other damage.The event occurred this Wednesday, July 29. The priest Jesús Silva, parish priest of the Santa Ana parish, to which the chapel belongs, made the complaint on social networks.
An unidentified man threw a firebomb into a chapel of Managua's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, severely damaging the chapel and a devotional image of Christ more than three centuries old. A fact that has been described as an "act of terrorism" by Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes. The incident occurred in the morning hours, when only two people were inside the chapel. The vice president and first lady, Rosario Murillo, declared to official media that "a fire" occurred because "our people are very devoted" and there were many candles in the place, where a curtain caught fire. However, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, archbishop of Managua and president of the Episcopal Conference, refuted Murillo, noting that on the site "there is no candle and we also have no curtains, our chapel has no curtains and has no candles Brenes connected the fire with another event that occurred on the 20th, in which a man in a van destroyed the gates of the Cathedral, and with the theft of a fence, which served as an escape route for the person causing the fire. A woman who works in the temple told local television channel 14 that a young man asked where the chapel was and, after indicating the place, he heard an explosion and saw the stranger jumping over the walls that protect the place.
Reaction of the opposition
The Sandinista Renovator Movement (MRS) party condemned the recent attacks against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, such as the burning of the Chapel of the Blood of Christ in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua this Friday morning, “We absolutely condemn all terrorist attacks and vandalism against temples and churches, now against the Cathedral of Managua, which constitute a flagrant violation of religious freedom, enshrined in the Nicaraguan Constitution ” For his part, José Adán Aguerri, President of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise, expressed his solidarity through his Twitter account for this act of terrorism that occurred in the Cathedral of Managua “from COSEP Nicaragua and personally, our solidarity and support for the archdiocese. of Managua and the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference, before the cowardly attack on the Cathedral of Managua that adds to the acts of vandalism in different chapels in the country in previous days. Intolerance will not succeed, ”says the publication. National Unity blue and white in a statement condemned the acts of desecration, siege and harassment against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua and ensure that "these acts violate freedom of religion provided for in our Constitution. These events, in addition to being targeted attacks, demonstrate the levels of insecurity experienced by the population at the national level. ” He also added that "the evidence shows that the attacks are being committed by people related to the criminal dictatorship of Daniel Ortega, who maintains a permanent political campaign against priests and the Church. We stand in solidarity with the Catholic Church and the devout and Christian people of our country, in the face of such acts of desecration, ”the UNAB statement continues. The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) through a statement expressed its repudiation of what happened in the Chapel of the Blood of Christ of the Cathedral of Managua, burned by an unknown person who threw a Molotov bomb and then fled the scene without leaving trail."We demand that the authorities INVESTIGATE THE FACTS WITH CELERITY AND FIND THE GUILTY, otherwise we will suppose that it was the Ortega Murillo regime who gave the order to burn down the temple to continue its campaign of hatred and terror against churches, religious and believers that adversity him "expresses part of the Communiqué. Juan Sebastian Chamorro member of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy condemned the facts in a video via the social network Twitter and Father Edwin Roman condemned the attack and indicated that it can burn and destroy the image of the Lord but never Faith and dignity from his people. In this regard, the auxiliary bishop of Managua, Silvio Báez, wrote on his Twitter account: "We have cried together because of the fire that has occurred in the chapel of the venerated image of the Blood of Christ." "Terrorist act associated with paramilitaries of the regime burn down the chapel of the Blood of Christ," denounced the opposition Edipcia Dubón. "I urge your Holiness the Pope to denounce the attacks by Daniel Ortega and his paramilitaries against the Catholic Church, the bishops and priests and the terrorist acts against the Cathedral of Managua," demanded activist Bianca Jagger. The Evangelical Alliance of Nicaragua, the main organization of evangelical Christians in the Central American country, has rejected the attack on the Chapel of the Blood of Christ located in the Cathedral of Managua.
President Ortega appeared through official means to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the Nicaraguan Army Air Force. In his message, Ortega avoided commenting on the suffering of hundreds of stranded Nicaraguans, as well as the terrorist act perpetrated against the Catholic Church.In the act, Ortega highlighted the role of the Air Force during humanitarian emergencies or catastrophes produced by the impact of natural phenomena, but was silent on the humanitarian emergency that more than 500 compatriots have lived on the border of Peñas Blancas for two weeks and on the complicity of the Sandinista Army that expelled several Nicaraguans to Costa Rica who tried to enter the country through blind spots. Nine hours after the terrorist act in the cathedral of Managua, the Nicaraguan National Police issued a statement in which it suggested that an "alcohol spray" could have caused the fire that left the image of the blood of Christ in ashes." At the scene, a plastic spray bottle with alcohol (volatile easily combustion) was found, with one Nicaraguan observer from 100% Noticias stating that "they relate among the findings. It is worth noting that the atomizer was in good physical condition, without being observed melted by the fire that burned the chapel of the blood of Christ in the cathedral.
The Sandinista regime led by Ortega continues its campaign of siege and intimidation against the independent media for showing its public mismanagement against the Nicaraguan population, on the morning of this Saturday, August 1, members of the Nicaraguan Police deployed patrols and riot police units at various points in Managua, including near El Diario La Prensa. From 8:30 in the morning, so too Radio La Costeñisima in Bluefields.
The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the aggressions and intimidations of the "authoritarian regime" of Nicaragua against journalists, which, it said, have worsened during the coverage of the pandemic and called on regional governments to exert "more pressure".Faced with allegations of crimes against press freedom made by various journalists' organizations, IAPA President Christopher Barnes and the President of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Roberto Rock, condemned "the new wave of censorship and attacks "and particularly targeted" public officials, police officers and members of parastatal groups, all motivated by the government of Daniel Ortega. "
The Panamanian Episcopal Conference rejects the act of "vandalism" carried out in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua, Nicaragua. When on July 31, 2020, a man threw an explosive device, which caused the chapel that houses the "Blood of Christ and the Most Holy" to catch fire. It causes us deep pain and outrage, seeing how the sensitivity of the Nicaraguan people to such destruction caused by a bomb that burned the chapel of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua has been wounded, "the Panamanian organization said in a statement. For his part, the United States Ambassador to Nicaragua, Kevin K. Sullivan, "condemned the attack" and considered this fire to be "one of the series of deplorable attacks on Catholic temples in different parts" of the Central American country. Through a statement, the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) expressed its voice of rejection against the recent events that affected the cathedral of the city of Managua, Nicaragua, where, through the activation of an explosive charge, an attempt was made against the main religious temple in the city, on July 31."We condemn this and any act of sacrilege or desecration that threatens the spiritual life of the faithful and the evangelizing work of the Church, especially in these difficult times of pandemic that we have to live," says the statement.
The OHCHR [Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights] condemns yesterday's incendiary attack against the Chapel of La Sangre de Cristo in the Cathedral of Managua, expresses its solidarity with the entire Catholic community and urges the authorities to thoroughly investigate what happened, "said the institution in a message released through its official Twitter account.
The Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica went even further by referring to the incident as a "cowardly attack", which, he noted, "has resulted in the desecration of the sacred species contained in the Tabernacle, as well as the desecration of the venerated image of the Blood of Christ, so loved by the Catholic faithful in the sister Republic of Nicaragua. "" We consider that this criminal act constitutes a frontal attack on the Church in Nicaragua and on religious freedom in this beloved nation, "added the bishops. Costa Ricans in a statement. In Spain, the media, journalists, theologians, religious orders and the Spanish Episcopal Conference expressed their rejection of these violent actions against the Nicaraguan Catholic Church.
The Sandinista regime led by Daniel Ortega continues its campaign of siege and intimidation against the independent media for showing its public mismanagement against the Nicaraguan population, on the morning of this Saturday, August 1, members of the Nicaraguan Police deployed patrols and riot police units at various points in Managua, including near El Diario La Prensa. From 8:30 in the morning, so too Radio La Costeñisima in Bluefields.
Michael Kozak, Acting Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, condemned the attacks and intimidation of the press that occurs in Nicaragua.
Pope Francis condemned the attack carried out by unknown persons last Friday, July 31, 2020, against the Chapel of the Blood of Christ in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua, Nicaragua.This Sunday, August 2, 2020, after saying the Sunday prayer for the Angelus, Pope Francis expressed solidarity with the Nicaraguan Christian people.
New attack on another Catholic church. A subject burst into the middle of mass and threw stones on a glass urn and then returned and threw another stone at a Christ who was on the altar of the Church of Santa Rosa de Lima, in the municipality of Santa Rosa del Peñón, León.
An opponent and custodian of the Virgin of Montserrat was killed in a beating in a small Pacific town in Nicaragua, the Catholic Church reported Thursday, whose temples suffer a wave of desecration that has spread since last July.Noel Hernández, 24, died after 48 hours in critical condition after receiving a beating from unknown persons in the San Juan de La Concepción municipality, Masaya department, confirmed the Inmaculada Concepción de María parish.
The Valle family television channel 12 confirmed that they had a millionaire embargo applied to them. Carolina Valle, through a statement, reported that on September 11, Judge Luden Marti Quiros García, Managua's third execution and embargo judge, appeared at the facilities to "carry out an embargo for 21 million cordobas at the request of the Directorate General of Income, DGI ", declared Carolina Valle. According to Valle, the seizure request before the judge was made by the financial assistant attorney, Marlen Isabel Ramiíez Laguna, who imposed an "arbitrary and illegal objection to our income tax returns for the years 2011, 2012 and 2012-2013. " 
The director of Radio Darío in León Anibal Toruño denounced through his Twitter account the harassment and intimidation of this radio station by officials of the National Police of Nicaragua.
Members of the National Coalition are stoned in the city of Masaya where Verónica Chávez, wife of journalist Miguel Mora, was injured in her head and the tomographies certify that Chávez has a cranial fissure and suffered an internal hemorrhage that keeps him in the hospital.The perpetrators of this attack are supporters of President Daniel Ortega and with the complocity of the National Police.The UN condemned the attack
The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) warned this Friday that the law on foreign agents approved by parliament the day before gives President Daniel Ortega "totalitarian control" and asked the international community for "urgent action" to reject it. The National Assembly of Nicaragua, with a pro-government majority, approved on Thursday the law regulating foreign agents aimed at controlling the resources that people and organizations receive from external sources.That includes board members, public relations, advertising agents, information service employers, and political consultants, among others. On the contrary, the international media and correspondents, as well as cooperation agencies, humanitarian organizations and accredited religious entities were exempted from the law.
Subjects and entities under this denomination must register with the Ministry of the Interior, report the receipt of funds and how they are spent.This exception would be revoked in the event that their activities derive into interference in internal affairs, according to the regulations.
Opponents to the regime of Daniel Ortega y Periodistas denounce the continuous harassment, attacks and threats of supporters and members of Sandinismo. The opposition National Coalition denounced that dozens of anti-riot agents were stationed this Saturday (10.17.2020) outside a capital hotel where they were holding an assembly with a view to the 2021 general elections, while the exiled journalist Maryórit Guevara denounced that unknown persons marked his home with a phrase that he assumes "as a death threat."
Nicaragua has lost 217,930 formal jobs and has been dragging two consecutive years of economic contraction since 2018, the year in which the civic rebellion against the Daniel Ortega regime began, according to a report released this Saturday by the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN ).Until last August, Nicaragua closed with 695,867 workers affiliated to the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS), a figure that represents 3.7% less than the previous year that registered 722,606, according to the Central Bank of Nicaragua.
The Nicaraguan opponent, Félix Maradiaga, assured that during a struggle with the Nicaraguan National Police, which prevented him from leaving a house, he had a broken finger and two others dislocated. Maradiaga, a leading political scientist of the opposition Blue and White National Unit (UNAB), wanted to travel to Bilwi, capital of the northern Caribbean autonomous region, with a shipment of humanitarian aid to deliver to people affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota, which hit that area last month
The National Assembly of Nicaragua, dominated by the ruling Sandinista Front, approved on December 21, 2020 by a large majority a law that prevents the participation of the opposition in the 2021 elections, while the United States announced new sanctions against three government officials by Daniel Ortega. In an extraordinary session, the bench of 70 Sandinista deputies approved the so-called "Law for the defense of the rights of the people to independence, sovereignty and self-determination for peace." Fourteen deputies of the Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC) voted against it, considering it "unconstitutional." The controversial norm, approved as a matter of urgency, prevents those who the government considers "coup plotters" or "terrorists" from running for public and popularly elected positions, despite the fact that the current constitution establishes full rights to political participation for all citizens without exception .
Two years after the occupation of the CONFIDENCIAL newsroom, the 100% Noticias channel, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh), the Institute for Development and Democracy (Ipade), the Center for Information and Advisory Services in Salud (Cisas) and the Popol Na Foundation, the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo notified –through various signs on the buildings– that the properties now “belong to the Ministry of Health” and were confiscated, without a prior court order
The main management leadership of Nicaragua denounced this a "de facto confiscation" by the State of the private property of two media critical of President Daniel Ortega and of nine NGOs that were outlawed in the context of the socio-political crisis that he is experiencing the country since April 2018. In a statement, the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep) pointed out to the government of "taking political decisions that violate the rights and constitutional guarantees of Nicaraguans" and cause "legal insecurity and economic and social instability in the country." The Nicaraguan State ceded to the Ministry of Health (Minsa) the buildings where the 100% Noticias television channel operated and that of the digital magazines Confidencial and Niú and the television programs "Esta Semana" and "Esta Noche", which are protected by police officers, as well as nine NGOs. The facilities of these media and those NGOs woke up on Wednesday with the label "this property belongs to the Ministry of Health," according to Efe.
- Nicaragua – Vice President and First Lady of Nicaragua Rosario Murillo characterized the protesters as "criminals", "vampires in search of blood" and "minuscule and toxic groups." Following his return to public view after being absent for the first 72 hours of protests, President Ortega quickly reversed the social security reform and agreed to a Catholic church-mediated dialogue.
Protesters generally were spread across the political spectrum, and Murillo's statements angered the left-wing sector, which responded by destroying her metal "Trees of Life" public art pieces in Managua. The majority of those demonstrating do not see any negotiation without the results being Ortega's removal.
The NGO Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) stated that President Ortega and his wife "encouraged and directed" the repression against protesters and that "the demonstrations are legitimized by a social rejection of the authoritarian way of governing by President Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo" and called for dialogue monitored by the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
- European Union – On 20 April 2018, the Delegation of the European Union in Nicaragua and the Heads of Mission of the Embassies of the Member States released a statement lamenting the recent violence, sending condolences to those affected, and calling for dialogue and "social peace". On 31 May 2018, the European Parliament condemned the repression used by the Nicaraguan government and called for elections.
- Organization of American States – Secretary General Luis Almagro condemned "all kinds of violence", calling for peace and stating that citizen have a "legitimate right" to protest. The OAS voted on 18 July 2018 a resolution condemning the Sandinista regime and asks him to hold elections for two years, to March 2019. With 21 votes in favor, three against and the same number of absentees and seven abstentions, the Nicaraguan regime received a harsh attention call.
- United Nations – Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the United Nations Human Rights Council, called on the Ortega government to "comply with its international obligations to ensure that people can freely exercise their rights to freedom of expression and the freedom of peaceful assembly and association", condemned attacks on journalists, and expressed concern "that several television channels that were covering the events have been closed by the Government". Following continued repression, the Human Rights Council demanded the Nicaraguan government to allow entry in order to "gather first-hand information about the incidents arising from the public demonstrations" of April and May. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the ongoing violence in Nicaragua, particularly the killing of a protester during demonstrations in Managua on Wednesday 30 May.
- Argentina Brazil Chile Colombia Paraguay Peru – In a joint statement, the Latin American countries shared "concern and regret the acts of violence", making an "urgent call" for all sides to cease hostilities, particularly that "security forces exercise their powers with the utmost prudence to avoid excessive use of force and an escalation of the crisis, allowing the generation of a climate that restores both peace and dialogue, essential to overcome this serious situation".
- Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the deepening of repression and the use of lethal and excessive force. The government called for a Nicaraguan ambassador to present herself and provide a statement on the situation. The ministry called for Nicaragua to respect public freedoms and individual rights.
- Canada – Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland of Global Affairs Canada stated that she was "concerned about reports of several deaths and injuries in the demonstrations that are taking place in Nicaragua" and called for dialogue.
- Costa Rica – Minister of Foreign Affairs Christian Guillermet condemned the censorship of media by the Ortega administration.
- Cuba – The Cuban government defended Ortega, criticizing what it called "attempts that aim to destabilize the Republic of Nicaragua, a country that lives in peace and where remarkable social, economic, and security advances have been made in favor of its people".
- Germany – The Federal Foreign Office called on "all factions to immediately renounce the use of force", asked the government of Nicaragua to "promptly and fully clarify the cases of fatalities", criticizing the government's use of force and demanded "free journalistic coverage", stating that "restrictions on press freedom by the Government are unacceptable".
- Mexico – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico called for "the cessation of violence" and supported the idea of dialogue.
- Panama – The Government of the Republic of Panama spoke in relation to the acts of violence recorded in Nicaragua, before which it makes a firm appeal to those responsible for the armed attacks, arson and crimes, to stop these acts and the most strict respect for life, human rights, security, and peace. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama of Panama requested that shipments be suspended, by land, of merchandise to Nicaragua while the political conflict in the Central American country is maintained. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry notes that the ambassador of Panama in Nicaragua, Eddy Davis, keeps in touch with the truckers who are stranded in Nicaragua, as a result of which they have not been able to leave that country due to the constant protests and closure of the street that the Nicaraguans maintain against the government of Daniel Ortega. Some have already been released. Panama withdraws the sentence violence acts of the last days where journalists, sarcedotes, university students and Nicaraguan citizens have been affected.
- Spain – The Government of Spain demanded the "maximum restraint" of Nicaragua's security forces and supported dialogue.
- United States – Ambassador Michael G. Kozak, of the United States Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor stated that "Nicaragua ... is going the wrong direction on many fronts", stating that the Ortega government had a "long litany of torture, extrajudicial killing". Kozak criticized censorship, called for the support of NGOs and suggested future targeted sanctions against the Ortega administration, saying that the governments of Cuba and Venezuela are the "same camp as Nicaragua". The Trump Administration has repeatedly condemned and sanctioned the Ortega Government for human rights abuses, especially (but not exclusively) after U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton's troika of tyranny speech in Miami. The most recent sanction was when President Trump signed the NICA Act into law on 20 December 2018.
- Uruguay – The Ministry of Foreign Relations released a statement supporting "calls for reflection and dialogue", denouncing violence and demanding "respect for the law and individual rights".
- Vatican City – Pope Francis expressed concern about the violence in Nicaragua, asking that "unnecessary bloodshed be avoided and that open questions be resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility".
- Venezuela – President Nicolás Maduro indicated that the government of Daniel Ortega defeated a "terrorist and coup" plan, saying: "Today, before the imperial aggression, the government of Nicaragua has defeated the terrorist and coup plan. We will win! "Maduro wrote on the social network Twitter a day after the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a critical resolution against Sandinista Government. In the midst of the political crisis in Nicaragua, which amounts to more than 350 deaths in three months of intense protests, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza offered official support to "defend" the sovereignty of the Central American country. "President Daniel Ortega, if the revolutionaries of Venezuela had to come to Nicaragua to defend Nicaraguan sovereignty and independence, to offer our blood for Nicaragua, we would go like Sandino to the mountain of Nueva Segovia," he said during the commemoration of the 39 years of the Sandinista Revolution, in which the foreign ministers of Venezuela and Cuba were the only representatives of the highest level who accompanied Ortega.
- Netherlands – The Netherlands cancelled aid for the Nicaraguan government due to "severe violations towards the human rights, committed by government officials and paramilitary groups".
- Luxembourg – Luxembourg suspends aid to the Nicaraguan State.
- Amnesty International – Director of the Americas Erika Guevara Rosas condemned "brutal attacks against peaceful demonstrators and journalists covering the protest", saying it "represents a flagrant and disturbing attempt to restrict their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly" while also stating that the government "must put an immediate end to all acts of aggression against the public and the press, and conduct an expeditious investigation, impartial and independent to bring to justice all those responsible for these sinister attacks".
- Sao Paulo Forum meeting in Havana and in the voice of the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves said that they should support Venezuela, Brazil and Nicaragua. The Forum expressed its support for the government of Daniel Ortega.
Several protests abroad accompanied the development of the demonstrations against INSS reform in Nicaragua. There were protests held at the Nicaraguan Embassy in San José (Costa Rica), the consulates in Miami and Houston, and other cities like Ciudad de Guatemala, Madrid or Barcelona. A group of Nicaraguans residing in Panamá demonstrated at the Cinta Costera of Panama's capital. In Spain, there have been at least eight demonstrations by the Nicaraguan community in the country. One of the most active cities was Granada, where hundreds of Nicaraguans and Spaniards have come together to protest for peace, freedom, and democracy in Nicaragua by reading poems of Nicaraguan writers and a manifesto, demanding that the Ortega-Murillo family give up power in Nicaragua. There have also been protests in Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Australia, Vienna, Finland, Paris, San Francisco, New York, Washington, and Toronto.
- Libération – The French newspaper put on its cover Daniel Ortega and his bleeding wife and wrote an article criticizing the Nicaraguan government and its president in 2018.
- José Mujica – The ex-president of Uruguay and senator for the political party Frente Amplio, joined the criticism of the violence in Nicaragua. "Those who were revolutionaries yesterday lost the meaning of life, there are times when you have to say, 'I'm leaving,'" he said in the Senate on Tuesday.The Uruguayan Senate on Tuesday approved a declaration that "requires the Government of Nicaragua to immediately cease violence against the Nicaraguan people." In addition, he expressed "his strong condemnation of all acts of violence and violations of human rights. But these statements did not fall well in some sectors of the Latin American left and generated the reaction of Chavez leader Diosdado Cabello who criticized him on Thursday in a television audition. "Do not you realize Pepe what is happening in Nicaragua at this time? It's the same thing that they did to Venezuela?" Said Cabello.
- Gustavo Petro – In a tweet, former Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro stated that "In Venezuela as in Nicaragua there is no socialism, what there is is the use of left-wing rhetoric of the 20th century to cover up an oligarchy that steals the state, a minority that governs for itself and violates the rights of the majority"
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Convened by the Catholic Church, hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans take to the streets of the country demanding peace and the end of the regime. The bishops warn Ortega that there can be no dialogue without guarantees
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