Nicaragua commemorates two years since the beginning of the most important human rights crisis in its recent history. Its beginning can be traced back to April 18, 2018, when it started a series of civic and social demonstrations in protest at different government decisions. The mobilizations were intensely repressed by the government, resulting in numerous human rights violations. The seriousness of the events led the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to recommend that the State of Nicaragua establish an Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) to investigate the acts of violence that occurred in the country between April 18 and May 30, 2018. This recommendation was accepted by the Nicaraguan government. The GIEI began its work on July 3, 2018 and, at the end of December of that same year, we published a final report with our main findings and recommendations.
In the GIEI report, we document that the protests that began on April 18 were not the result of an isolated event, but of years of institutional processes and state practices that restricted citizen expression, closed spaces, co-opted public institutions and concentrated a disproportionate amount of power in President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo. The report also describes how “they submitted the other public powers, - legislative, judicial and electoral to the will of the government” and established “a model of absolute control.”
During the six months of our mandate, we documented patterns of violence, especially the use of firearms by police forces and parastatal groups with lethal capacity as a form of repression, and the endorsement of this repression by President Ortega, Vice President Murillo, as well as other high-ranking officials from Nicaragua. The GIEI verified at least 109 violent deaths, more than 1,400 wounded and 690 detainees in the 43 days investigated, as well as the complicit actions of the health system, the lack of investigation and the absence of guaranteed due process by the Prosecutor's Office and the Judiciary. Although the period investigated by the GIEI covered events that occurred until May 30, the repression extended much longer, as evidenced in numerous reports by the IACHR, the UN, and various human rights organizations. The severity of the repression led thousands of Nicaraguans to go into exile.
CommentsWe encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.