Latin America, June 19, 2019 –Tuesday, June 18th marked the end of the period in which the Nicaraguan government had promised to release all political prisoners detained in the context of the political and human rights crisis that the country has gone through since April 2018. Yet records show that more than 84 people are still held prisoner in conditions of detention incompatible with human rights standards.1
Precisely on June 18th, the government issued a statement designed to make the people of Nicaragua and the international community believe it had kept its commitment. The regime apparently seeks to project a semblance of normalcy that drastically contrasts with reality, marked by a myriad of contradictory facts and evidence including the following:
The persons released from prison, whose legal situation has not been determined, have been systematically subjected to acts of harassment, persecution and intimidation by both State security agents and para-police forces. One example of this is the attack perpetrated against the home and family of Irlanda Jérez just a few hours after her release.
Hundreds of people continue to be the target of arrest warrants that have not been served.
The right to demonstrate and engage in social protest continues to be totally restricted and infringed upon by means of actions of violent repression perpetrated by police and paramilitary forces, such as those that occurred at the Managua Cathedral and the Catholic Church in León on the weekend of June 15th and 16th.
Persons who visibly oppose the government continue to be subjected to attacks including defamation, kidnappings, beatings and torture, among others, by violent groups aligned with the government in complicity with the police.
Neither the legal identity nor the property seized from civil society organizations has been returned to them; those affected include feminist and human rights organizations. Their identity was taken from them by ad hoc laws passed to keep them from carrying out their crucial work of denouncing and monitoring human rights violations and accompanying victims. Some of their facilities are still occupied by paramilitary forces.
The government has not lifted sanctions and restrictions aimed at limiting the freedom of expression of journalists and the right to information of the Nicaraguan people, nor has it returned the property seized from different news media.
The unilateral passage by the government of the “Amnesty Law” aims to guarantee impunity for crimes and human rights violations instead of seeing that justice is done and finding an effective, consensual solution to the crisis.
Persons who are now in exile have no guarantees of a safe and secure return to Nicaragua and most of them are living in precarious conditions.
These infringements give an overview of a situation in which the most basic human rights and democratic freedoms are systematically violated, and in which State and para-police violence converge to maintain an atmosphere of intimidation, fear and punishment aimed at demobilizing the population, inhibiting the legitimate right to protest and silencing voices that are critical of the government.
For this reason, we who are committed to international feminist solidarity raise our voices once more to refute any attempt to normalize the situation in Nicaragua. We call on the women of Latin America and the world to demand definitive freedom for all political prisoners and total freedom for those who have been released, and to express continued support for the Nicaraguan comrades who are still struggling for freedom, equality and effective democracy in their country against the racist, patriarchal, neoliberal government of Daniel Ortega.
As feminists, we call on the international community and especially on the UN, OAS and European Union (EU) to take all relevant measures to assure effective observance of human rights in Nicaragua.
Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras – AMB, Brasil
Articulación Feminista de Nicaragua, Nicaragua
Articulación Feminista Marcosur (AFM), Regional
Campaña 28 de Septiembre por la Despenalización del Aborto en América Latina y el Caribe- Punto Focal Nicaragua
Colectiva Feminista para el desarrollo local, El Salvador
Comité de América Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de las Mujeres (CLADEM), Regional
Comité de América Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de las Mujeres (CLADEM Nicaragua)
Cotidiano Mujer, Uruguay Fondo de Acción Urgente para América Latina y el Caribe (FAU-AL), Regional
Fundación Puntos de Encuentro, Nicaragua
Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mujeres Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (IM-Defensoras), Regional
Iniciativa Nicaragüense de Defensoras (IN-Defensoras), Nicaragua
Instituto de Liderazgo de las Segovias, Nicaragua
JASS Mesoamérica, Regional
Movimiento Autónomo de Mujeres (MAM), Nicaragua
Movimiento de Mujeres de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
Movimiento de Mujeres Segovianas, Nicaragua
Movimiento Feminista de Nicaragua, Nicaragua
Mujeres en Acción, Costa Rica
Programa Feminista Centroamericano La Corriente, Regional
RAÍCES, Análisis de Género para el Desarrollo A.C., México
Red de Mujeres de Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Red de Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe (RSMLAC), Regional
Red de Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe (RSMLAC)- Enlace Nacional Nicaragua