In late 2021, three decades after the end of Nicaragua’s civil war, the government cracked down harshly on opposition parties and staged a rigged election that confirmed President Daniel Ortega’s intention to establish a dynastic authoritarian regime. Thousands have fled the country since 2018, when a mass uprising spurred by an unpopular reform to the social security system was met with state violence, resulting in hundreds of deaths. Through its fieldwork and advocacy, Crisis Group seeks to contribute to a negotiated exit from the crisis and prevent further bloodshed.
This week on Hold your Fire! Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group experts Tiziano Breda and Ivan Briscoe about politics in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras and why Central Americans are leaving for the United States.
Govt dismissed hundreds of justice officials amid ongoing crackdown; ties with Russia and China deepened as Managua formally withdrew from Organization of American States (OAS).
Govt dismantled judiciary and continued crackdown on civil society. Govt late Oct dismissed President of Supreme Court and dozens of officials in justice system; by 6 Nov had removed 450 officers from posts, including four Supreme Court magistrates; media report 7 Nov suggested vacancies would be filled by loyalist politicians and former members of security forces. Govt 6 Nov proscribed 25 NGOs, including religious institutions and 27 Nov closed or dissolved fifteen others. Indigenous party YATAMA 13 Nov announced it did not know whereabouts of party leaders seized by security forces late Sept.
Managua strengthened ties with Russia and China, and withdrew from OAS. Commander of armed forces 7 Nov visited Russia to negotiate technical cooperation, reiterated support for Russia’s war against Ukraine. Economic Congressional Committee 14 Nov announced National Assembly would soon ratify Free Trade Agreement with China. Meanwhile, Nicaragua 19 Nov formally withdrew from OAS following two-year process launched in 2021 by Ortega regime in response to condemnation from body about rights violations. Ahead of withdrawal, OAS members 8 Nov approved resolution calling for continued monitoring of rights in country.
[Nicaraguan President Ortega] would prefer to revert to a steady, low-level authoritarian government in which there are perhaps none of the more visible forms of abuses b...
This virtual roundtable assesses the risks of turmoil and political violence, the aggravation of the country’s humanitarian predicament resulting in a surge of emigration and its significance for the region’s democratic backslide.
Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, have arrested more than 30 high-level opponents in recent weeks. In this commentary for Global Americans, Crisis Group's Central America Analyst Tiziano Breda explains what's at stake.
With Nicaraguans heading to the polls in November, the government is already trying to engineer the outcome in its favour. An unfair ballot could spark unrest and a violent crackdown. External actors should push for reforms and dialogue with the opposition while eschewing counterproductive sanctions.
As the coronavirus spreads, and the U.S. presidential election looms, the Trump administration and Mexican government continue to deport migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Some deportees are carrying the virus. Central American states should press their northern neighbours for more stringent health measures.
Political repression and economic hardship are pushing Nicaragua toward a low-intensity, protracted conflict. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2019 - Third Update for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to press for compliance with earlier agreements and a fresh round of negotiations that can help the country out of this deadly standoff.
Watch List Updates complement International Crisis Group’s annual Watch List, most recently published in January 2019. These early-warning publications identify major conflict situations in which prompt action, driven or supported by the European Union and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. The third update to the Watch List 2019 includes entries on Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Sudan and Yemen.
President Daniel Ortega’s government has released almost all political prisoners held since Nicaragua’s April 2018 uprising. It should stay this course, honouring its other commitments to the opposition in national dialogue. International actors should promise consequences if the government drags its feet.
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