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.

CrisisWatch Nicaragua

Unchanged Situation

Crackdown on civil society and religious organisations continued; govt accused Germany of enabling “genocide” in Gaza.   

Crackdown on dissent continued. Govt 8 April approved law declaring April as “the month of peace”, in move critics argued was designed to overshadow anniversary of April 2018 protests and violent govt response. Meanwhile, repression of civil society and religious organisations continued. Notably, authorities 3 April closed down fifteen civil and religious organisations, 23 April cancelled legal status of fifteen NGOs. NGO Monitoreo Azul y Blanco 3 April denounced arbitrary detention of at least seven people who participated in religious activities during Holy Week in March. Monitoreo Azul y Blanco 16 April published report about evolving nature of govt repression since 2018 and said it had documented 11,350 human rights violations since clampdown began.

In important international developments. Nicaragua 8 April accused Germany of “facilitating the commission of genocide” in Gaza by supplying Israel with arms and financial assistance, and pressed International Court of Justice to order Germany to cease arms deliveries to Israel; Berlin next day rejected allegations amid rising tensions. Managua 10 April closed its embassy in Berlin. Delegation from Belarus 9 April arrived in capital amid efforts to expand bilateral cooperation. U.S. 16 April expanded sanctions against Nicaragua.

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In The News

14 ڕەش 2023
[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... Los Angeles Times

Ivan Briscoe

Senior Director for Policy

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