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Nicaragua

Three decades from the end of its civil war, Nicaragua was shaken in 2018 by a mass uprising that President Daniel Ortega met with a violent crackdown. Hundreds died and thousands fled the country as security forces broke up mostly peaceful protests, spurred by an unpopular reform to the social security system. Despite Ortega’s major achievements in the fight against crime and economic development, critics accused him of undermining democracy and seeking to establish a dynastic authoritarian regime. 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

Govt sought to ease growing international condemnation of human rights abuses, while opposition struggled to create cohesive front. In meeting with foreign diplomats 6 Jan to present outlines of govt’s foreign policy for 2020, FM Denis Moncada said govt aimed to strengthen international cooperation, while defending principle of non-interference in domestic affairs. National Assembly (NA) 9 Jan announced eight focus areas for parliament including electoral reforms which will involve consultations with political parties but not opposition platforms such as Civic Alliance and Blue and White National Unity (UNAB). Govt 10 Jan launched “human rights and reconciliation” plan under which 7,500 local peace commissions reportedly created in 2019 would be used as arenas for reconciliation. Opposition gave contradictory signals as to its future unity. UNAB 4 Jan elected new political council. After UNAB founding member Civic Alliance 6 Jan reiterated it is separate from UNAB, both organisations 9 Jan said in joint statement they would continue to work together to defeat govt in upcoming 2021 elections, and 17 Jan announced formation of “National Coalition” open to civil society groups and political parties. Coordinadora Universitaria grouping of four university associations 15 Jan left Civic Alliance for UNAB. Harassment of opposition continued including govt supporters 2 Jan throwing dye and stones at house of opposition activist Amaya Coppens in city of Estelí. Armed assailants 29 Jan killed at least two indigenous Mayangna people in attack reportedly linked to land disputes, on nature reserve in north.

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Reports & Briefings

The Keys to Restarting Nicaragua’s Stalled Talks

Also available in Español

A Road to Dialogue After Nicaragua’s Crushed Uprising

Also available in Español

Latest Updates

EU Watch List / Global

Watch List 2019 – Third Update

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.