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

Govt continued to crackdown on opposition and Catholic Church despite sustained international condemnation.

Repression of opposition and Catholic church continued. Following late Sept arrest of Brooklyn Rivera, only indigenous parliament representative, Rivera’s YATAMA party 1 Oct denounced detention and that of fellow politician Nancy Rodriquez. Authorities 3 Oct rescinded YATAMA’s legal status and closed two YATAMA-run radio stations. Govt 12 Oct allocated Rivera’s seat to ruling party politician. Despite Vatican’s late Sept call for diplomatic dialogue, attacks on Catholic church continued. Notably, police and paramilitary groups 1-9 Oct detained six Catholic priests. Govt 18 Oct freed six priests and exiled them to Rome following deal with Vatican. Authorities 24 Oct cancelled legal status of local chapter of Franciscan order and 16 NGOs, many of whom have ties to Catholic Church.

International community kept up pressure on Managua. EU Council 9 Oct extended measures including asset freeze and travel bans on 21 individuals and three entities until Oct 2024. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 10 Oct briefed Organization of American States (OAS) permanent council about situation in country, saying govt’s actions part of repressive strategy to consolidate power and silence critics. OAS next day condemned situation and called on govt to respect and protect human rights.

In another important development. Nicaraguan Central Bank 17 Oct announced reduction in imports and exports in first eight months of 2023 compared to same period in 2022.

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In The News

14 फेब्रुअरी 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

Program Director, Latin America and Caribbean

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