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 released nineteen members of Catholic Church and handed them to Vatican; opposition leader suffered assassination attempt. 

Managua handed over nineteen religious leaders to Vatican. Pope Francis 1 Jan used New Year’s Day address to express concern about Ortega regime’s targeting of Catholic Church, saying he was “following with concern what is happening in Nicaragua, where bishops and priests have been deprived of their freedom”, and expressed hope for “dialogue to overcome difficulties”. Govt 14 Jan released nineteen jailed religious leaders, including Bishop Rolando Álvarez, following negotiations and handed them over to Vatican. Meanwhile, govt 16 Jan cancelled legal status of sixteen NGOs, some of them Catholic organisations. 

Opposition leader suffered assassination attempt. Unknown gunmen 10 Jan shot and wounded opposition leader Joao Ismael Maldonado Bermúdez, who has lived in Costa Rica since 2018 govt crackdown, and his partner; attack marked second assassination attempt on Maldonado since his exile. Members of Exiled Nicaraguans in Unity in Costa Rica 12 Jan attributed attack to “hired assassins” of regime.

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In The News

14 lut 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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