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

Stifling of dissent and poor treatment of political prisoners continued, and regime authorised foreign troop deployment to support humanitarian situation. 

Crackdown on dissent and poor treatment of political prisoners continued. Govt 11 June cancelled legal status of fifteen NGOs, 24 June closed fifteen more. Local media 14 June published report revealing govt had imposed arbitrary fines of up to 20,000 córdobas ($500) on evangelical leaders as suppression of religious institutions continued. Meanwhile, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 11 June condemned “deplorable” prison conditions and urged regime to protect political prisoners’ “lives and integrity”. Organization of American States 27 June adopted resolution urging immediate release of political prisoners in Nicaragua and easing of repression of church members.

Govt approved foreign troop entry and continued to forge new alliances. National Assembly 4 June authorised entry of troops from U.S., Russia, Venezuela and Cuba to provide emergency humanitarian assistance until 31 Dec 2024, specifying that Russian and Venezuelan soldiers will also assist in fight against drug trafficking and organised crime. Meanwhile, regime 7 June reaffirmed its intention to join BRICS and 11 June formalised re-establishment of diplomatic relations with North Korea amid efforts to diversify alliances in face of Western sanctions. President Ortega 22 June appointed ambassador to Afghanistan, formalising establishment of diplomatic relations with Taliban authorities.

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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

Senior Director for Policy

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