• Press Release

Nicaragua: Report affirms the government of President Ortega has committed crimes against humanity

December 21, 2018

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega speaks during the commemoration of the 51st anniversary of the Pancasan guerrilla campaign in Managua, on August 29, 2018. - Ortega called the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights "infamous" and "terror instrument", after it denounced Wednesday systematic human rights violations in the framework of opposition protests in which 300 people were killed. (Photo by INTI OCON / AFP) (Photo credit should read INTI OCON/AFP/Getty Images)
In response to the publication of the “Report on the Acts of Violence Occurred Between April 18 and May 30, 2018 in Nicaragua,” by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI-Nicaragua) today, Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

“The damning report by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts reveals that the government of President Daniel Ortega has committed crimes against humanity in the context of the crisis that began last April. This report constitutes a detailed investigation of the crimes under international law and human rights violations carried out by state agents under the command of President Ortega, using public institutions and pro-government armed groups to establish a repressive state apparatus, with the intention to kill and persecute those who opposed their policies.”

“A report of this nature must be investigated formally, in an impartial and exhaustive manner. To that end, the role of the international community is crucial to prevent crimes from going unpunished. Amnesty International reminds all states that they can exercise universal jurisdiction in relation to these crimes against humanity.”

More information:

As in previous Amnesty International reports, the GIEI-Nicaragua investigation has shown that violent events in Nicaragua are part of a deliberately lethal state strategy for repression. The GIEI’s investigation establishes that most of the killings committed, within the timeframe in question, were the result of the use of firearms, with the intention to cause loss of life, at the hands of state agents or others acting in collusion with them. The GIEI-Nicaragua’s report also states that the Nicaraguan authorities have used practically all the state apparatus, including the National Police, the Prosecutor’s Office and the judicial system, as well as pro-government armed groups, to kill, imprison, ill-treat, torture and persecute those people who oppose their policies or are perceived as such.

The Nicaraguan government announced the temporary suspension of the presence and visits of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI), as well as the end of the GIEI’s mandate prior to the presentation of their final report. 

Read more:

Nicaragua: Attack on CENIDH is a blow for human rights (News, 12 December 2018)

Nicaragua: Authorities stepped up strategy for repression, committing grave human rights violations during ‘clean-up operation’ (News, 18 October 2018)

 Instilling terror: From lethal force to persecution in Nicaragua (Research, 18 October 2018)

Nicaragua: In its attempt to avoid international scrutiny, government makes apparent its responsibility for human rights violations (News, 31 August 2018)

Shoot to kill: Nicaragua’s strategy to repress protest (Report, 29 May 2018)