Nicaragua expels IACHR monitoring mechanisms in the midst of a serious democratic and human rights crisis

December 20, 2018

Photo: MESENI, IACHR/Flickr

December 20, 2018. - In a surprising move, Daniel Ortega’s government informed yesterday of his decision to suspend the presence of the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI, by its Spanish acronym) and to expel the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI, by its Spanish acronym), both part of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). This decision occurs after the Nicaraguan National Assembly arbitrarily and illegally took away the legal status of various civil associations and human rights organizations, within the context of a progressive deterioration of democracy and the rule of law.

These monitoring mechanisms were established based on an agreement signed on May 30, 2018 by the Government of Nicaragua, the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS), and the IACHR. MESENI has been carrying out an essential task of monitoring the human rights situation in the country, as well as receiving complaints and monitoring precautionary measures. The expulsion of GIEI comes on the eve of a press conference scheduled for today in Managua, where the group would release its final report on the violent events that transpired between April 18 and May 30 this year, during the citizen demonstrations against the government. At the end of August, a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights delegation was also expelled from Nicaragua after the publication of its own report on the acts of violence in the country.

The decisions adopted in recent days in Nicaragua once again show the onslaught of the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo against any critical voice, from Nicaraguan civil society or supranational human rights organizations, to the institutional violence and consolidation of a dictatorial regime in the Central American country.

DPLF calls on the international community to adopt strong measures and demand accountability from the authorities responsible for these serious human rights violations and the undermining of democracy in Nicaragua.