nicaragua political situation 2019

NNP officers and prison authorities often denied detainees were in custody. No information was available on the percentage of the prison population in pretrial detention or the national average length of pretrial detention. The NNP also committed irregular arrests and detentions during investigations into armed opposition groups or other violent crimes in the north-central regions of the country. Observers noted reports of forced labor, including of men, women, and children in agriculture, construction, mining, street begging, and domestic servitude. The individuals also said progovernment sympathizers verbally threatened them outside their homes and surveilled and defaced their houses. Darker-skinned persons of African descent from the RACN and the RACS, along with others assumed to be from those areas, experienced discrimination, such as being subjected to extra security measures and illegal searches by police. On December 19, Foreign Affairs Minister Denis Moncada expelled the MESENI and GIEI teams, accusing them of having an “interventionist” attitude, a day before the GIEI was due to release a scathing report in Managua. In several instances related to prodemocracy protests, defendants were not allowed to name their legal counsel, and the court appointed a public defendant, which family members of the accused and human rights organizations claimed was detrimental to the defendant’s case. European Parliament resolution of 14 March 2019 on the situation in Nicaragua (2019/2615(RSP))The European Parliament, – having regard to its previous resolutions on Nicaragua, in particular those of 18 December 2008 (1), 26 November 2009 (2), 16 February 2017 (3) and 31 May 2018 (4), – having regard to the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America of 2012, Most labor unions were allied with political parties, and in recent years the government reportedly dissolved unions and fired workers not associated with the ruling FSLN. The country has a very small Jewish population. Independent news outlets faced restrictions on speech, such as not being permitted to attend official government events, being denied interviews by government officials, and receiving limited or no direct access to government information. Flagship UN study shows accelerating climate change Nicaragua: after two years of crisis, more than 100,000 have fled Burundi heads to elections as rights concerns persist Audio - 3'39" ©UNHCR/Daniel Dreifuss. Legal penalties for persons employing children in dangerous work were sufficient to deter violations. Overcrowding, poor sanitation, difficulties obtaining medical care, and violence among prisoners remained serious problems in prison facilities. Physical Conditions: Prison conditions continued to deteriorate due to antiquated infrastructure and increasing inmate populations. Staff members of human rights organizations, family members, and other interested parties were not allowed access to the prison system or to prisoners in custody. Lastly, the GIEI called for a special prosecutorial unit to be created in the Attorney General’s Office to investigate gross rights violations in the context of protests. An administrative resolution issued by the Ministry of Health continued in effect, declaring that HIV/AIDS patients should not suffer discrimination and making available a complaints office. Members of civil society and student leaders involved in the protests that began in April 2018 were more likely than members of other groups to be subjected to such treatment. NGOs and indigenous rights groups claimed the government failed to protect the civil and political rights of indigenous communities. Also see the Department of Labor’s Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor at  and the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor at . In February 2019, the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) announced the cancellation of this year’s Nicaragua Cup of Excellence due to the ongoing political crisis. As of July 4, the private sector confirmed approximately 12,500 acres remained seized. Two-thirds of its members underscored their concern for ongoing human rights violations, the refugees they have generated, and the expulsion of the OHCHR team. Released political prisoners recounted being beaten, kept in solitary confinement for weeks, and suffering from poor ventilation and poisoned or contaminated food and water. The comptroller stated in 2015 that Albanisa, a private company controlled by regime insiders that imports and sells Venezuelan petroleum products, and associated revenue under the Venezuela oil cooperation agreement were not subject to audit because the National Assembly did not approve the agreement. Police and FSLN members had informally accused Edgard Montenegro of organizing antigovernment protests in Jinotega. The regime-aligned individuals spent the night camped out on the altar of the cathedral, menacing the hunger strikers who had locked themselves inside the sacristy. Discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities was widespread despite being prohibited by law. The law does not recognize gender-based identity, and as such the penitentiary system is not required to separate inmates based on gender identity. Local human rights organizations reported that several detainees had been beaten, stripped, and fed poisoned or otherwise contaminated food. It does not top lowest nor highest income charts. There was no indication the government investigated crimes committed by police and parapolice groups related to the 2018 prodemocracy uprising. By September the government had not allowed national, independent print media La Prensa and El Nuevo Diario to import ink, paper, or machine parts to continue printing for more than one year. Sentences for those convicted of rape range from eight to 12 years’ imprisonment. Employers interfered in the functioning of workers’ organizations and committed other violations related to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Restrictions on press freedom, the absence of an independent judiciary, and a nondemocratic political system combined to inhibit freedom of expression, including for the press. The OHCHR reported some men and women detained in the context of the 2018 protests were subjected to solitary confinement in maximum-security cells of La Modelo and La Esperanza prisons, in some cases for months at a time. Situation in Nicaragua. In several instances authorities denied having detainees under custody in a specific jail, even to their family members or legal counsel. Several NGOs claimed the government monitored their email and online activity without appropriate legal authority. Its overall score has decreased by 0.5 point due to a drop in the fiscal health score. Posted at 13:11 19 Feb 2019 13:11 19 Feb 2019 Nicaraguan opposition activists jailed Medardo Mairena and Pedro Mena, who led anti-government protests, are found guilty of "terrorism". As the crackdown intensified, some individuals responded violently and 22 police officers died between April and September, according to official statistics. As part of a continuing social media campaign against prodemocracy protests, ruling party members and supporters used social media to publish personal information of human rights defenders and civil society members. But given Nicaragua’s current political situation, “the small budget for conservation is not being used for that,” said another source who requested anonymity for safety reasons. Human rights organizations and independent media alleged some killings were politically motivated, an allegation difficult to confirm because the government refused to conduct official inquiries. WFP; Posted 25 Nov 2020 Originally published 25 Nov 2020. Government programs purportedly created to provide support for victims of the violence since April 2018 benefited only FSLN party members. Civil society members alleged government offices provided the information. The government claimed the vast majority of labor disputes were resolved favorably to workers, but labor and human rights organizations continued to allege rulings were often unfavorable to workers. A police report issued the day of the killing and subsequent government information claimed that Montes was shot due to a scuffle with a guard during an attempted prison mutiny. Freedom of Expression, Including for the Press, b. Freedoms of Peaceful Assembly and Association, Section 3. The law requires vetting of new judicial appointments by the Supreme Court of Justice, a process wholly influenced by nepotism, personal influence, and political affiliation. On November 25, he returned, along with five other journalists. Wildcat strikes–those without union authorization–have historically been common. 19 Nov 2020. Prodemocracy marches and protests were not allowed during the year. A lack of strong institutions, a weak system of checks and balances, and the overbearing political control of government institutions allowed for corruption to remain. Many of these cases did not reach the court system or a mediation process led by the Ministry of Labor. The government failed to enforce rape and domestic violence laws, leading to widespread impunity and reports of increased violence from released offenders emboldened by their release. A year into Nicaragua’s political and social crisis, an estimated 62,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, with the vast majority – some 55,500 – seeking refuge in Costa Rica. 2020-09-18 Tornado damages 72 houses and the church in a neighborhood of Managua. The government continued Programa Amor, which aimed to eradicate child labor by reintegrating abandoned children into society. As part of a continuing social media campaign against prodemocracy protests, ruling party members and supporters used social media to publish personal information of human rights defenders and civil society members. The government does not recognize political prisoners as an inmate category and considers all remaining prisoners to be common criminals. Libel/Slander Laws: Although during the year the government did not use libel laws, independent media reported engaging in self-censorship due to the government’s previous use of libel laws. In addition, increased control over the entry of foreign visitors or volunteer groups into the country hindered the work of humanitarian groups and human rights NGOs. The Special Rapporteurship on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed its deep concern over discrimination on political grounds in the exercise of the rights to work. A detainee has the right to bail unless a judge deems there is a flight risk. The law prohibits such actions. Nicaragua political and economic situation is far from ideal. Local media and lawyers for the accused said police planted military-grade weapons inside the individuals’ vehicles after they were detained. Renowned journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro went into exile in January after receiving harassment and death threats. 2020-10-01 "Nobody is above the Constitution": Mgr. There was widespread corruption, including in the police, the CSE, the Supreme Court, customs and tax authorities, and other government organs. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from: a. The government continued to make no effort to investigate several 2017 incidents of extrajudicial killings and torture in both the North and South Caribbean Autonomous Regions. Defendants may present their own witnesses and evidence in their defense; however, some judges refused to admit evidence on behalf of the defense. In some cases, the whereabouts of detainees were not confirmed for up to two weeks, constituting enforced disappearances during the time they were missing. The law was criticized by lawyers, human rights organizations, and the Political Prisoners Committee because it included a provision that released prisoners under amnesty could be imprisoned again and their original accusations reinstated, if they participated once again in the activities that led to their initial arrest. Due to the social and political unrest that the country has experienced since April 2018, the economy contracted to -4.0 and -3.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Human rights NGOs characterized those detained in the context of prodemocracy protests as political prisoners. On November 18, NNP officers and riot police, who had surrounded and blocked access to the Cathedral of Managua as families of political prisoners began a hunger strike inside, allowed inside the cathedral a group of at least 30 regime-aligned individuals, who assaulted Father Rodolfo Lopez and desecrated sacred items and spaces. A majority of the doctors and university staff from the public sector fired for political reasons had not received severance pay as of November. In several instances the government used the unit to block access of an NGO to its bank account. A judge then must order the suspect released or transferred to jail for pretrial detention. The law establishes a statutory minimum wage for 10 economic sectors. UNHCR Nicaragua Situation Fact Sheet (1 – 30 November 2019) Source. The Ministry of the Interior has oversight of regulatory compliance by NGOs and provides certificates. The law and regulations prohibit discrimination regarding race, sex, gender, disability, language, sexual orientation or gender identity, HIV or other communicable disease status, or social status. The government frequently used FSLN-controlled family cabinets and party-controlled CLSs to administer these programs. The government made no efforts to prevent, investigate, or punish such acts. with permanent relocation in the back of our minds. Slander and libel are both punishable by fines ranging from 120 to 300 times the minimum daily wage. However the country is still considerably better than the one in Venezuela, for example. This led to significant increase in printing costs and restrictions of printing capacity of both daily newspapers. The government rejected the creation of the commission and stated that it would not allow the commission to enter the country. In November and December, Congress stripped nine civil society organizations of their legal registration at the request of the Interior Ministry. The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights. The government strictly controlled the entry of persons affiliated with some groups, specifically humanitarian and faith-based organizations. Despite global economic turbulence, Nicaragua has stood out for maintaining growth levels above the average for Latin America and the Caribbean. Nicaragua’s ongoing political, economic crisis is hampering the training of priests . The GIEI’s mandate expired in November; in its final press conference it announced judicial authorities had not cooperated in any way foreseen in the agreement. Increased government restrictions on domestic NGOs’ ability to receive funding directly from international donors seriously hindered the NGOs’ ability to operate. National television was largely controlled either by business associates of the president or directly owned and administered by his family members. Complaints continued regarding the lack of accessible public transportation in Managua. Notwithstanding stronger external demand, momentum will be held back by the uncertain political situation. Child labor also occurred in the production of dairy products, oranges, bananas, tobacco, palm products, coffee, rice, and sugarcane; cattle raising; street sales; garbage-dump scavenging; stone crushing; gold mining and quarrying of pumice and limestone; construction; drug production and trafficking; street performing; domestic work; and transport. The 2006 total abortion ban penalizes women and girls who have abortions with prison terms of up to two years. 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