Thursday 9 February 2023

Outlawed another 25 organizations critical of the Ortega government

More than 165 civil organizations have been annulled by the government since the 2018 protests, which Ortega attributed to a failed coup engineered by the U.S.

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8 February 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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TODAY NICARAGUA (Managua) The Nicaraguan parliament, controlled by President Daniel Ortega’s party, outlawed on Wednesday,  twenty-five non-governmental organizations (NGOs) critical of his administration, including one for human rights and others for the writer Sergio Ramírez and the late poet Ernesto Cardenal.

A woman sits inside the Nicaraguan Permanent Commission on Human Rights (CDPH) building in Managua. (OSWALDO RIVAS/AFP)

“The decree of cancellation of the legal status” of 25 NGOs is approved, announced the first vice president of parliament, Arling Alonso, on April 20, 2022, at the end of the vote that had the support of 74 deputies, none against and 15 abstentions.

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The cancellations were approved by means of a legislative decree presented by the pro-government legislator Filiberto Rodríguez, who, in turn, accepted a request from the Ministry of the Interior (Migob), a government entity that supervises this type of organization.

According to the Migob, the affected organizations “have breached the laws that regulate non-profit organizations”, after having refused to register as foreign agents, based on a 2020 law that also requires them to report on the funds they receive from abroad.

The measure affected the Permanent Commission on Human Rights (CPDH), founded in 1991, which is one of the humanitarian organizations that documented the repression suffered by Nicaraguans during the protests against the government in 2018, which left at least 355 dead.

“It has been 45 years of permanent struggle, in which we have identified ourselves with the most vulnerable, the most mistreated by officials who do not respect the laws,” said Mario Carmona, a CPDH leader, on Tuesday. He denounced that the Migob refused to receive the financial reports of the CPDH.

Legislators also annulled the Luisa Mercado Foundation (Funlum), which the writer Ramírez founded in 2006 to promote culture and literature. Ramírez, who was vice president during the first Ortega government between 1985 and 1990, was forced into exile in Spain after the Prosecutor’s Office charged him last year with the crimes of “undermining national integrity, in conjunction with the crime of money laundering.”

Under similar charges, forty opponents of the government, imprisoned in Managua since the middle of last year, were sentenced.

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The Association for the Development of Solentiname, which the late father and poet Ernesto Cardenal created in 1982 on an island in Lake Cocibolca in Nicaragua, to develop art, was also canceled.

The parliament reported that the assets of the canceled NGOs will be liquidated in accordance with their statutes. If they do not contemplate dissolution mechanisms, they will pass into the hands of the State.

More than 165 civil organizations have been annulled by the government since the 2018 protests, which Ortega, a former guerrilla in power since 2007, blamed on a failed coup engineered by the United States.

Article originally appeared on Today Nicaragua and is republished here with permission.

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