• Costa Rica Real Estate

US travel alert for Nicaragua comes amid string of detentions, upcoming elections

July 5, 2016

Nicaragua’s periodic detention of foreign activists, journalists and researchers, and its upcoming election, have caused the governments of the United States and Costa Rica to warn their citizens about visiting the country.

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert on June 29 for U.S. citizens thinking about visiting Nicaragua. The State Department alert cautions U.S. citizens of “heightened sensitivity” by Nicaraguan officials regarding the elections, the controversial interoceanic canal and volunteer or charitable visits.

“Nicaraguan authorities have denied entry to, detained, questioned, or expelled foreigners, including U.S. government officials, academics, NGO workers, and journalists, for discussions, written reports or articles, photographs, and/or videos related to these topics,” the alert reads.

The travel alert also notes that the Nicaraguan government now requires advance notice through its embassy in the U.S. of any volunteer work trip or charitable visit to the country. The alert also warns visitors that election-related demonstrations have turned violent in the past.

Nicaragua will hold presidential and legislative elections on November 6. President Daniel Ortega is running for a third consecutive term.

No room for dissent on canal

The interoceanic canal has been a particularly sensitive subject for the Nicaraguan government. On June 14, the government expelled a group of U.S. government officials, including a Latin America studies professor from the U.S. Army War College who was reportedly researching the canal project.

On June 25, Nicaragua detained Costa Rican environmental and indigenous rights activist Byron Reyes and five other foreigners for alleged possession of explosives in the town of Nueva Guinea, in the South Caribbean Autonomous Region. The detainees had been conducting a workshop on environmentally-friendly wood stoves.

The police noted that the house where the alleged explosion took place (the activists say it was a small, accidental fire) belonged to Francisca Ramírez Torres, a local leader of opposition to the canal. The detained activists were deported two days later.

Reyes said Nicaraguan migration authorities verbally intimidated him and his colleagues after they were detained, demanding to know which organization financed them and what they knew about the canal, according to the news wire AFP.

In 2015, Nicaraguan police detained at least five foreign journalists working on stories about the planned canal, including a reporter for The Tico Times.

Costa Rica has had a travel alert in effect for Nicaragua since last year.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Costa Rica seizes 2.5 tons of cocaine in two operations
Costa Rica
30 views
Costa Rica
30 views

Costa Rica seizes 2.5 tons of cocaine in two operations

AFP and The Tico Times - September 21, 2019

Costa Rican authorities seized 2.5 tons of cocaine in two separate operations carried out on the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines,…

United States and El Salvador sign immigration agreement
Central America
37 views
Central America
37 views

United States and El Salvador sign immigration agreement

AFP and The Tico Times - September 20, 2019

The United States and El Salvador reached an immigration agreement on Friday, the interim secretary of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan,…

‘I want to write my story here too,’ Navas says of PSG
Keylor Navas
29 views
Keylor Navas
29 views

‘I want to write my story here too,’ Navas says of PSG

AFP and The Tico Times - September 20, 2019

Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas debuted in the Champions League with Paris SG on Wednesday with a 3-0 victory against…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!