Nicaragua expels international human rights missions
The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega expelled two expert missions from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Wednesday, accusing them of meddling and bias in evaluating the crisis-hit country.
A letter to Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro said the suspension of the Special Follow-up Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) and the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) would remain “until conditions of respect for sovereignty and internal affairs are re-established.”
Read to mission members by foreign minister Denis Moncada, it accused the two entities of demonstrating “an interfering, interventionist attitude, echoing United States government policies against Nicaragua.”
The missions said they would leave the country on Thursday.
The order came a day before GIEI —created to collaborate with authorities to assess Nicaragua’s human rights situation— was due to present findings on human rights during the first weeks of anti-government protests, which erupted in April.
But the government accused it of acting outside agreed parameters by directly interviewing victims.
GIEI coordinator Amerigo Incalcaterra denied the allegations, but said the mission had been advised not to present its report.
MESENI representative Ana Maria Tello meanwhile told a press conference it would continue to monitor the situation in Nicaragua from Washington.
Ortega’s government also accused the Organization of American States of promoting an “irresponsible” and “slanderous” campaign against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
In a statement, the General Secretariat of the OAS said the expulsion decision “further places Nicaragua into the terrain of authoritarianism.”
It comes as the Ortega government revoked local human rights groups’ permits, raiding their headquarters along with those of independent media.
In September, the government also expelled a UN human rights mission, branding a report it produced as biased.
Rights groups say at least 320 people have been killed in Nicaragua in a brutal government crackdown launched in response to the escalation in April of street protests, initially against a now-ditched pension reform.
Thanks for reading The Tico Times. We strive to keep you up to date about everything that’s been happening in Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. If all our readers chipped in a buck a month we’d be set for years.
You may be interested
Vanished: 10 years later, still no answers after Michael Dixon disappeared in Costa RicaRobert Isenberg - October 18, 2019
It has been 10 years since journalist Michael Dixon disappeared in Costa Rica. To remember the anniversary, we're republishing our longform…
Trump announces that Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras will receive ‘targeted assistance’AFP and The Tico Times - October 18, 2019
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, said Wednesday that Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras will receive "targeted assistance…
Poverty rate remains stable at 21% in Costa Rica, government saysAFP and The Tico Times - October 18, 2019
Poverty in Costa Rica remained has stable at 21% over the last year, while extreme poverty had a slight reduction…