Nicaragua: opposition puts a halt to negotiations

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Although Daniel Ortega agreed to engage in talks with the opposition, the dialogues do not seem to be moving

Nicaragua: opposition puts a halt to negotiations

From February 27, the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, agreed to have a negotiating table to reach an agreement with the opposition of that country. Negotiation talks respond to the social crisis that has occurred since 2018, which has left hundreds dead, injured and detained.

Leer en español: Nicaragua: la oposición pone un alto a las negociaciones

In this way, Ortega said he would meet with the opposition group, Civic Alliance, to try to reach an agreement. This after three of the largest businessmen in the country expressed their concern about the current situation in Nicaragua. Thus, Ortega gave his conditions, which were that the media did not have access to be present at the table, nor that members belonging to human rights organizations were part of it.

It was this last point that began with the obstacles in the negotiation, since for the opposition to have guarantors experts either in human rights or members of NGOs that look after them was essential. It was not only this that sharpened the crisis in the negotiations.

Another important point for the opposition is based on the release of more than 700 political prisoners who have been arrested during the 11 months of crisis, according to figures from the International Commission on Human Rights. Although at first Ortega freed 100 prisoners, the figures do not represent a large part of the releases, added to the lack of guarantees by the State.

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The reasons for the halt

In this way, the opposition decided to put a stop to the negotiations, and by means of a statement to say that they will return to them as long as four conditions are met:

1. Freedom of political prisoners
2. Cessation of repression and abductions
3. Full observance and respect of international standards for the treatment of political prisoners, including the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and prompt medical assistance for inmates
4. Cessation of harassment of the families of the detainees


However, they reiterated that different processes of "internal and external consultation with different actors, including relatives of political prisoners and various civil society organizations, will be carried out from the Civic Alliance."

Along the same lines, the opposition met with the special envoy of the OAS, Luis Ángel Rosadilla, whose mission is to observe the panorama, to dialogue with the different parties and to consider the possibilities (if any) of the organization participating in the negotiation table.

In spite of the aforementioned, Daniel Ortega's government emphasized their will, taking his as his government's, to advance and seek an agreement with the opposition. According to El Periódico, the Ortega government published a statement read by Foreign Minister Denis Ronaldo Moncada, in which Ortega's assistance to the negotiating table is ratified, which he describes as "the invariable commitment of the Nicaraguan state to the Conversation table". However, the points that the opposition urgently requests to be modified (freedom of prisoners and for repression) have not been mentioned.

Situation of the prisoners

Despite being part of the dialogues, the government continues to carry out raids against the opposition. According to the same media, "at least 14 oppositors have been arrested in the last four days in raids." The arrests take place in the middle of the repression, because since the end of last year they stopped demonstrating due to the repression of the police and the controversial law that punishes the right of demonstration for up to 20 years.

Because of the above, the main reason why many people are being held is because they were imprisoned while protesting against Ortega. Similarly, there have been several reports of mistreatment and violation of human rights inside prisons.

According to Confidencial, "the Committee for the Release of Prisoners and Political Prisoners of Nicaragua demanded that the authorities verify the health conditions of their families", after on Saturday, March 9, the prisoners held a protest on the rooftops of the prison, which led to being apprehended violently.

Although at first it was thought that the dialogue accepted by Ortega, as a result of international pressure, would lead to a solution or some kind of agreement, the stagnation of the dialogues in key points such as human rights reveals that President Ortega is not entirely comfortable to enter into a dialogue and change the situation in the country.


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Nicaragua: la oposición pone un alto a las negociaciones"

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