INTERVENTION OF MINISTER DENIS MONCADA COLINDRES AT THE EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE OAS ON THE REPORT OF THE IACHR
June 22, 2018
Mr. Secretary General Luis Almagro.
Mr. Chairman of the Permanent Council, Ambassador Andrés González.
Mrs. Commissioner Antonia Urrejola
Mr. Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Paulo Abrao.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Permanent and Alternate Representatives and Observers to the Organization of American States.
We thank the Secretary General for presenting his report on the situation in Nicaragua. Likewise, we took note of the presentation by Commissioner Urrejola and Mr. Abráo and of their report: Human Rights in the context of social protests in Nicaragua.
The Government of Reconciliation and National Unity (GRUN), rejects in an integral manner the report presented by the IACHR, considering it subjective, biased, prejudiced and notoriously partialized.
The report analyzes the social protests that occurred on April 18, at which no deceased person resulted. However, the media, manipulating the information, published a false news about the death of a university student at the Central American University (UCA), which never existed, information that served as a trigger for the events that occurred since April 19.
Groups interested in the destabilization and rupture of the constitutional order of the country, oblivious to the social claim, gave rise, from that day, to a coup, which then turned into ravages, fires, looting and riot.
The Nicaraguan State categorically expresses its position on the facts analyzed by the IACHR, which do not occur within the framework of social protests, but rather within the framework of an attempt to break the constitutional and institutional framework, to de facto, change the authorities and the legitimately elected Government.
From that false news, the preconceived plan of the political coup began to evolve, with the participation armed gang members, which caused the occurrence on three deaths on the 19th, including a policeman who died by gunshot fire, while restoring public order and the free circulation in the vicinity of the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI).
Simultaneously, this criminal pattern was replicated in some of the main cities of the country, which revealed the existence of a planning and organization, previously designed and financed.
The Government of Nicaragua reaffirms that it is not a Policy of the State to repress social protests and even less so, the excessive and arbitrary use of force by the National Police; it is enough to mention the multiple marches that have occurred in the country, in which no deceased was reported. We reject the recurring, light and unfounded affirmations of convictions, based on complaints made against the State of Nicaragua, and in particular, against the National Police to which the report alludes.
The report presented by the IACHR, up until June 6, on deaths attributed to the State, is not adjusted to reality, because 98 dead persons linked to this situation were reported, which includes police officers, Sandinista citizens and the population in general. Not all the deceased are attributable to the situation that was happening at that time, as some of them were due to causes unrelated to the events, which are being investigated by the competent authorities.
The 143 deaths indicated in the report have not been properly investigated and verified by the IACHR, since in reality several citizens have stated that their identities have been used, making them appear as deceased; others of those identified as dead have been for different causes unrelated to the events.
This report deliberately omits all armed attacks, sieges, harassment and kidnappings of which the National Police Delegations, have been and continue to be a target of, as it occurred in Matagalpa, Jinotepe, Masaya, Leon, Jinotega, Diriamba, Sébaco, Nagarote, Nindirí, among others and the massacre and kidnapping of police officer in Mulukukú and El Jicaral. By decision of the President of the Republic, and at the request of the Commission for Dialogue, they were reconcentrated in their units. The concentration of the Police in their units has generated the free action of criminals, with the consequent increase of criminal activity.
It should also be noted that the IACHR disregards human and constitutional rights, such as the right to work, the free movement of people, to receive health care, as well as the right to food and education.
This report also omits the destruction, fire and looting of public institutions offices, municipal buildings, police units, installations of the Sandinista National Liberation Front and homes of FSLN leaders and public officials; besides the destruction and looting of ambulances, health centers, mobile clinics, maternity homes, schools, equipment and machinery of Municipal Delegations.
Most of the sources of information cited in the IACHR report come from agencies and media that are adverse to the government, which in general are false and manipulated news.
The IACHR does not take into account the versions of the affected families and the destroyed property, which takes away the objective value of its report, since it is not based on in-depth investigations and therefore can not have definitive conclusions, since it does not incorporate citizen complaints victims of abuses by destabilizing groups.
The State of Nicaragua rejects categorically all the irregularities and denial of medical attention that the IACHR reflects in its report. The Ministry of Health showed evidence to the members of the IACHR, of the patients who were and are being treated in the different health units, and the follow-up in the outpatient clinics of the hospitals; During this period we have also received patients from private hospitals, to receive continuous care, we reaffirm that patient care has never been denied.
On June 6, the State offered and provided the IACHR with detailed information on the 1,337 injured, with information from the health unit where each was attended, the situation in which they arrived and the care provided, which has been deliberately omitted by the IACHR, declaring poor quality of attention in some cases, without having carried out a medical audit to evaluate the care process.
The State of Nicaragua strongly rejects the alleged irregularities in the initiation of the investigations regarding the deceased and injured occurred in that context. The Public Prosecutor’s Office in all the cases it has prosecuted has done so in compliance with international standards and exhausting all possible lines of investigation; the accusations have been made with abundant elements of conviction, with expert evidence, testifying and documentary, among others.
We reject the alleged lack of confidence in filing complaints, as the Public Prosecutor’s Office has received more than 60 complaints by relatives of deceased persons, as well as numerous complaints of damage to public and private property that demonstrate the confidence of the population in the institution.
During the visit of the IACHR, the Public Prosecutor’s Office provided this information and of the investigative measures, which in this report have been ignored.
In Nicaragua there is absolute freedom of expression, and rather abuse of it, spreading false news that keep the population in distress and provoke criminal acts, such as the burning of Radio Ya and Radio Nicaragua, facts that are omitted in the report, where the life of the journalists who were working was put in danger.
It is enough to read the written, radio, television and virtual means of communication opposed to the government, to verify the existence of freedom of expression, spreading false news, derision and media lynching towards the public servants of the State of Nicaragua. We strongly reject that most audiovisual media are governmental.
The reporters of the adverse media to the government, inexplicable arrive in advance to the locations where vandalism is being committed, such as fires and destruction of public and private property, among others.
The damages suffered by officials and citizens identified as Sandinistas are not reflected in the IACHR report; as well as the fires provoked in Masaya, León and Managua with people burned and others kidnapped, which constitutes real terrorist acts. Likewise, the stigmatization of public officials and their families through social media constitutes a true media lynching, in violation of human rights, to which the IACHR did not refer in the report.
In the IACHR report, the State of Nicaragua is condemned a priori, for the deaths occurred on May 30th, among which there were Sandinista militants killed, and it is also concluded hastily to blame the National Police for the fire and deaths ocurred on June 16. The Velázquez Pavón family in the Carlos Marx neighborhood in Managua, whose family had been threatened on June 14 by opposition elements for not participating in the national strike. The State of Nicaragua is investigating to determine those responsible for all these regrettable events, which is why we have signed with the General Secretariat of the OAS and the IACHR, the creation of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), to assist in the penal investigations that the State of Nicaragua is already carrying out.
Based on the foregoing, we reject the conclusions of the report presented by the IACHR, for totally missing the truth, offending the dignity of Nicaraguans.
The State of Nicaragua denies and rejects that it has violated the right to life, personal integrity, health, personal freedom, assembly, freedom of expression and access to justice.
It should be noted that Nicaragua, on the two occasions that it has been in the Human Rights Council of Geneva, has successfully gone through the Universal Periodic Review. It is not the policy of the State of Nicaragua to violate human rights, rather, they constitute a fundamental axis of our Political Constitution and of the action of the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity. Suffice it to say that Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America and the second in Latin America, until the occurrence of these unfortunate events, in which it has sought to overthrow a lawful and legitimately constituted government.
The Government of Nicaragua takes due note of the recommendations of the IACHR. The GRUN is committed to achieving the cessation of all forms of violence in the country and to the exercise of the right of the population, to free movement, to the health units that allow them to attend and attend their work, to schools and right to live in Peace.
We have recently extended a warm invitation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union, the General Secretariat of the Organization of the OAS and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to visit Nicaragua and accompany us with their valuable technical support in the work of the Verification and Security Commission created last June 16th, within the National Dialogue Commissions, with the mediation of the Conference of Bishops.
With the Secretariat of the Organization of American States, we have been working fluidly before these acts of violence took place. In this sense, an Electoral Accompaniment Mission was established for the municipal elections held in November 2017, whose report was presented in December of last year in this Permanent Council.
In this area of action, the General Secretariat of the OAS and the Government of Nicaragua agreed on the establishment of a Technical Cooperation Mission for the implementation of the recommendations of the Electoral Accompaniment Mission, based on the project “Strengthening of Democratic Institutions in Nicaragua through the Implementation of the recommendations of the MAE / OAS Nicaragua 2017”, which consists of the following components that are and which were referred by the esteemed friend of the OAS:
1) Electoral Reforms;
2) Technological Solutions;
3) Protocols and Technical Specifications Guide; Y
4) Electoral Registration,
all of them to be executed according to the schedule that has been agreed for these components, which will be concluded in January 2019 with the delivery of proposals for electoral reform.
The Government of Nicaragua firmly believes that Dialogue and negotiation is the only peaceful solution to any difference, that is why we advocate and will continue working for a Dialogue with constructive participation through dialogue that will result in consensual agreements that respect the constitutional order for the benefit of the peace, tranquility, security and stability of the nation, as a necessary route to advance the right to democratization and electoral institutional strengthening.
Based on the above, we express our disagreement with the report presented by the IACHR entitled “Human Rights in the context of social protests in Nicaragua,” considering that it is biased and partialized, and does not include the information that the State presented. The IACHR takes as its sole source, news and information published by media of communication adverse to the government, which has a clearly defined political position, information that is intended to be legitimized by its report, without being previously investigated and verified.
The State of Nicaragua does not agree with the content and conclusions of the IACHR Report, because they are based on assessments, biased and subjective information, which consequently and logically leads to conclusions that do not conform to reality, conclusions in which the State is condemned, without waiting for the results of the investigations that clarify the truth of the facts.
The report does not reflect any concern for the acts of violence on the part of opposition groups that, with their pretension to take political power in the country, have tried to violate the constitutional order, disrespecting the rights to life, personal integrity , free movement, the right to work, health, public safety, among others, of the people in general and of people related to the Government or state officials.
The humanist vocation and deep social sensitivity of the Government of Nicaragua will continue to express its commitment, together with our people, to combat violence, insecurity, destabilization and social chaos, induced by some sectors, in the search for political power, they intend to break the constitutional order with actions that, unfortunately, have brought mourning to the Nicaraguan family.
We request that the IACHR t include in its report all the observations that the State has expressed in its considerations.
The State of Nicaragua wants to record the firmness of its vocation for peace, dialogue and security of democratic strengthening and strengthening of its institutionality, aware that the way out of this situation, where the creation of chaos and social, economic and political instability are pretended, must be in accordance with the constitutional order of the Republic.
The State of Nicaragua, continues and will continue to work for peace and stability, so that truth and justice, social order, security, Human Rights of all Nicaraguans and people who are in our territory prevail.
Washington, D.C. June 22, 2018.