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Argentine justice opens investigation into the commission of crimes against humanity in Nicaragua

Argentine justice opens investigation into the commission of crimes against humanity in Nicaragua

In the courts of Comodoro Py, Buenos Aires, Argentina, a criminal investigation began on Tuesday, October 5 against the dictator Daniel Ortega and the high authorities of his regime to determine if they committed crimes against humanity in Nicaragua. A fact that Argentine justice bases on the principle of universal jurisdiction recognized in its Constitution.

A publication of the Argentine media Infobae indicates that the case began with a complaint filed by the lawyers Darío Richarte and Diego Pirota against the Nicaraguan president, his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo; and all those officials who make up the repressive apparatus that persecuted political opponents since April 2018.

Therefore, the federal judge Ariel Lijo ordered to send an exhortation to the Nicaraguan Justice to report if there are open cases where extrajudicial executions, illegal detentions, forced disappearance of people, or torture are investigated.

At the time of promoting the investigation, prosecutor Eduardo Taiano explained that the Argentine federal justice is empowered to investigate these crimes based on article 118 of the Constitution, which recognizes the principle of universal jurisdiction, and the international commitments assumed by that country that ” establish the duty of domestic courts to investigate on behalf of the international community regardless of the place where they have arisen (according to the sixth paragraph of the preamble to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court)”.

Taiano also stressed that the International Criminal Court could not judge possible crimes against humanity in Nicaragua because the country has not ratified the Rome Statute.

According to Infobae, the Argentine federal justice has already investigated other complaints for crimes against humanity that occurred abroad in other countries, such as the persecution of practitioners of the “Falun Gong” discipline in China, the crimes of Francoism in Spain, and genocide. denounced by the Rohingya people in Myanmar.

Those accused of crimes against humanity

Among those accused of committing crimes against humanity are the head of the National Police, Commissioner General Francisco Díaz; the presidential adviser, Néstor Moncada Lau; the head of the Nicaraguan Army, General Julio César Avilés Castillo; the transport minister, retired general Oscar Mojica; the president of the National Assembly, deputy Gustavo Porras Cortés.

Other defendants are: the director of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute, Roberto López; the presidential adviser on defense and security issues, Oscar Valladares; the former health minister, Sonia Castro; and the president of the Central Bank of Nicaragua, Ovidio Reyes Ramírez.

In the complaint presented, it describes the social and political context that Nicaragua has been experiencing since 2018. And it does so based on a series of reports and investigations carried out by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Human Rights Council (UN), the Organization Amnesty International, the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), and the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts for Nicaragua.

These reports indicate a series of stages in the repressive strategy of the Ortega regime, which has left at least 355 assassinated in the country, a thousand political prisoners and more than 100,000 Nicaraguans in exile.

According to the judicial complaint, to which Infobae had access, among the characteristic elements of the repression in Nicaragua currently “the arrest of a new group of people identified as opponents of the Government stands out,” including seven presidential candidates, political activists , public figures from the political life of the country, former workers of civil society organizations, student leaders, peasant representatives and journalists.

The complaint by lawyers Richarte and Pirota also highlights the repeated attacks against members of the Church, especially against the bishop of the Matagalpa diocese, Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, who has been under house arrest since August 19.

The judicial complaint filed in Buenos Aires requests, among other things, that the heads of Daniel Ortega’s regime be summoned to an investigative statement and that the victims of the repression and their relatives also be able to testify as witnesses.

As a first measure, Judge Lijo ordered a warrant to be sent to the Nicaraguan Justice and asked the Argentine Foreign Ministry to “arbitrate the necessary means to request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to report whether proceedings have been initiated regarding the aforementioned events. in the present”, reported the Argentine media.

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