OAS approves with 27 votes resolution against Nicaragua for harassment of NGOs and the Church

OAS approves with 27 votes resolution against Nicaragua for harassment of NGOs and the Church

The OAS exhortation against Nicaragua originated as a result of the recent arrest and imposition of a substitute regimen of freedom against eleven Catholic faithful in the Episcopal Curia of Matagalpa, as well as the outlawing of more than 100 NGOs

With an overwhelming vote of 27 to one, four abstentions and two absences, the member countries of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a resolution against the government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.

The document He lambastes Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo for promoting a wave of harassment against organized civil society, the independent press, and members of the Nicaraguan Catholic Church.

Specifically, they refer to the closure of almost 1,500 NGOs in Nicaragua by order of Ortega, of which the last 100 were outlawed just days ago by the Nicaraguan parliament under the control of the ruling party.

Similarly, the resolution emphasized the arbitrary arrests against representatives of the Catholic Church in the Central American country, such as priests and archbishops who have been critical of the Ortega regime.

The exhortation originated as a result of recent acts of repression against a group of members of the Catholic Church. Specifically, the arrest and imposition of a regimen substitute for freedom against eleven faithful Catholics in the Episcopal Curia of Matagalpa.

This list includes Monsignor Rolando José Álvarez, bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa; and the priests José Luis Díaz and Sadiel Eugarrios, first and second vicar of the San Pedro Cathedral, respectively; Óscar Escoto, parish priest of the Santa María de Guadalupe church; Ramiro Tijerino, rector of the John Paul II University and in charge of the San Juan Bautista parish; and Raul Gonzalez.

“The Permanent Council of the OAS resolves to energetically condemn the forced closure of non-governmental organizations, as well as the harassment and arbitrary restrictions of religious organizations and voices critical of the government and its actions in Nicaragua,” the resolution indicates.

*Also read: They denounce “persecution” against Catholic priests in Nicaragua

Although the resolution focused on recent attacks against the church and NGOs, the document also highlighted that in recent years the OAS has urged the Ortega government to stay on track within the framework of international law and respect the human rights of the Nicaraguan population. and democracy, with no palpable response from the government.

Under the Ortega administration, independent media outlets have been outlawed, journalists have been harassed and detained, various NGOs have been ordered closed and, in short, any voice critical of the government has been silenced.

For this reason, the Government is also urged to release the almost 200 political prisoners held by the regime and to guarantee the right to freedom of expression in the country.

The resolution was promoted by eight countries through a draft presented on August 9, presented by the representation of Antigua and Barbuda with the support of the delegations of Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Peru, the United States and Uruguay.

Despite the number of votes, the position of some countries drew attention. Colombia presented its first change of position in the OAS with the change of Government. From being one of the most critical countries against Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela within the OAS under the government of Iván Duque, now with Gustavo Petro the delegation was absent from this Permanent Council. The only other absent member was Nicaragua itself.

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