Ortega Regime honors the Regional Head of the International Red Cross

Ortega Regime honors the Regional Head of the International Red Cross

On March 13, the regime of Daniel Ortega delivered the order “José de Marcoleta, in the degree of Grand Cross”, to the head of the regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for Mexico and Central America. , Jordi Raich, for having maintained —during his four-year mission— “a respectful partnership” and “a vision to accompany the Government’s priorities”.

The decoration received by the head of the ICRC from Foreign Minister Denis Moncada caused surprise among human rights defenders and victims of repression, because it is not known that Raich’s management has had any impact on restoring respect for human rights. of prisoners of conscience in the Chipote prison.

For nine months, political prisoners have been kept in isolation in the Chipote prisons, in violation of the so-called “Mandela rules.” or minimum rules established by the United Nations for the treatment of inmates, and have been sentenced in sham trials in prison, while the regime has expelled other diplomats, including the apostolic nuncio of the Holy See, Waldemar Sommertag.

The first surprised was Raich himself, who after being decorated wrote on his Facebook page: “The surprise of my recent trip to the land of Rubén Darío: Concession of the order José de Marcoleta degree of Grand Cross” and immediately quoted: “The highest distinction awarded by the Nicaraguan nation for the extraordinary merits acquired in the development of Nicaraguan relations (international or diplomatic) for the benefit of peace and friendship.”

For the president of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh), Vilma Núñez, the award to the head of the ICRC regional delegation is something “totally routine” that occurs when an official or diplomat is going to leave the country, but in the current context of Nicaragua —of repression against citizens and serious violations of the hyumao rights of political prisoners— these types of medals lend themselves to other interpretations.

“It lends itself, logically, to the manipulation and use that the Government makes of this type of protocol routines and it seems to me —also— that it serves to expose, in some way, the official himself, but also the institution he represents,” Nunez commented.

ICRC never entered El Chipote

Sources linked to the relatives of political prisoners revealed that on the few occasions that they have had contact with the International Red Cross, they indicated that despite their requests “the regime never allowed them to enter the Chipote prison, to verify the condition in where the prisoners are, but only to the model prison”.

A source linked to the Episcopal Conference revealed that when they tried to send several copies of the Bible to the political prisoners of El Chipote through the ICRC at the request of their relatives, the Government itself acknowledged that the Bibles never reached El Chipote but were delivered to prisoners in the model prison.

Procedures in 2018 and 2019

The diplomatic presence of the ICRC in Nicaragua has been visible since 2018, when the Ortega regime brutally repressed massive protests against the population, leaving more than 355 dead and nearly a thousand political prisoners.

In March 2019, the institution signed an agreement with the Ortega government to visit the country’s prisons. Days later, the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy (ACJD) and delegates from the Ortega Administration commissioned him with the mission of verifying the lists of political prisoners who would be released. The regime, however, only released part of the political prisoners on the verified list.

Since its arrival in the country, the ICRC mission has maintained a traditional policy of confidentiality, so the results of its visits to political prisoners are not known, and its findings on the National Penitentiary System, where there are complaints of torture, treatment cruel and degrading.

The ICRC is the only international humanitarian institution left in the country, after the regime expelled the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) and the representation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. United Nations for Human Rights (OACNUDH).

In 2020, the decorated Jordi Raich, head of the regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for Mexico and Central America, participated in the act in which the Army Chief, General Julio César Avilés, was re-elected in office for the third consecutive time by Daniel Ortega.

Regime highlights “accompaniment to prison activities”

According to presidential agreement 41-2022, published in the official newspaper, La Gaceta, the head of the ICRC regional delegation was decorated “for his valuable contributions, efforts and accompaniment to the prison activitiesas well as active participation in strengthening friendly relations and cooperation between the ICRC and the Republic of Nicaragua”.

The brief highlights that, during his administration in the period 2018-2022, Raich “was noted for maintaining a respectful, frank, permanent collaboration, demonstrating the commitment and solidarity of the ICRC, with the people and Government of Nicaragua” and his mission was carried out “with a vision of accompaniment to the priorities of the Government of Nicaragua, based on the ICRC principles of being an impartial, neutral and independent organization, guaranteeing humanitarian protection.”

In addition, the Executive continued, “under his management” cooperation agreements on care and visits to those deprived of libertyand capacity building for the Nicaraguan Army, National Police and Ministry of the Interior in “international humanitarian law, national prison systems, juvenile justice, international standards applicable to law enforcement operations.”

Currently the relationships between the Nicaraguan regime and the international community are at their lowest point. Most countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the 27 members of the European Union (EU) have rejected the fraudulent elections in which the Nicaraguan president was re-elected without political competition and demand the release of political prisoners and the annulment of spurious judgments.

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