The National Assembly, dominated by the Sandinista Front, canceled this Wednesday, June 15, the legal status of 93 NGOs, and has the annulment of another 98 on the agenda for this Thursday, June 16.
Between both decrees, one presented on June 8 and the second, this Tuesday the 14th, there would be 191 civil society organizations banned by Parliament. The first decree was approved with 74 votes in favor and 16 against.
With these cancellations, the NGOs closed by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo rise to 669, from the end of 2018 to date.
So far in 2022, the year in which the regime has radicalized the crusade with organized civil society, the Assembly has closed 595 organizations, including these decrees.
At the beginning of this year, each document approved by Parliament covered 25 organizations that were outlawed in a single session of the Assembly. However, over the months, they have included in a single document more than 90 Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) to be canceled at once.
The Ortega legislator, Filiberto Rodríguez, has assured that the cancellations will continue as part of the regime’s mission to enforce the law and a supposed order in conjunction with the Ministry of the Interior (Migob).
The Migob points out that organizations do not comply with the presentation of financial statements, “according to the fiscal periods with a detailed breakdown of income, expenses, trial balance and details of donations, (origin, provenance and final beneficiary)”; They also did not report who makes up their boards of directors, previous donations from abroad, identity documents of their funders, and did not comply with the registration as Foreign Agents.
This argument is repeated in each decree, without presenting particular evidence for each organization. The Migob also does not respond to questions from former directors of NGOs stripped of their legal status, who point out that they impose obstacles in the registration processes as foreign agents and other documentation necessary to be in order.
“The entities have carried out their activities outside the law and acting against express law. Their actions have violated what is established in different regulatory bodies that regulate them,” the decrees indicate.
They refer to the alleged violation of the Law on Non-Profit Legal Entities or Law 147; the Law against Money Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and the Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction or Law 977 and Law 1040, Law for the Regulation of Foreign Agents.
against the culture
Among the NGOs canceled this Wednesday is the Nicaraguan Writers Center (CNE), founded on April 5, 1990 by the late priest and poet Ernesto Cardenal (1925-2020). This organization owns a publishing house that, with the support of the cooperation of Norwegian writers, managed to publish 81 poetry titles, 39 short stories, 24 novels and three plays, for a total of 147 titles.
Under the editorial seal of the CNE, 121 novel titles have been published, according to its information. That center also publishes the literary magazine “El Hilo Azul”, whose director in its first ten years was former Vice President and writer Sergio Ramírez, exiled in Spain since last year.
In addition, they promote the national poetry prize “Ernesto Cardenal in memoriam”.
“The Nicaraguan Writers Center was established with the purpose of promoting the creation and investigation of literary, historical, social, political, cultural, economic and research works on the Nicaraguan and Central American reality,” said that entity in its description.
Also in defense and protection of the copyright of its members and to achieve a Law for the Protection of Writers in their old age, which is still pending, he added.
Three weeks ago, the authorities illegalized the Nicaraguan Academy of Language after almost 94 years of existence, in one of the hardest blows against culture that the Ortega government has dealt.
They also annulled the NGO founded by the late former president Enrique Bolaños (2002-2007), which has one of the most complete virtual libraries in the country.
Before they dissolved the NGO that organized the International Poetry Festival of Nicaragua, which from 2005 to 2018 brought together more than 1,500 poets from 120 countries, for which it was considered one of the most important in Latin America.
Organizations outlawed in the second decree —to be approved on Thursday— include: Association League of Cooperatives; Association of Miskitus Artisan Fishermen (APM); Mutual Association of the Countryside; Hope of the Future Association; Santa Cruz Foundation known as Tininiska; Association The Union for Health; Nicaraguan Disabled Association; Community Association for the Development of Old Guinea; Association for the Development of Quilalí; Medina River Integral Development Association.
The NGOs will also be cancelled: Foundation for Integral Development of Nicaraguan Municipalities; Association of United Captains and Sailors for the Atlantic Coast; Association of Youth for the Development of Estelí; Miskitu and Sumo Development Association of the Middle Basin; Association of Technicians and Professionals of the municipality of Waspam; National Network Association for the Defense of Consumers; Masaya Association oriented to Progress; Association of Technical Assistance for Small and Medium Enterprises; Posoltega Women’s Association; Christian Association for the Comprehensive Development of the Low-Income Population.
The organizations affected by the hunt for the regime were dedicated to health projects, economic, social, and local development, women’s empowerment, child protection, education, culture, the environment, and others. With its closure, the most affected are its beneficiaries, who already number in the thousands.
*With information from Eph.