The Government of Nicaragua, through the Ministry of the Interior, canceled this Wednesday the legal entities of another hundred national and foreign Non-Profit Organizations (OSFL), with which they add 2907 organizations of this type dissolved during this year, and some 2981 since November 2018.
The banning of NGOs, which includes 91 nationals and nine foreigners, was approved by the head of the Interior, María Amelia Coronel, in the case of local ones, and by the general director of the General Directorate of Registration and Control of OSFL, Franya Urey Blandón, in the case of foreigners.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, the 91 local NGOs have been abandoned or have failed to comply with their obligations, including the fact that they did not report their boards of directors and financial statements for periods of between three and nineteen years, as well as information on the identity and origin of all their members and donors.
Among the NGOs eliminated, the Hermanas Franciscanas School Sisters St.Francis Association, the Association for the Sustainable Development of Microenterprises, the María de Nicaragua and Nicaragua de María Foundation, the Gethsemane Integral Center for Children and Adolescents Association, the Gaspar García Bay Women’s Association stand out. Laviana, Association of Patients with Chronic Diseases, Kukra River Women’s Association, among others. read the list here.
In the case of the nine foreign NPOs, they were dissolved on the grounds that they had been abandoned and had been failing to comply with their obligations for between two and twenty-one years. These NGOs of foreign origin that were canceled are:
- The Summa Foundation, originally from the United States.
- Civil Association Program for the Approach to Children’s Literature I Give You a Dream, originally from Mexico.
- Cooperation Association for the Development of Emerging Countries, originally from Italy.
- Eagle and NG Evangelistic Ministry originally from the United States.
- Cooperation and Sustainable Development Desos Opción Solidaria, originally from Spain.
- Veterinarians Without Borders, originally from Spain.
- Association for Peace and Development, originally from Spain.
- Ministry Of Mercy, Inc, originally from the United States.
- Fundación Totoco Nicaragua, originally from the Netherlands.
In total, the regime has eliminated 319 NPOs of foreign origin, according to permanent monitoring of CONFIDENTIAL. 40% of these are of American origin, 14% come from Spain, 7.5% from Italy, 5% from Germany and 4% from Costa Rica. They have also removed organizations from Denmark, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Slovakia, Afghanistan, Argentina, Luxembourg, among other nationalities.
Four years of cancellations
On November 29, the Ortega regime will celebrate four years since it began the hunt against the NGOs in Nicaragua, whom it accuses of financing the alleged “coup attempt” against it.
Sandinista deputies such as Filiberto Rodríguez have said that the affected NGOs used resources from the donations they received to try to overthrow Ortega in the demonstrations that broke out in April 2018.
In April 2018, thousands of Nicaraguans took to the streets to protest controversial Social Security reforms, which later turned into massive demonstrations demanding the resignation of Ortega and Murillo. The regime responded with brutality and caused at least 355 deaths according to the IACHR, although local organizations raise the figure to 684 and the Government recognizes 200.
The Sandinistas have also argued that the illegalization of these NGOs is part of an ordering process, because not all of the more than 6,000 registered ones were operating.
Recently, 18 organizations denounced in a public hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) the “extreme situation in relation to the systematic violation of freedom of association and the right to defend human rights in Nicaragua”.
In the last three months, Migob has eliminated 1,300 NPOs according to data from CONFIDENTIAL. In September it canceled 500, in October 400 and so far in November another 400.
An investigation by the Inter-American Dialogue estimates that the massive closure of NGOs in Nicaragua affects more than a million Nicaraguans who benefited from various social programs.
“Most of these organizations had projects related to community development, social infrastructure, projects for access to drinking water, citizen participation; that is, everything that has to do with community development in the rural areas where these organizations served,” said environmentalist and activist Amaru Ruíz, who participated as a consultant in the investigation.
*With information from EFE