Nicaragua dissolved the Nicaraguan Red Cross on Wednesday after accusing it of violating neutrality in the 2018 protests and replaced it with an agency attached to the government.
“Repeal Legislative Decree number 357 […] of October 29, 1958, through which the Nicaraguan Red Cross Association was created”, says the resolution adopted unanimously by the National Assembly, controlled by the Sandinista Front of President Daniel Ortega.
The norm approved by the Assembly orders the creation of a new Nicaraguan Red Cross, which will be a “decentralized autonomous entity with legal personality, its own assets and indefinite duration”, attached to the Ministry of Health.
More than 2,000 private organizations have been banned in Nicaragua on charges of violating the law, including business unions and Catholic universities.
Some deputies (all are official supporters) accused the Red Cross of violating the laws on non-profit organizations and the principle of neutrality of the humanitarian organization, founded in Geneva in 1863 to protect victims of armed conflicts.
The 2018 protests lasted for at least three months in different areas of Nicaragua, with roadblocks, as well as clashes between opposition and pro-government protesters that left more than 300 dead, according to the UN.
The Ortega government considered the protests an attempted coup promoted by the United States, while international organizations accused the executive of promoting repression against the opposition.