Marcos Carmona, executive director of the Permanent Commission for Human Rights in Nicaragua (CPDH), an NGO dismantled by President Daniel Ortega, harbors hopes from his exile in Miami (Florida) that governments such as the United States and Canada continue “ exerting pressure so that he can return social peace” to his country.
“We have documented that for just saying ‘Long live free Nicaragua’, sympathizers of the regime have taken the lives of citizens. Today’s criminals are the ones who control absolutely everything, we have a National Assembly that has created anti-democratic laws,” Carmona denounced this Wednesday in an interview with Efe.
The activist was satisfied that last Monday the CPDH managed to reopen its branch in Miami, where it has been operating since 2015 and had to close due to the pandemic.
“Starting this Monday we reopen the office. We are going to attend to Nicaraguans, but not only do we receive complaints. We want to be a channel of communication for those Central Americans who feel that their human rights are being violated or are experiencing domestic violence, and we also want to protect the rights of children,” he said.
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Carmona affirms that since 2018, the year in which “the (Nicaraguan) people took to the streets to protest” and the Ortega government harshly repressed them, around 600 complaints of human rights violations have been received in the US.
The CPDH was stripped of its legal personality on April 20 after more than 40 years of operation. It was the last organization to defend human rights in Nicaragua after the closure in 2018 of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) and the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH).
“The same April 20, when the CPDH celebrated its 47th anniversary, they stripped us of legal personality; they did it premeditated,” says Carmona, who arrived in Miami on May 2 along with another member of the CPDH, Denis Darse.
“They told us there were going to be arrests, and, in fact, Dr. María Oviedo, who is part of the CPDH team, is still in jail. In June she will have been imprisoned in El Chipote for a year,” she denounced.
“We were a non-profit NGO, we presented the financial reports to the Government and these funds were audited by public accounting firms that as of 2018 did not want to receive our information,” laments Carmona.
The activist points out that, “after the CPDH was closed, there was another wave and they have just closed more than 50 onegés such as Operation Smile, focused on helping children with cleft lips.”
According to Carmona, who is about to turn 56, and of whom 20 are at the head of the organization, the NGOs “are being accused of violating the law of cybercrime and treason against the fatherland” in some processes, he affirms, “unfair and vitiated.”
“We have shown that all these arguments do not exist, they only change the name (of the person in the accusation) and maintain the same content. They are like template made,” she says.
“The sad thing is that the political prisoners and those processed people are in a state of defenselessness,” he adds.
About the international organizations and instances where they have been able to present the more than 11,000 complaints of human rights violations in Nicaragua documented since 2018, says the UN Human Rights Commission, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the European Parliament and the US Department of State.
Now, he says, “there is nothing left to do but see and document what we can do from afar. The National Assembly has just approved this week a law by which the public ministry can accuse any citizen of treason and open the process in absentia and confiscate their assets.
“These statements that I am giving could be of use to you,” says Carmona, who arrived in Miami after escaping by land from his country.
“My journey is the least important, the sad thing is when other people have lost their lives or have been kidnapped or raped. There are more than 300,000 Nicaraguans who have emigrated; we are working people but they have not given us the opportunity to move forward with laws that work, ”she sentenced.