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Hundreds of international NGOs shut down in Nicaragua

Of the international NGOs that were cancelled 41% were from the United States and were engaged in development assistance in Nicaragua

Redacción Confidencial

30 de octubre 2022


Daniel Ortega’s guillotine cancelled the legal status of 287 non-profit international organizations in the last 14 months. Most of these NGOs were engaged in development, health, education, religion, and social progress issues, reveals a Confidencial data analysis.

The eliminated organizations were from 34 countries on all continents. However, 41% of these were from the United States. The cancellation decrees published in the Official Gazette, reveals that 35 of these cancelled NGOs had between 21 to 40 years operating in Nicaragua, 63 had between 11 and 20 years and less than 20 had under ten years.

The cancelled legal status were implemented by Franya Urey Blandon, Director General of the Directorate of Registration and Control of non-profit organizations. Of the total number of international NGOs shut down, 90% of them were cancelled between June and October 2022.

The month with most cancellations

October has been the month in which Daniel Ortega’s regime has made the most cancellations of operating registrations. The latest batch occurred on October 27, 2022, when Urey Blandon ordered the closure of 67 international non-profit organizations and 33 national NGOs for allegedly failing to comply with their obligations.

They were accused of not providing the details of their donations, source of funds and final beneficiary. As well as for not revealing the identity with names, passports, exact addresses and telephone numbers of their donors.

In total, the regime of Daniel Ortega has cancelled the legal status of 2,581 national and international non-profit organizations between November 2018 and October 2022. 97.3% of these were eliminated during this year.

It is estimated that with the closure of these spaces, more than one million Nicaraguans who benefitted from their programs will be affected, another two thousand will lose their jobs and the losses due to the closure of the NGOs could surpass 200 million dollars annually, according to estimates of the Inter-American Dialogue.

International NGOs

Among the United States organizations stand out: National Democratic Institute for International Affairs that works on democracy issues; Fabretto’s Children’s Foundation, on educational issues; Chacocente Project, on social development; Granada Street Kids, on education; The Sunrise Foundation, on humanitarian assistance; Clinica Verde, on health issues; and several religious organizations such as: International Christian Corporate Alliance, Nicaraguan Christian Relief Ministries.

Spain is the second country that had more non-profit organizations in Nicaragua that were cancelled. The most prominent are: OXFAM Intermon Foundation, Peace and Third World Association, Greenworld and Environment Association, Association Bread of Life for Nicaragua, Mundubat Foundation-Mundubat Fundazioa.

The other three countries that had most NGOs in Nicaragua are Italy (23), Germany (14) and Costa Rica (10). These included the Italian Association for Solidarity Between Peoples, the International Christian Service for Peace, Water for the World Foundation, Rosa de Saron Christian Mission and the Foundation of Nicaraguan Refugees and Exiles.

In the list there are eight NGOs that had their origin in France, seven in Canada, six in the Netherlands, six from Belgium, five in Panama, five in England, Honduras, Denmark and Austria. Four in Sweden and Norway, three in Venezuela, Switzerland and two in the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Guatemala.

Twelve more were from Peru, Luxemburg, Ireland, Slovakia, El Salvador, Colombia, China, Chile, Belize, Argentina and Afghanistan.

These 47 NGOs were involved in development issues, 22 had a religious focus, these included evangelical churches; 19 focused on health, 18 on social development, ten on cooperation such as Spain’s Catalan Fund for Development Cooperation with Nicaragua and the Frankfurt-Granada City Friendship Association from Germany.

Nine of the cancelled NGOs worked on education, six had an environmental focus, six on humanitarian aid, five universities, three on international solidarity, two on refugees and exiles, and human rights.

Violation of freedom of association denounced before the IACHR

This week 18 human rights organizations denounced before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) the situation of violation of freedom of association and human rights in Nicaragua. They stated that of the more than 2,500 NGOs eliminated by the regime at least 43 were raided and their assets expropriated.

“Both the Commission and its special rapporteurs expressed that the grave situation in the country is a priority for them, pointing out that these human rights violations deserve maximum condemnation. They also reiterated that the country is experiencing a “regime of terror” that prevents its citizens from organizing to defend their rights,” they explained in a press release.

The organizations that participated in this claim are: the Nicaraguan Center on Human Rights (CENIDH), Center for Legal Assistance to Indigenous People (CALPI), Center for Health Information and Counselling Services (CISAS), Center for Studies and Social Promotion (CEPS), Human Rights Collective Nicaragua Never Again, Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Coordinating Body of NGOs Working for Children and Adolescents (CODENI).

Also, the Forum on Education and Human Development (FEDH-IPN), the Foundation for the Conservation and Development of Southeast Nicaragua (Fundacion del Rio), Hagamos Democracia (HADEMOS), Las Segovias Leadership Institute (ILLS), the Institute for Development and Democracy (IPADE), International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality), Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras), Nicaraguan Network on Democracy and Local Development (Red Local), Municipal Promotion and Development Popol Na Foundation (Popol Na), Autonomous Women’s Movement (MAM) and the Nicaraguan Society of General Medicine (Sonimeg).


This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times.

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Redacción Confidencial

Redacción Confidencial

Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.