Ortega Expels Special OAS Human Rights Mission from Nicaragua

Ana María Tello, head of the Meseni, told Confidential that the Foreign Ministry asked for their “immediate withdrawal” from the country.

21 de diciembre 2018


Daniel Ortega’s dictatorship expelled the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) from Nicaragua on Wednesday, thus failing to comply with the agreement signed on June 24. On that date, the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (Meseni) was installed to give continuity on the ground to overseeing the sociopolitical crisis that the country is going through.

The main function of the Meseni was to follow up on the recommendations of the preliminary and final report of the IACHR, which, among other exhortations, called on the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo to stop the repression in all its forms against citizens, dismantle the paramilitary groups, clarify the crimes of the massacre, and guarantee respect for independent media.

The Messeni has also monitored compliance with the precautionary measures granted in this context for people at serious risk to their lives or physical integrity and has monitored the situation of human rights in Nicaragua since its installation. It has also held dialogues and work meetings with civil society, the State and other relevant actors.

According to the agreement signed between the IACHR and the Government, the permanence of the Messeni in Nicaragua is indefinite. “It will remain on the ground as long as the situation requires it,” stated the text.  Although the Government can terminate the invitation to the Meseni, there must be a prior cancellation agreement, equal to that of the installation. That did not happen at the Foreign Ministry this afternoon.

The crisis in the country cannot be declared over because the government says it, when there is still harassment of citizens, illegal detentions, the banning of public demonstrations, attacks on the independent media and the existence of at least 576 political prisoners. In other words, they have not complied with the recommendations of the preliminary and final reports of the IACHR.

The Meseni published on Wednesday a report pointing out the “worsening of the repression and the closing of democratic spaces in Nicaragua”.  https://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2018/273.asp

The cancellation of Meseni’s invitation directly constitutes the expulsion of the IACHR from Nicaragua. It is similar to the expulsion of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations (UN) by Ortega on August 31. 

The expulsion of the Messeni occurs within the framework of the end of the mandate of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), which analyzed the crimes committed from April 18 to May 30.

Although the Meseni and the GIEI are under the umbrella of the IACHR, they are two separate and independent entities. That’s to say, their original agreements with the Government are different, and the Government cannot allege that it canceled the Meseni because the six-month mandate of the GIEI ended.

The GIEI will present on Thursday its final report on the crimes of April and May. The GIEI team was also invited to the Foreign Ministry meeting today where the expulsion of the Messeni was announced.

Wilfredo Miranda Aburto

Periodista. Destaca en cobertura a violaciones de derechos humanos: desplazamiento forzado, tráfico ilegal en territorios indígenas, medio ambiente, conflictos mineros y ejecuciones extrajudiciales. Premio Iberoamericano Rey de España 2018.


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