Dictators are known for their desire to stay in power. That is no different in the case of Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, notes analyst Désirée Reder. Ortega regained the presidency in 2007, 17 years after losing elections against the opposition. Today he is in his fourth consecutive term and despite of liberating the country from a dictatorship during the 1970s, he has now turned to a dictator himself.
After the release of 222 political prisoners in Nicaragua, Reder of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) contextualizes this event in the context of the regime’s repressive path since 2018.
Alexandra Salazar (above) is a human rights defender from Nicaragua, working for the organisation Unidad de Defensa Jurídica (UDJ), which has sought to support political prisoners in the country since 2018, ISHR reports. Alexandra recently spoke before the Human Rights Council, at its 52nd session, urging States to renew a resolution that established the Group of Experts on Human Rights in Nicaragua (GHREN), granting them and the OHCHR a monitoring and reporting mandate on the situation in the country.
In an interview with Argentina media, Pope Francis called Nicaragua’s government a “gross dictatorship” and compared it with Nazi and Communist regimes amid a crackdown on the Catholic Church in the Central American country.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations and Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere will convene a joint hearing entitled, “The Ortega-Murillo Regime’s War Against the Catholic Church and Civil Society in Nicaragua: Bishop Alvarez, Political Prisoners, and Prisoners of Conscience” on Wednesday, March 22nd. 4:00pmET. Rayburn House Office Building Room 2200.
Félix Maradiaga, J.D., President and Founder, Fundación para la Libertad de Nicaragua
Dr. Juan Sebastián Chamorro, Executive Director, Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy