25 de abril de 2018

ALERT: Adjustment to social security and repression of protest in Nicaragua

Photo: Jorge Torres (EFE)

19 DE ABRIL DE 2018

Earlier this week Daniel Ortega's government in Nicaragua announced a harsh reform to the social security system that, in a few words, forces employers and workers to contribute more, but also reduces retirees by up to 5% their current payment

The measure entered into force on Wednesday, April 18, which has provoked a wave of indignation and discomfort both in the working class of the country and in the business guilds. The above has become protests and street demonstrations that the government of Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, have repressed not only with the police force but by inciting the Sandinista Youth and other political groups related to the president.

The repression has been against citizens who have democratically taken to the streets to show against unpopular economic measures and against journalists who are covering the protests, as several allied organizations and activists have said to the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy (REDLAD).

Here is a preliminary list of people injured during the demonstrations on April 18:

- Julio López. Journalist of Onda Local. According to reports, he has a severe concussion and is hospitalized.
- Alfredo Zúñiga. Journalist News Agency AP. Assaulted by Sandinista Youth with head injuries.
- René Cuadra. Journalist of 100% Noticias. His camera was stolen.
- Carlos Herrera. Photographer of Confidencial. Beaten during the protests.
- Nestor Arce. Journalist of Confidencial Beaten by Sandinista Youth during the protests.
- Maynor Salazar.  Journalist of Confidencial Beaten by the Nicaraguan police.
- Richard Salgado. Cameraman of Confidencial. Beaten by the Nicaraguan police.
- Ana Quiroz. Director of the Center for Information and Health Advisory Services (CISAS) and feminist militant. Blows and fracture of skull and finger.
- Miguel Obregón. Student. Beaten on the back and face.

For the above, REDLAD:

- Demands the government of Nicaragua, led by Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo, to cease the repression to the citizenry and the press, and to meet the demands of the Nicaraguan people regarding reforms to the social security system.
- Urges the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to take a decision on this matter and take the necessary measures to protect Nicaraguan citizens.
- Urges the international community, including the Organization of American States (OAS), the United Nations system and other bodies, to speak out against the repression that the Nicaraguan government has over its people.
- Requests the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) and other press and journalists guilds in the hemisphere, which defend and promote press freedom, to speak about what happens with journalism in the context of this social crisis.
- Invites social movements and civil society organizations of the Americas to stand in solidarity with Nicaragua to demand justice in the face of any violation of human rights.

As a regional platform that defends and promotes human rights and democratic principles we are against repressive measures that any government applies, especially when citizens exercise their legitimate and democratic right to social protest.