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Montevideo, May 23rd 2019 - 21:43 UTC

Argentina, Nicaragua pull out ambassadors as diplomatic tension grows

Thursday, December 20th 2018 - 12:21 UTC
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Darthes has already been “buried alive” and any show or commercial ad with his face has been removed from national TV Darthes has already been “buried alive” and any show or commercial ad with his face has been removed from national TV
Ambassador Valle Fonrouge had served in Managua for the past seven years Ambassador Valle Fonrouge had served in Managua for the past seven years

In a local replica of the #MeToo movement, actress/model Thelma Fardin last week announced with the backing of radical feminist groups that she had been abused by actor Juan Darthes while on tour in Nicaragua. At the time of the alleged abuse in 2009, Fardin was 16 and therefore a minor. Darthes has already been “buried alive” and any show or commercial ad with his face has been removed from national TV.

And while some people insist Darthes must stand trial in Nicaragua, others say otherwise, on the grounds that there are no legal guarantees in a country where the rule of law is not the rule and openly criticize President Daniel Ortega's administration.

The reciprocal withdrawing of ambassadors is viewed as a breakup in diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Through Decree 1148/2018 published Tuesday in the Official Gazette, President Mauricio Macri decided to “transfer” Ambassador Marcelo Felipe Valle Fonrouge to Buenos Aires.

And according to Foreign Ministry sources “it is assessed not to replace the diplomat for the moment and until democratic order in Managua has been restored.”

In return, Ambassador José Luis Villavicencio has been ordered back to Managua.

Valle Fonrouge had been questioned by Fardín's lawyer (and lover?) Sabrina Cartabia for claiming that the prosecution for rape against Darthés had to be carried in Argentina and not in Managua, where the events reportedly happened.

“I was surprised that they said the case was going to be processed in Argentina, that possibility does not fit in Thelma's complaint. We were surprised by the ambassador's statement,” Cartabia said.

But the Foreign Ministry sources downplayed comments that the decision had anything to do with the Darthes case and everything to do with him having served in Managua for seven straight years already. They admitted however that the Argentine government is considering not replacing an ambassador in Nicaragua until the situation of violence and lack of freedom by the Ortega administration ceases.

In fact, Argentina, together with Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, have issued a harsh statement about “the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms and their strongest condemnation of the serious and repeated acts of violence that are taking place in Nicaragua and that have caused to date the unfortunate loss of more than 300 human lives and hundreds of wounded.”

The document also called for “the immediate cessation of acts of violence, intimidation and threats directed at the Nicaraguan society, and [for] the dismantling of paramilitary groups” and
urged the Ortega government to “reactivate national dialogue in Nicaragua, within a climate of respect for fundamental freedoms, involving all parties to generate peaceful and sustainable solutions... ”

And Nicaragua's decision is said to be a consequence of that document rather than a spinoff in the Darthes scandal.

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