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Montevideo, June 26th 2022 - 23:53 UTC



Nicaragua to close down yet another 25 NGOs

Tuesday, April 19th 2022 - 09:41 UTC
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The NGOs should have applied for registration as “foreign agents” since they receive donations from abroad The NGOs should have applied for registration as “foreign agents” since they receive donations from abroad

The Government of Nicaragua has once again mooted the closure of 25 NGOs, local authorities announced Monday. The National Assembly (Parliament) included the new initiative in the agenda for this Wednesday.

Among those affected this time around were the Luisa Mercado Foundation, headed by the Nicaraguan writer exiled in Spain, Sergio Ramírez Mercado, and the Association for the Development of Solentiname, founded in 1982 by the late Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal (1925-2020).

Ramírez was vice-president of Nicaragua between 1979 and 1990 under Commander Daniel Ortega, who currently seems to have glued himself to the presidency after back-to-back reelections in bogus voting processes with most opponents either jailed or in exile.

Meanwhile, Cardenal, who was Minister of Culture, went from being a symbol of the Sandinista revolution to being a “politically persecuted”, as he declared himself, of Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, with whom he clashed in the last years of his life.

Both the writer and the poet participated in the struggle against the dictatorship of the Somoza family and were militants alongside Ortega until 1995.

Cardenal, one of the greatest figures of Latin American literature and a great promoter of Liberation Theology, maintained that the Ortega government “is not leftist, nor Sandinista, nor revolutionary, but simply a family dictatorship,” like the one they overthrew.

The Interior Ministry also proposed to the National Assembly (Parliament), controlled by the ruling party, to cancel the legal personality of the Nicaraguan Permanent Human Rights Commission Association (CPDH), dedicated to the defense of human rights since 1991, it was reported.

Other NGOs to be outlawed are the Coen Foundation, owned by businessman Piero Coen; the Nicaraguan Association of Engineers and Architects, the Nicaraguan Association of Cinematography, and the Association Center for the Training of Women Workers.

Also The Foundation Center for Communication and Popular Education, The Foundation for the Integral Development of the Indigenous Women of Sutiaba, and The Federation Nicaraguan Coordinator of Non-Governmental Organizations that work with Childhood and Adolescence (Codeni).

The list also includes The Association Nicaraguan Academy of Legal Sciences and Policies, The Center for Constitutional Rights, and The Nicaraguan Foundation for the Promotion of Democracy, Peace, and the Development of Civil Society.

In Nicaragua, with the vote of Sandinista deputies and their allies, at least 112 Nicaraguan NGOs have been outlawed since December 2018, eight months after a popular revolt erupted over controversial social security reforms labeled as a coup attempt by Ortega.

The last 25 NGOs, including the Nicaraguan branch of Operation Smiles, were annulled last March 17. (Read also: )

Among the organizations that have been affected are NGOs defending human rights, medical, feminist, educational, universities, environmental, indigenous, journalists, and think tanks, among others.

The Ortega administration has also canceled four U.S. and six European NGOs.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, the new 25 NGOs have failed to comply with their duties, such as registering as “foreign agents, being obligated subjects because they received donations from abroad.”

The authorities also claimed the NGOs did not report their financial statements, particularly the details of donations (origin, provenance, and ultimate beneficiary); nor did they report on their boards of directors.

Nicaragua has been going through a political and social crisis since April 2018, which has been accentuated after the controversial general elections of last November 7, in which Daniel Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth consecutive, and second together with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice-president, with his main contenders in prison.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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