Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo Will Not be Able to Evade Justice.
Institutional Statement Regarding Nicaragua’s Exit from the OAS.
Washington D.C., November 17, 2023 – The dictatorial regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo will withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS) on Sunday, November 19, 2023, demonstrating its intention to isolate itself while strengthening its ties with other autocratic regimes to maintain the police state and impunity that prevails in the country. From the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality), we are certain that the Ortega and Murillo regime will not be able to avoid justice, as they must comply with the agreements voluntarily signed during their membership in the OAS and other international treaties to which the State is a signatory.
The Nicaraguan government notified its “unavoidable decision to denounce the Charter of the Organization of American States in accordance with its Article 143, which initiates Nicaragua’s definitive withdrawal and resignation from this Organization” on November 18, 2021, days after Daniel Ortega’s reelection for a fifth term and the OAS’s rejection of these elections as “not free, fair, transparent, and lacking democratic legitimacy.”
While Article 143 stipulates that two years after the denunciation, the Charter will cease to have effect for the denouncing state; other inter-American and international treaties to which the State of Nicaragua has voluntarily signed remain in force as avenues for accountability. Additionally, Nicaragua remains bound by the American Convention on Human Rights and must adhere to it.
“The Nicaraguan people are an example of resilience and constant struggle for democracy, but Nicaragua’s exit from the OAS is still a serious matter, as it weakens the functioning of the Inter-American Human Rights Protection System. Let’s remember that Ortega has committed crimes seen only in the worst dictatorships. We cannot leave them alone; this fight must be collective!” said Carlos Quesada, Executive Director of Race and Equality.
Currently, the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo holds 91 individuals in political detention, including a priest in total isolation and 17 imprisoned women exposed to gender-based risks, such as sexual violence. There are still 355 summary executions of protesters in total, more than 316 stateless individuals deprived of their citizenship rights, including 222 people who were political prisoners until February 9, 2023.
Comprehensive investigations by the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua (GHREN) reveal that, through the instrumentalization of the Executive, Legislative, Judicial, and Electoral branches, high government authorities have committed widespread and systematic violations and abuses for political reasons, constituting crimes against humanity.
“The international community already has information to initiate legal actions and extend sanctions to institutions and individuals involved in these international crimes. I make an urgent appeal to the international community, particularly to the states in the Latin American region genuinely committed to democracy, to take immediate action,” added Quesada.
The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) is committed to seeking a peaceful resolution to the sociopolitical and human rights crisis that has plagued the Nicaraguan people since 2018.
We continue to demand that the State of Nicaragua fulfill its international obligations regarding human rights and reestablish significant cooperation with the international community.
We will continue to monitor and document the abuses of the dictatorship and support organizations and victims of state repression in their complaints to regional and international human rights protection mechanisms.
We are aware that ongoing investigations will lead to the identification of the perpetrators of these serious human rights violations constituting crimes against humanity. Therefore, to combat impunity and pave the way for democracy, we offer the results of our monitoring and documentation work to international protection mechanisms.
The Nicaraguan people deserve justice! The victims deserve justice!