Members of MESENI and the four GIEI experts – Sofia Macher, Claudia Paz y Paz, Amérigo Incalcaterra, and Pablo Parenti – attended a meeting on Wednesday with Foreign Minister Denis Moncada, during which he informed them of the unilateral governmental decision.
The letter Moncada read to the IACHR officials, later published by pro-government media, stated that the missions had not met their objectives and that “the IACHR, MESENI, GIEI, and OHCHR have become a platform for disseminating false information to promote international sanctions” against Nicaragua. In addition, it notes that the members of the GIEI did not respond to a counterproposal from the government on its Protocol of Action and that, therefore, they carried out “a series of actions in violation of the terms of the agreement” and national laws.
Incalcaterra later explained that the non-compliance with the Protocol of Action alleged by Moncada is “false” because all State communications were answered by the experts. “[The authorities] have not demanded that GIEI behave differently or that the our work be done in a specific way,” he alleged, instead denouncing that they never were given access to judicial files, official information that would allow them to fully comply with their mandate, or judicial hearings, even though the latter are public according to Nicaraguan law.
“The reasons they have given us do not satisfy us in any way. We think those are arguments that have been developed, in the specific case of GIEI, so as to prevent us from presenting the report on our six months of work that was scheduled for tomorrow,” the expert added, also declining to provide details of the report, in light of the fact that the authorities had “suggested” he not do so in Nicaragua.
MESENI’s Tello also explained to local journalists that her mission sent more than 70 diplomatic notes to the government to request information or meetings with authorities, and that none of them had been answered. “There was never pressure from the government because we did not have a dialogue with them,” she said.
They will continue monitoring
The work of the IACHR that began in April 2018 launched with a working visit May 17-21, after which the report “Serious Human Right Violations in the Context of Social Protests in Nicaragua” was published. Since then, MESENI has drafted dozens of weekly reports on its monitoring work; the IACHR has processed precautionary measures for more than 100 people; and various Special Rapporteurs of that regional human rights body have visited the country to evaluate the current situation.
In addition, the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abraõ, has discussed the situation of Nicaragua in diverse spaces, such as the Organization of American States (OAS) and United Nations Human Rights Council. The IACHR also included four public hearings on Nicaragua in its 170th Period of Sessions, the last of which was held on December 6, 2018.
Ana María Tello stressed that neither the IACHR nor MESENI will stop monitoring the human rights situation in Nicaragua, although now they will have to do so from Washington, DC. Furthermore, experts of the GIEI announced that they would release their report from Washington, DC.
“The IACHR reiterates that the situation in Nicaragua will continue to be a priority, reaffirms its commitment to the victims of human rights violations, and will continue to monitor compliance by the Nicaraguan State with the international human rights obligations it has voluntarily assumed,” the Commission declared in a recent statement.