IACHR

Press Release

IACHR Adopts Precautionary Measures in Favor of More Than a Hundred People at Serious Risk in Nicaragua

September 18, 2018

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María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Office
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9000
mrivero@oas.org

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Washington, D.C. - In the context of the serious human rights crisis that Nicaragua has been going through since April 2018, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has adopted precautionary measures to protect the rights of more than a hundred people. With the adoption of the most recent precautionary measure resolution, on September 17, 2018, the number of people directly benefiting from IACHR protection measures in Nicaragua increased to 114. In total, the IACHR has issued 23 resolutions to directly protect 114 people who are at serious and urgent risk of irreparable harm to their human rights, and in many of them the IACHR has also requested that their families be protected.

Below is an overview of the latest resolutions adopted by the IACHR under its Special Follow-Up Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI):

  • On July 17, 2018, the IACHR adopted resolution 52/2018 granting precautionary measures in favor of Rodrigo Alejandro Rodríguez Argüello, Katherine Manuela Estrada Téllez, and their families. The request alleged that the beneficiaries are at risk because of their work within the “Movimiento 19 de Abril” Carazo and their participation in the protests. Also, according to the request, V.S.Z.S. would be at risk as a result of her activities as a human rights defender.
  • On July 25, 2018, the IACHR adopted resolution 55/18 granting precautionary measures in favor of Maria Nelly Rivas Blanco and her family members. The request alleged that they are at risk due to threats, follow-ups and harassment to which they are subjected in the framework of their participation in the "National Dialogue" in representation of the private sector and as a member of the "Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy.”
  • On July 25, 2018, the IACHR adopted resolution 56/18 granting precautionary measures in favor of Cristhian Rodrigo Fajardo Caballero (vice-coordinator of “Movimiento 19 de Abril” in Masaya), Yubrank Miguel Suazo Herrera (member of “Movimiento 19 de abril” in Masaya), Daniery Emanuel Rodríguez Espinoza (leader of “Movimiento 19 de abril” in Matagalpa), Yaritzha Juddyth Roustrán Mairena (“Coordinadora Universitaria por la Democracia y la Justicia”), Joselyn Andrea Urbina Corea (member of the University Coordination Network), Levis Josué Artola Rugama (spokesperson for "UNAN" and part of the delegation for coordination with human rights organizations), and Inés Ramos López (representative of the labor sector and member of the "Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy" before the National Dialogue), and their families. The request alleged that the beneficiaries are at risk due to alleged death threats, follow-ups and harassment.
  • On August 3, 2018, the IACHR adopted resolution 58/18 granting precautionary measures in favor of Michael Edwing Healy Lacayo, José Adán Aguerri Chamorro, Felipe Argüello Agüero, Álvaro Javier Vargas Duarte, Claudia Neira Bermúdez, Juan Sebastián Chamorro, and Juan Carlos Gutierrez Soto, as well as their families. They request alleged that they participated in the Private Sector of the "Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy" and have been the targets of threats, intimidation, harassment and reprisals, including in one case the burning of their homes and businesses.
  • On August 8, 2018, the IACHR adopted resolution 59/18 granting precautionary measures in favor of Adelaida Sánchez Mercado, Braulio José Abarca Aguilar, Meyling Johana Gutierrez Pérez, Glenda Maria Arteta Arauz, and Haydée Isabel Castillo Flores, as well as their families. The request alleged that the beneficiaries are in a situation of risk due to their work defending human rights.
  • On August 10, 2018, the IACHR adopted resolution 60/18 granting precautionary measures in favor of Daisy Reymunda George West, Juan Carlos Ocampo Zamora, Reverend Marvin Hodgson, and their families. The request alleged that they are in a situation of risk derived presumably from their participation in the National Dialogue as a coastal delegation of the Caribbean Coast and as members of the "Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy”.
  • On August 15, 2018, the IACHR adopted resolution 62/18 granting precautionary measures in favor of Nahomy Doris Urbina Marcenaro and his family.  The request states that the beneficiary, known as "La Masha," has received threats against her and her family through various media outlets, being assaulted at one time, as a result of her participation in protests.
  • On August 23, 2018, the IACHR adopted resolution 65/18 granting precautionary measures in favor of Cristian Ernesto Medina Sandino and members of his family in Nicaragua. The request alleges that Cristian Ernesto Medina Sandino, rector of the American University in Managua, is at risk because of alleged threats against him. Likewise, the beneficiary has had a visible role in the context of the death of Brazilian student Rayneia Lima, who was studying medicine at the university of which he is the dean.
  • On September 7, 2018, the IACHR adopted resolution 69/18 granting precautionary measures in favor of Bismarck de Jesús Martinez Sánchez. The application was filed by the beneficiary's daughter on August 17, 2018, fifty days after the beneficiary had been kidnapped by an armed group that the applicant links to a blockade in Jinotepe. According to the request, after having filed a complaint on July 1, 2018, with the police, and with a decision to prosecute, there is no information about his whereabouts. Prior to the adoption of precautionary measures, the IACHR requested information on the matter from the State of Nicaragua on August 24, 2018, without receiving an answer.
  • On September 17, 2018, the IACHR adopted resolution 70/2018 granting precautionary measures in favor of Yerling Marina Aguilera Espinoza, Jéssica del Socorro Cisneros Poveda, Ana Otilia Quirós Víquez, Francisca Amanda Centeno Espinoza, María Elena Rivera Cáliz, Martha Eugenia Munguía Alvarado, Shakira Simmons Obando, María del Carmen Castillo Meneses, Petrona Pérez Varela, Leonila Amparo Arguello Chavarría, Orlenda Junieth Cruz Ruiz, Jennipher Diana Ellis Williams, Reyna Isabel Rodríguez Palacios, Juana Antonia Jiménez Martínez, Azahalía Isabel Solís Román, Maritza García Sevilla, and Juana Mercedes Reyes Pérez, as well as their families. According to the request, they are human rights defenders and targets of threats, harassment, intimidation and acts of violence within the framework of their work. The Commission observed that the events of risk reported are allegedly related to the fact that the beneficiaries are women and in some cases were motivated by their sexual orientation.

The Commission urges the State of Nicaragua to effectively and immediately implement the precautionary measures granted, in view of the information received by MESENI, according to which persons benefiting from precautionary measures continue to be subjected to acts of violence and harassment. The Commission has been informed that even some beneficiaries have had to move out of the country in view of their risk situation. The IACHR reiterates that, as indicated in the resolutions adopted, the State must ensure that its agents respect the life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries in accordance with the standards established by international human rights law, as well as protect their rights in relation to acts of risk that are attributable to third parties. The IACHR has also requested the State to report on the actions taken in order to investigate the alleged facts that gave rise to the precautionary measures and to agree on the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives.

In accordance with Article 25.10 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission will evaluate the adoption of follow-up actions as it deems appropriate, such as requiring the State to provide relevant information on any matter related to the granting, observance, and enforcement of precautionary measures. Such measures may include, where appropriate, implementation schedules, hearings, working meetings, and follow-up and review visits. The Commission continues to receive, study and decide requests submitted in accordance with the requirements established by Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure.

The granting of precautionary measures and their adoption by the State do not prejudge a possible petition before the inter-American system alleging violations of the rights protected in the American Convention on Human Rights and other applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 205/18