Press Release

IACHR Calls on the State of Nicaragua to Guarantee Memory, Truth, and Justice in Accordance with Its International Obligations

May 31, 2019

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Washington, DC—On the anniversary of the attack on the demonstration to commemorate the mothers of the victims of state repression, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its gratitude to the mothers of the victims of human rights violations in Nicaragua. It also urges the state to implement the processes needed to ensure justice, reparation, and memory by acknowledging the human rights violations that have been committed and guaranteeing that they will not be repeated.

The IACHR recalls that one year ago, on May 30, 2018, the so-called Mothers’ Day March was held in Nicaragua. It was one of the largest demonstrations in the country’s recent history and was fiercely repressed by parapolice forces working in partnership with the National Police Force. Parallel marches were organized in several cities in Nicaragua by civil society organizations as a tribute to the mothers of the fatal victims of the crisis that began in April 2018. That day, eight people were killed in Managua—six demonstrators and two government sympathizers—and 11 were killed in the rest of the country.

On the anniversary of this event, the IACHR wishes to publicly acknowledge the hard work of the Madres de Abril movement: they and hundreds of other victims of the grave human rights crisis affecting Nicaragua have continued to demand justice and are waiting to learn the truth of events, for the grave human rights violations to be publicly remembered, and for there to be effective access to justice and reparation.

“We will continue to closely monitor the human rights situation in Nicaragua to ensure that the state complies with the international obligations it voluntarily committed to,” said IACHR president Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño. The rapporteur for Nicaragua and rapporteur on memory, truth and justice, Commissioner Antonia Urrejola, said: “We wish to apy tribute to the strength of the mothers and relatives of the victims of human rights violations in Nicaragua and acknowledge the legitimacy of their quest for memory, truth, and justice.” IACHR executive secretary Paulo Abrão added: “One year on from the attack on the demonstration to commemorate the mothers of the victims of state repression, we call on the state of Nicaragua to guarantee memory, truth, and justice in relation to the serious human rights violations that have been committed in the country since the current crisis began.”

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. 133/19