Media Center


Position of the OAS General Secretariat on Nicaragua

  May 23, 2018

Regarding the situation in Nicaragua, we should begin with the most painful part, the killings of demonstrators. As we did in our communications on April 20 and 22, we reiterate our condemnation and demand justice, as well as an end to the impunity of those who committed these repressive acts. Since then, we have endorsed the communications of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Justice must go as far as is necessary to ensure that no crime goes unpunished.

At the worst moment of the crisis, the Episcopal Conference asked us to take steps so that the government would allow the entry of the IACHR. This arrangement could hardly have been made by anyone other than the OAS General Secretariat.

On May 14, we were pleased to announce that the government advised us of its invitation for the IACHR to visit the country, for the first time since 1992. The arrangement that led to this result was one that was made by the OAS General Secretariat.

The professional zeal of the IACHR and its commitment to the principles of the defense of human rights were shown in its report. We have publicly endorsed this report, paragraph by paragraph, in its denunciations and conclusions. And we continue to take steps to expand the work of the IACHR.

Regarding the political solution to this situation, we have insisted it must be an electoral solution, with no exclusions, and with no one disqualified, in a fair, clear and transparent electoral process.

In fact we were already engaged in this, in a negotiating process that aimed to achieve this result, to make reality the recommendations that the OAS Observation Mission would make to improve the Nicaraguan electoral process.

We have not seen anybody, neither any organization nor any electoral authority, that has made deeper and more substantive recommendations than those that emerged from that report. Making it a reality is fundamental for democracy in Nicaragua. Anyone who thinks that Nicaragua has a solution that doesn´t involve elections is seriously mistaken. When society is polarized, the decision must be returned urgently to the sovereign: the people.

We also need to make something clear: we have discussed anti-democratic practices by some in the opposition, and in particular one such practice, lying, which is the most undemocratic practice. Lies have been told seeking to hide our condemnation of the killing of demonstrators, about our efforts that led to the visit of the IACHR, about our position on the IACHR report, about our position regarding early elections in Nicaragua, and about the existence of secret agreements with the government, when all the agreements and reports of the Electoral Observation Mission regarding electoral processes are on the Organization´s website.

Many more lies have been told and many more lies will be told. I don’t have a problem with the existence of people who base their campaigns on lies, with their corrupt way of conducting politics; in any case it is not an issue for me to resolve.

I will never complain about the rough and tumble of politics. But don´t ask me to trust those who practice politics in this way. They are not trustworthy and I will not trust them. Period.

This does not inhibit me from fighting for democracy in Nicaragua, because democracy and societies must be based on the truth and the unavoidable ethical commitment to the civil and political rights of the people.

I want three things for Nicaragua: democracy in Nicaragua, truth and justice in Nicaragua, and the full exercise of human rights in Nicaragua.

Reference: S-020/18