Nicaragua accused of alleged extrajudicial executions under the leadership of Daniel Ortega

Nicaragua accused of alleged extrajudicial executions under the leadership of Daniel Ortega

Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

According to Amnesty International, the government of Nicaragua under President Daniel Ortega is being accused of state-sanctioned extrajudicial executions. This strong accusation is based on the deaths of 83 protestors in the last six weeks since tensions increased rapidly in this nation.

The trigger began in April 2018, when a decree by the government stipulated the reduction in benefits related to the pension system. At the same time, an announcement stressed that taxes would be increased. Hence, with Ortega and his wife being disliked in certain sections of society, then demonstrations spiraled based on many grievances. Sadly, this discontent was met by brute force and according to Amnesty International, extrajudicial executions followed based on a “shoot to kill policy.”

Amnesty International stipulates that people are being openly killed in “…the knowledge of those at the highest level of the Nicaraguan state, including the president.”

Opposition forces to the president and ordinary demonstrators know full well that the state apparatus is trying to crush the will of the discontented by brute force. Hence, the National Police and armed pro-government groups are killing freely in the knowledge that the state apparatus will exonerate them on various grounds. This applies to tacitly supporting extrajudicial killing and not investigating each brutal murder by sinister forces.

Amnesty International stipulates, the “Nicaraguan government has used armed individuals or pro-government armed groups that act in collusion with state officials, in particular the National Police, or with their acquiescence or tolerance.”

Newsweek reports, “The government is also using media censorship, obstruction and intimidation, Amnesty said. It accused officials of failing to conduct proper forensic examinations, managing evidence incorrectly, refusing to take statements from opponents and preventing investigations.”

If the allegations are true then Ortega’s early political career appears to be a smokescreen. Hence, it is essential that international and regional institutions do more to investigate the strongly worded document. Equally important, Ortega should be notified that Nicaragua is being put on notice by leading international institutions and that the government will be held accountable for extrajudicial executions if verified by others.  

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