HAVANA TIMES – A delegation of 11 members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will arrive in Nicaragua on Thursday to examine the country’s situation in the midst of a governance crisis, reported dpa news.
Speaking to the newspaper “La Prensa”, Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said that the mission will be in the country until May 23rd and will meet with representatives of different sectors who requested their presence.
The Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (CEN) and university student organizations that staged protests starting in April urged President Daniel Ortega to invite the IACHR to investigate cases of human rights violations.
According to non-governmental Nicaraguan human rights organizations, the violent action of the police and paramilitary groups against civilian demonstrators has left at least 66 dead and more than 500 injured. The Government to date recognizes 16 deaths.
The university students conditioned their presence in a dialogue that began Wednesday between students, business people, civil society and the Government, on Ortega inviting the IACHR to determine responsibilities for the deaths and injured.
Speaking at the opening session of the dialogue, the president said he invited the IACHR because his commitment is “to continue working so that justice is done,” but he clarified that “justice is not only for one, but for all sides.”
The IACHR is the autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS) that is responsible for ensuring respect for human rights in the continent. Both the OAS and the Commission are based in Washington.
During its visit to Nicaragua, the Commission will investigate the violence in the country. When the protests began in mid-April, the IACHR censured the repression by the security forces.
The crisis began with a student demonstration in rejection of a reform to Social Security, which increased the quotas of workers and companies, but deepened because of the deadly action of the police and paramilitaries against the university students.