A total of 137 attacks against human rights activists and defenders were registered in Nicaragua in a period of five days, reported the Mesoamerican Initiative of Women of Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras).

Between April 14 and 19, it registered that at least 70 activists and defenders were victims of these attacks. Other reported assaults, according to IM-Defensoras, include intimidation, harassment and restrictions on freedom of assembly. 

According to the registry of attacks, in recent days, 21 defenders were forcibly held in their homes, reported the organization that works in defense of women’s rights. 

‚ÄúViolence against women defenders does not stop in Nicaragua. The Police were present in the 93% of the attacks, in most of the cases accompanied by parapolice groups, “said Lydia Alpizar Dur√°n, co-executive director of IM-Defensoras. 

Places of aggression

According to IM-Defensoras, Managua, Granada, Le√≥n, Masaya and the South Caribbean Coast were the most violent departments for the defenders in this period, places where ‚Äúviolence has escalated significantly‚ÄĚ.¬†

In the early morning of April 19, IM-Defensoras recorded the aggression suffered by the journalist Kal√ļa Salazar, press boss of La Coste√Ī√≠sima radio, when police officers beat her and prevented her from leaving her home to go to her place of work. 

The serious attack against Salazar, who was beaten in front of her three daughters, occurred within the framework of the commemoration of the anniversary of the “April Rebellion.” 

“From the IM-Defenders we have observed a worrying increase in the quantity and severity of attacks against human rights defenders in Nicaragua, as a strategy to repress any expression of dissent, protest or commemoration of the social outbreak,” the organization points out. 

‚ÄúNicaraguan women defenders cannot be silenced. The government must protect her work, not attack it, ‚ÄĚwarned Erika Guevara Rosas, director of Americas with International Amnesty . 

Attacks continued

After that period recorded by IM-Defensoras, the attacks continued. On April 20, the Police violently detained the president of the Mothers of April Association (AMA), Francis Valdivia, Franco Valdivia’s sister, who was murdered on April 20, 2018 in Estel√≠. 

The arrest occurred during a violent raid on her home when they were paying tribute to the memory of his brother. The regime’s police were besieging the entire time until they broke in and detained the president of AMA for at least an hour, including her mother Francisca Machado.

IM-Defensoras asked the international community to be vigilant of the events in Nicaragua.

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