WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
6 Nov 2008 | News

WOLA Expresses Concern on Political Climate in Nicaragua

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) has followed issues of human rights, democracy, and social justice in Nicaragua since the 1970s.  In recent weeks, we have become increasingly concerned about the deterioration of freedom of expression in Nicaragua and the government’s use of judicial bodies and investigative agencies for political ends to attack and defame members of civil society, the opposition press, political parties and others.   

We are alarmed by the growing climate of intolerance for those who are perceived as critics of the federal government. The physical attack on a march of opposition party activists, and the apparent unwillingness of the police to restore order, the criminal investigations of several civil society organizations and their leaders, as well as the investigation of international NGOs that have funded some of these organizations, is extremely troubling.  There have also been reports of violent acts by government supporters against human rights defenders who have accompanied civil society organizations in their investigative hearings at the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

WOLA believes that political differences and political dissent should be addressed in a way that is respectful of human rights and civil liberties, and that advances political democracy.  We call on the Nicaraguan government to take the lead in establishing a constructive climate in Nicaragua by condemning intimidation and repressive practices and by adopting the necessary measures to encourage political debate, and to guarantee the rule of law in the country.



Maureen Meyer, Associate for Mexico and Central America