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Nicaragua peace processes to bring an end to violence

News from Nicaragua | Monday, 30 April 2018 |

The tragic events that convulsed Nicaragua between 19 – 23 April resulted in 42 deaths (as of 30 April), hundreds injured, and damage and destruction to public and private buildings and institutions.

Since then, calm has been restored and demonstrations involving thousands of people have taken place calling for peace. By 27 April public services including schools, hospitals and public transport were functioning normally.

Parallel processes have been set up to bring about peace so critical to Nicaragua’s social and economic stability and essential to addressing the key problem the country faces, that of high levels of poverty.

The government has announced a national dialogue without conditions involving all sectors who will make up different commissions. This dialogue will be mediated and witnessed by the Nicaraguan Bishops Conference.  The ultimate purpose of this dialogue is to reach agreement on how to move forward on addressing the factors that have led to such a breakdown of peace and stability.

The National Assembly has announced the setting up of a Truth Commission to investigate the killings of university students, other citizens, police and a journalist, and the sabotage of public and private institutions. The mandate of the Commission will be to understand, analyse and clarify what happened. It will be made up of lawyers, intellectuals, religious leaders, young people, civil society organisations and other prominent personalities. According to the head of the National Assembly Gustavo Porras this Commission will be set up before the National Dialogue.

Electoral Reform.  A mission from the Organisation of American States (OAS) observed the  Nicaraguan municipal elections in November 2017. Their report recommended a series of reforms to the electoral law to be negotiated with the Nicaragua Supreme Electoral Council (CSE). A mission of experts from the OAS led by Wilfred Penco is currently in Nicaragua to meet with the Nicaraguan foreign minister Denis Moncada and vice president of the CSE Lumberto Campbell. Their objective is to find a way forward on integrating the reforms into the electoral law.

Nicaragua has received a statement from the countries of the Central America Integration System (SICA) that sums up  the messages  from around the world expressing condolences with the relatives and friends of those who have died, and support for dialogue and consensus as the only way forward to overcome the social breakdown.  SICA also welcomed the involvement of the Bishops Conference to act as a mediator and witness to the national dialogue.

The NSC condemns  the violence that has affected Nicaragua and sends our condolences to the families and friends of those who died.

For further information

http://www.nscag.org/news/article/232/nscag-statement-on-recent-protests-in-nicaragua

and http://www.nicaraguasc.org.uk/links/