The United States condemns the Nicaraguan government’s violent response to peaceful Mother’s Day marches in Managua and other cities on May 30, including assaults on mothers mourning their children killed since protests began April 18. Government-aligned gunmen and thugs opened fire on the peaceful marches killing 19. At least five more people have been slain in the days since. To date, more than 120 protesters have been killed and over 1,000 injured.
The United States also condemns the beatings of journalists and attacks against local TV and radio stations. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Nicaraguan authorities to ensure the prompt release of some six detained human rights defenders. The UN is also extremely concerned at continuing reports of death threats, acts of violence and intimidation against journalists, students, human rights activists, and members of the Catholic Church, among others.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has reiterated its request made on May 7 to the Nicaraguan authorities to be granted immediate access to the country.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said on May 30, “The international community and the citizens of Nicaragua have repeatedly urged the Nicaraguan government to order its police and thugs to stop the violence, respect human rights, and create conditions for a peaceful path forward. Those individuals responsible for human rights violations will be held accountable by the international community in international fora,” vowed Ms. Nauert.
The United States urges an immediate investigation by the independent interdisciplinary group of experts to investigate the deaths and violence in Nicaragua, as agreed upon by the Nicaraguan government and Inter American Commission on Human Rights.
Despite the suspension of the church-led dialogue, the United States supports peaceful, good-faith negotiations to provide a democratic future for all Nicaraguans.