Bianca Jagger and Amnesty International Begin Global Campaign to Repeal the Nicaragua Canal Law

TODAY NICARAGUA – This past Thursday in Managua, Nicaragua, Bianca Jagger,  human rights defender and founder of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation and Amnesty International launched a “global campaign” to demand the repeal of Law 840 passed in 2013, which awards a concession for the construction of an Inter-Oceanic Canal to the Chinese company HKND Group.

Jagger was accompanied by anti-canal movement leader Francisca Ramirez; Monica Lopez Baltodano, the rural movement’s legal advisor; and Vilma Nunez, president of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights.

Human Rights activist Bianca Jagger (left), along with anti-canal movement leader Francisca Ramirez. Photo: Francisca Ramirez

- payin the bills -

On Tuesday, August 15, Bianca Jagger will participate alongside other civil society organizations in a national march against the project of the Grand Canal Interoceanic of Nicaragua in La Fonseca.

Bianca Jagger: Ortega imitates Somoza by “endangering the national sovereignty and selling off the natural resources.”

At the presentation, Jagger offered a recount of her opposition to the Nicaraguan counterrevolution and her support for the Sandinista revolution during the 80s, only to later regret the fact that Ortega is imitating the Somoza’s by “endangering the national sovereignty and selling off the natural resources.”

“He is delivering over the country to a company we know nothing about,” insisted the well-known activist. “It’s sad that Ortega should destroy the lake [Cocibolca], the forests and any part of the country together with this project that won’t bring progress,” she said. “Has he no shame about selling off the resources of the farmers and the indigenous peoples?”

Jagger sustained that the persecution against the farmers is real. “They won’t leave them alone,” stated the human rights advocate.

- paying the bills -

Francisca Ramirez lamented the fact that her demand to repeal the canal law hasn’t been heeded by the Ortega government. “Our history has 100 years of bloodshed, and we’re falling into the same error,” alerted the rural leader.

The report, entitled “Danger: Rights for sale”, asks Daniel Ortega’s government to “impose a moratorium on the implementation of all aspects of the work on the Project.”

On its website, Amnesty International says, “Throughout nearly 200 interviews, we gathered stories with the same messages: the authorities are selling their land without consulting the people. The State’s response to these allegations is silence.”

According to the Amnesty recommendation, this moratorium should remain in place until “legal and procedural safeguards are in place that comply with human rights standards, including effective consultation of those who will be affected and prevent forced evictions.”

Our life is this land, without it, we have nothing

The report affirms that neither the government nor HKND realized a genuine “consultation” about the canal project with those potentially affected: some 120,000 people along the entire canal route.

- paying the bills --

In Amnesty’s view, the project of an Inter-Oceanic Canal in Nicaragua “is an emblematic case in the Americas, because it reveals how powerful economic interests impose their will over the interest of the great majority.”

The Amnesty report is based on a process of direct consultation with more than 190 farmers and an analysis of the normative framework of the concession.

Campesino and Indigenous communities alike, from east to west of Nicaragua, living in communities along the proposed canal route, say that they had lived in the same land for several generations. People were proud of working the land to provide for their families.

“Almost all of us living here live off the land, planting crops, raising animals. We don’t know how do to anything else; working the land is what we know. That’s why we would prefer to die here, because if we go to the city, what are we going to do?,” they told Amnesty International.

 

 

Related Articles

Ortega Murillo forutne “injured” after devastating blows by US sanctions

TODAY NICARAGUA - In less than two years, the sanctions issued...

Nicaragua Adopts the Cuban – Venezuelan Model

In early October 2018, Daniel Ortega’s regime installed a state of siege via a Police decree prohibiting civic marches. The OAS Inter-American Commission for Human Rights warned at the time that Ortega instituted a de facto State of Emergency. He had essentially suspended constitutional rights such as the freedom of assembly and mobilization, free speech, and a free press.

The goal of the state of siege was to wipe out the independent civic protest and to suppress and divide the opposition. Further, they aimed to impose a false normality through repression. With this, they hoped to coopt the large business leaders and reestablish the regime’s political and economic alliances.

Nevertheless, looking at the facts, Ortega instead deepened his national and international isolation. In addition, for two consecutive years he aggravated the economic recession and the social crisis. This continued until the negligent management of the Coronavirus health crisis brought him an unexpected political invoice. The mismanaged public health crisis wore down the credibility of his leadership, even among the members of his own party.

The regime now announces the imposition of new punitive laws. There’s a push to allow the use of life sentences for certain crimes. There’s a new law to regulate supposed “foreign agents”, and a “cybercrimes” law, better known as the “Gag law”. With these, the regime is recognizing the failure of the police state. The repression never succeeded in squashing the civic protests. Even without massive demonstrations, the spirit of the resistance remains intact.  Despite the National Coalition’s stumbles and the lack of a united national front, today the resistance is greater and better organized. It now has a presence in all of the country’s municipalities.

In the next two weeks, the regime’s parliamentary steamroller will assure the approval of that combo of punitive laws. These impose severe jail sentences for any and all opposition, a majority who represent over three-fourths of the electorate.

However, in reality, the regime has never needed legal pretexts to repress and imprison. Almost two years ago, the police assaulted the offices of Confidencial and Esta Semana and executed a de facto confiscationThis was done without the backing of any judicial orders. Yet, despite the television censorship, they never silenced us. We continue our truth-based journalism. Meanwhile the independent press – persecuted, harassed and sometimes exiled – now enjoys much more credibility and influence than the official machinery.

The latest Cid-Gallup polls confirm that the majority of the population no longer believes the government’s lies about COVID-19. The express burials and the Ministry of Health statistics on pneumonia fatalities and COVID-19 tests speak for themselves. These facts refute the daily monologues of Vice President Rosario Murillo.  Because of that deception, every day political support for Ortega and the FSLN shrinks still more. His backing among the public employees, both civilian and military, continues eroding.

In reality, the “Gag Law” is aimed at threatening the honest and professional public servants. It is meant to keep them from leaking information to the press and the public regarding acts of political corruption.  Such acts are occurrences that the regime wishes to hide.

The “Cybercrimes Law” also threatens users of social media with jail time. However, the dictatorship will continue losing the battle for the truth in social media. They can’t control the massive exercise of free speech and the use of new information technologies now at the service of citizens.

These punitive laws aren’t a symptom of strength, but rather of the political and moral defeat of a minority regime. Why, then, does Ortega need to impose them against wind and tides?  There are at least three hypotheses to explain this imperious political necessity.  All are based on the regime’s urgency to adapt the Cuban and Venezuelan “model” of repressive authoritarianism to Nicaragua.

First, they intend to make full use of the Constitution and laws as one pillar of their repressive strategy. However, they don’t want these as guardians of rights, but as a means to criminalize democratic liberties and civic protest. Clearly, it’s not a carbon copy, but this strategy definitively reflects the Cuban and Venezuelan “model”. The regime is adapting that model to fit a dynastic family dictatorship with the aim of liquidating the democratic project in Nicaragua.

Expedited by the “Law” he’s mandating, Ortega will now be able to eliminate organizations of civil society. He will also control any eventual adversaries and political competitors, by criminalizing them as “foreign agents”. The Venezuelan experience demonstrates that despite high international political costs, the Cuban “model” can prove effective in giving the regime stability. Through this model, pure and harsh repression can be draped in a “legal” mantle. For Ortega, this translates into an incentive to accumulate political hostages and gain time.

Secondly, the regime intends to take over the agenda of justice and present itself as a punisher of “hate crimes”. The latter would now carry a sentence of life in prison. This, in the end, is merely a defensive act. It responds to the need to assure the Sandinista bases that they’re not the ones under the gaze of justice.

Those accused of true “hate crimes”, crimes against humanity, crimes with no statute of limitations, are in the regime’s inner circle. The finger points to members of the Ortega-Murillo regime who are most directly tied to the repression. However, as in the April killings and the failed official narrative of an attempted “Coup d’Etat”, Ortega will point the finger elsewhere. He’ll try to convince his followers that his own hate crimes can be attributed to the victims.

Thirdly, although the Nicaraguan Constitution proclaims political pluralism, this combo of punitive laws assures there’ll be no competitive elections. With these laws, Ortega has ratified his stance for the November 2021 elections. Given this, it’s illusory to expect some electoral opening from a regime that’s willing to play All or Nothing. Though they risk further international sanctions and a declaration of illegitimacy, they’ll be celebrating the elections with no competition and without transparency.

Will we arrive at the opening of the 2021 electoral campaign without a political reform?  The answer to this interrogative doesn’t depend on Ortega, but on the political opposition.  Ortega has already decided to radicalize his authoritarian model. Meanwhile, the opposition continues to be paralyzed. They’re discussing which electoral box is the safest, in imaginary elections in which they haven’t even been invited to participate.

Meanwhile, the national debate must center itself on determining the most effective strategy. The opposition must work on joining forces, weakening the regime, and altering the balance of power. They must thus force a political reform on the regime, one that results from national and international pressure. First, the reform, with or without Ortega, and later free elections.

MOST READ

Rosario Murillo: La Heredera (The Heiress)

Rosarion Murillo, the "eternally loyal" to her husband and political partner, Daniel Ortega. In a profile by Confidencial in October 2016, before her election as...

Better Air Connectivity Between Nicaragua and the US

The private companies' association is in talks with United Airlines to promote the opening of a route that connects Nicaragua with the east coast...

Nicaragua Unveils Central America’s Largest Baseball Stadium

Nicaragua has unveiled its long-awaited baseball stadium in Managua, replacing the former baseball field built in 1948. The new structure will hold up to...

Bianca Jagger Gets Into The Nicaragua Act Again

(American Thinker)  Remember Bianca Jagger? You know, the disco queen and former rock-star's wife turned leftwing "human rights activist" who was last seen mourning...

What Are Some of Nicaragua’s Popular Food?

TODAY NICARAGUA - Nicaragua is an interesting place, with a tumultuous history and a relatively peaceful present. and even if many things can be...

Nicaragua Praised by the IMF

The IMF noted the positive evolution of all the country's economic indicators, and the drastic fall in poverty, with an increase of 33% in...

Poll Shows Declining Expectations on a Nicaraguan Canal

According to the results of the most recent survey conducted by Cid Gallup, the Nicaraguan interoceanic canal project, a concession given to the Chinese...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Nicaragua and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.