In a surprise announcement, Nicaragua’s influential Catholic bishops late Friday said the Daniel Ortega government, as demanded by the Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia (Civic Alliance), agreed to invite “immediately” the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the United Nations High Commissioner and the European Union to investigate the deaths that have occurred since April 19.
The bishops also said the government and civil delegates had agreed to create a “verification” commission and invite independent international bodies to probe the violence that has left at least 170 people dead.
The signed agreements contemplate urging the presence of the IACHR and urge it to announce to the members of the International Investigation Group for Nicaragua that they must work “in loco” to assist in the investigation of all deaths and acts of violence, the identification of those responsible and a plan of integral attention to the victims for an “effective justice”.
In addition, it was agreed to the official installation of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts for Nicaragua (GIEI) and the follow-up mechanism (Meseni) to support civil society, “to continue monitoring and processing the precautionary measures and cases postulated in the Inter-American system.”
The Civic Alliance, the Government and the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference called for the cessation of all types of violence and threats, wherever they may come from, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes said when he read the communiqué.
On the removal of the ‘tranques’ or barricades which have been erected throughout the country, a key government demand, Juan Sebastián Chamorro, of the Civic Alliance, affirmed that these “will not be removed as long as there are no guarantees of compliance with agreements on the part of the government.”
The dialogue and its process to move toward “democratization” is expected to continue Saturday, the bishops said at the conference. The Civic Alliance added the talks on democratization are “fundamental.”
The call by the bishops for early elections has yet to be addressed by Ortega.
Source (in Spanish): El Nuevo Diario