TODAY NICARAGUA (EFE) The U.S. State Department criticized on Tuesday (April 12) in its annual report on human rights that Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, exercises “total control” over the country after being re-elected in elections marked by the imprisonment of opponents.
In its document 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nicaragua, the United States highlighted that Ortega “was awarded a fourth consecutive term” in the November elections after “arbitrarily imprisoning almost 40 opposition figures, barring all credible opposition political parties from participating, blocking legitimate international observation efforts, and committing widespread electoral fraud”.
The State Department pointed out that in those elections Ortega’s party increased its qualified majority in the National Assembly, which has previously served to modify the Constitution and allow his re-election.
“The 2021 elections expanded the ruling party’s supermajority in the National Assembly, which previously allowed for changes in the constitution that extended the reach of executive branch power and eliminated restrictions on re-election of executive branch officials and mayors.
“Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front exercises total control over the Executive, Legislative, Judicial, and electoral authorities,” the report warned.
In addition, it explained that the Government of that country continues without investigating or persecuting those that commit human rights violations, including “the 355 murders and the hundreds of disappearances” that occurred during the protests against Ortega in 2018.
The State Department stressed that police and other people linked to Ortega are carrying out a “campaign of harassment, intimidation, and violence” against those they consider “enemies of the regime,” such as opponents, human rights defenders, and priests.
The U.S. document also touches on the reprisals of individuals located outside Nicaragua. In October 2020 the National Assembly approved the politically motivated Cybercrimes Law, which establishes the government may use the international extradition system to pursue Nicaraguans abroad who commit so-called cybercrimes.