English

Nicaragua: General, Obey the Constitution

The general was very emphatic in his assertions of respect for the Constitution and the laws. That is good, here they are.



After more than a year since the explosion of the sociopolitical crisis in Nicaragua, now aggravated by the economic crisis, the head of the Army finally offered statements to the media.

One wonders what would have been better. For him to have remained quiet, or to talk. But the fact is that he spoke and that is better because it allows us, Nicaraguans, to know what the military leader thinks and also, allows us to express what we think about his opinions.

The general complained about a campaign he describes as “vicious” against the army. A label which he repeated several times. Vicious, he emphasized with a dramatic accent.

One wonders: what does the head of the Army calls vicious?

If he calls vicious the demand that the Army proceed to disarm paramilitary groups, according to what the Constitution and the laws mandate? What does he call the terror campaign imposed by the regime that causes deaths, imprisonment, torture, closure of media outlets, exiles, takeover of properties?

Would he call the massive deployment of repressive forces by the regime to crush basic citizen rights vicious?

“We know who is behind all that,” the military leader snapped threateningly.

Very well, general. If you know who is behind that campaign, we must recognize the efficiency of the Army’s intelligence services, which were able to ascertain who is behind the messages in social networks and the media.

But, two issues remain to be clear.

If you know who is behind the media campaign, surely you must also know who organized, armed and finance the paramilitaries who, using war weapons ostentatiously, with total impunity, in broad daylight massacred the people of Nicaragua. And, I repeat the word: paramilitaries.

Do you, general, know who they are? Well, you should know.

The second point is that the general repeated over and over again that he only obeys the Constitution and the laws. So, well, it is imperative that we review article 26 of the Constitution which, on clause 3 says: “Everyone has the right to know about any information which private and public entities may have on record about him/her as well as the right to know why and for what purpose they hold such information.”

Have you, general, informed the people who you say are behind the campaign, the information you hold, why you have it and with what purpose you got it?

Your obligation is to inform them.

If you have not done so, hurry up to do it, because otherwise you are violating the Constitution.

And, regarding the paramilitaries, the general, in a vociferous tone affirmed: “Under no circumstances we will accept that concept of paramilitary forces…concept such as paramilitaries in Colombia that arise from economic structures or economic or political interests that organize forces…or forces that are structured outside the law by the military…”

Here you hit the mark!

The paramilitaries in Nicaragua organized themselves precisely to defend economic structures and economic and political interests, as in Colombia. Don’t you know who owns the assets that the BANCORP bank protected? Or, who are the owners of the refinery and the electricity generating plants? This is just to mention a few cases.

Those interests are what the paramilitaries defend.

This aspect of paramilitaries is not a matter of concepts because there is nothing conceptual about paramilitary gangs that massacred the people. Globally, the media and social networks made known their excesses. In addition, the paramilitaries did not even take care to hide. On the contrary, they boasted of their impunity, their weapons and their atrocities.

I will only transcribe a paragraph from the report of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), which was established by an agreement between the government and the OAS Secretary General: “The GIEI was able to determine that most of the murders and seriously wounded were the responsibility of the National Police, whose troops acted directly and also in a coordinated fashion with para-state armed groups …For the GIEI, according to the available information, it follows that the State of Nicaragua has carried out behaviors that in accordance with international law should be considered crimes against humanity, particularly murders, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and the crime of persecution.”

If you want, do not call them paramilitaries. Call them as the GIEI does: “para-state armed groups.” What is the difference?

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And, if we are going to talk about the Constitution, article 95 states: “No more armed units may exist in the national territory than those established in the Constitution…”

We have learned from the reports of the public relations office of the Army, reporting deaths in alleged combats, by alleged armed groups in the mountains, such as the children of Dona Elea Valle. But we have not known a single attempt to disarm the groups mentioned by the GIEI, as well as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The general was very emphatic in his assertions of respect for the Constitution and the laws. That is good, I mentioned two of them. They are clear, he only has to obey them.