The Private Enterprise Council (COSEP), The American Chamber of Commerce of Nicaragua, The Foundation for Economic and Social Development (Funides), and other business associations associated with COSEP, announced on social media that they have sent a letter to the National Police requesting “permission and authorization” to hold a rally this January 24 at 1:30 in the afternoon in Managua.
“We are releasing for public knowledge the fact that, in correspondence with Article 54 of the Nicaraguan Constitution, which expressly establishes the right of Nicaraguans to … public mobilization in accordance with the law, we have taken action to request permission and authorization from the Directorate of the National Police,” according to part of the statement published on COSEP’s twitter account. They also stated that the letter was sent to the competent authorities and that they also requested appropriate police protection, in order to guarantee the safety and physical integrity of all citizens taking part in the activity.
At this writing, the National Police has yet to respond to the request.
The prohibition of the marches
On September 28, 2018, the Ortega regime issued a police order threatening to prosecute the people and organizations that call for civic protest demonstrations. “The people who call for these illegal demonstrations, and who are promoting criminal and destructive actions will be held responsible and will answer to justice,” the Police said in a press release issued to the state-run media.
Paulo Abrao, executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), said that the police decision “limits” the “essential content of human rights.” “Before they established unnecessary requirements for the right to protest and now they prohibit even that. Without judicial oversight, an effective police state was installed,” he warned. Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro stood behind Abrao’s message.
In December 2018, the National Police hid behind a legal technicality to deny the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENDIDH) permission to hold a march on Monday, December 10, (International Human Rights Day) thus upholding the Ortega regime’s decision to prevent, at all costs, any kind of public demonstration opposing the regime.
CENIDH had asked the police for permission to march in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the official enactment of the UN Charter of Human Rights in 1948.
They counted on the fact that the regime’s police could not brand them as terrorists or accuse them of trying to carry out a coup (as the police had done with the Blue and White Unity movement when it asked to carry out a march against violence against women)… but the Police did just that.
Last week a hand full of young people held a small protest in the vicinity of La Prensa and El Nuevo Diario. Minutes later, pickup truck loads of police arrived to put a stop to it. The last march that took place in the capital was on September 23, demanding the release of all political prisoners in Nicaragua. Riot police and National Police officers attacked the demonstration. During that peaceful march, teenager Matt Andrés Romero was murdered.