Vatican calls for electoral reform in Nicaragua

Anti-government protest in Managua, Nicaragua, on Monday (CNS/Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters)

With increasing concerns worldwide about human rights violations in Nicaragua, a Vatican representative has called for a return to negotiations and reforms necessary to hold “free and transparent elections” there. Source: Crux.

“The Holy See has been following with great attention the sociopolitical situation in Nicaragua and believes that the unsettled disputes should be solved as soon as possible,” said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Vatican observer to UN agencies in Geneva.

The Vatican recommended that all “political and social stakeholders” come together in a “renewed spirit of responsibility and reconciliation” in order to find a solution “that respects the truth, re-establishes justice and promotes the common good,” he said in a speech yesterday during a session of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Nicaragua.

“The Holy See strongly believes that it is essential to implement the agreements reached last March, to return immediately to open and mutually respectful negotiations and to realise, at the earliest, the electoral reforms for the holding of free and transparent elections with the presence of international observers,” he said.

The meeting came the same day Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, presented her report on Nicaragua, following a Human Rights Council resolution in March dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights in Nicaragua.

A major human rights crisis was triggered after police forces and pro-government groups cracked down on nationwide protests that began in April 2018 against a series of reforms mandated by President Daniel Ortega.

Some human rights groups have estimated the resulting violence led to the deaths of at least 300 people, the wounding of more than 2000 people and the detention of hundreds more, who have been reportedly subjected to serious abuses such as torture and the denial of due process.

Even after major protests died down, human rights violations continued, according to the high commissioner’s report, with the government banning public demonstrations by groups critical of the government and with the excessive use of force by police in ways that infringed on the freedom of expression and association.

FULL STORY

Vatican calls for electoral reform, negotiations to resume in Nicaragua (Crux) 

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