The Guernica Centre has been working side-by-side with Nicaraguan organizations, both in country as well as in exile, to respond to their demands for truth, justice and reparations in connection with the repressive acts of government and paramilitary forces against demonstrators starting in April 2018.
International human rights protection bodies have reported on the violations and underscored the gravity and the systematic nature of some these acts, finding that crimes against humanity have likely been committed by state-sanctioned groups. Base crimes include: persecution, executions, arbitrary deprivation of liberty, forced disappearances, torture, rape and forced displacement, amongst others.
Though the crackdown on various forms of protected speech and expression has continued, and violent attacks and threats against human rights defenders and social leaders have not subsided, civil society mobilization remains staunch and, unlike any other moment in Nicaraguan history, the demands for truth and justice are overwhelming. The way forward is highly complex, as polarization is at its height, the political climate is volatile, and the rule of law has been compromised. Consonant with the Guernica Approach, the Centre has promoted, together with Nicaraguan counterparts, a coalition destined to explore all viable alternatives in the quest for justice. The Coalition for Justice in Nicaragua has recently been conformed and is working with a group of partners to document, assess and explore all alternatives that can serve the interests of justice, particularly those tied to criminal accountability.