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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Nicaragua

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 14 March 2007
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Nicaragua, 14 March 2007, available at: [accessed 18 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Repression of CENIDH members203

Defamation against CENIDH

On March 28, 2006, the Nicaraguan Human Rights Centre (Centro Nicaraguense de Derechos Humanos – CENIDH) presented a report about the situation of three journalists of the El Nuevo Diario (END) newspaper, who had been insulted and defamed by employees of the office of the Prosecutor after denouncing that the rent of one of the office's staff members was allegedly paid with public funds. A few days after the launch of the report, the Nicaraguan Ombudsman, Mr. Omar Cabezas Lacayo, in an interview with END, criticised its content and described CENIDH as "kaibil", the former military elite that was trained to repress and kill under the Somoza dictatorship.

CENIDH had previously been targeted by similar smear campaigns orchestrated by State officials and civil servants.

Assassination attempt against Mr. Roque Jacinto Rocha

On April 25, 2006, Mr. Roque Jacinto Rocha, vice-coordinator of CENIDH and of the Human Rights Commission of the "Padre César Jerez" Promoters' Network (Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Red de Promotores "Padre César Jerez"), was attacked by armed farm workers of the "Mahony" farm, in "Las Sardinas", in the Autonomous Region of the South Atlantic (RAAS). Mr. Jacinto Rocha was then visiting Messrs. Marcelino Urbina Amador and Justinó Jiménez, two farmers. The aggressors shot at them, leaving the three men injured.

On April 19, 2006, Mr. Germán Fonseca Moncada, who claims ownership of the "Mahony" farm, had obtained a court order to evict 12 families who had lived on the land for 10 years, and to destroy their homes.

A complaint was lodged with the El Rama authorities against three farm workers for "attempted assassination" and "endangering others". Two of them were sentenced, on October 17, 2006, to six months' imprisonment for "attempted assassination" and five years for "endangering others". As for the third farm employee, he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment for the second of these charges.

Acts of violence against several CENIDH members

On May 5, 2006, the national police violently dispersed a peaceful demonstration organised in Managua by doctors demanding higher pay, while some of them were trying to negotiate with the Ministry of Finance. As police forces were backed by rapid intervention troops (Tropas Tácticas Policiales de Intervención Rápida – TAPIR), several CENIDH members tried to act as mediators between the two parties to prevent, to no avail, an escalation of violence.

Twenty-two doctors were injured, over 70 were arrested, and three CENIDH members were hit and verbally abused: Mr. Bayardo Izabá, executive director, Mr. Gonzalo Carrión, director of the defence and denunciation department, who lost consciousness, and Mr. Norwin Solano, legal adviser.

The complaint lodged with the Public Prosecutor remained pending by the end of 2006 despite numerous material evidence (photographs and videos showing police forces responsible for the assault), and no sanctions were taken.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website ( was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

203. See Annual Report 2005, Urgent Appeal NIC 001/0506/OBS 056 and Open Letter to the Nicaraguan authorities, May 12, 2006.

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