Covering events from January - December 2004

Violence against women and girls was a major concern.


Political tensions ran high after the Treasury Inspector's Office called on the National Assembly, which is dominated by opposition parties, to impeach President Enrique Bolaños on corruption charges for failing to disclose the sources of his funding during the 2001 presidential elections. The President had become increasingly isolated after backing efforts to prosecute his predecessor and former ally, Arnoldo Alemán, who was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment in December 2003 for fraud and money-laundering.

The Human Rights Procurator's Office faced a crisis after the National Assembly failed to appoint new directors and other staff when the previous incumbents completed their term of office in June or later. Members of the Office were concerned by the damage the situation was causing to the defence of human rights.

Violence against women

There was concern at the high levels of violence against women and girls. The National Police reported that 77 women had been murdered during 2003 and during the first quarter of 2004, and that 164 complaints of domestic violence were received in one police district alone in the same period. In July, the Minister of Health stated that 95 per cent of rapes in Nicaragua take place within the home. The Supreme Court, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank, began a consultation with state institutions and civil society with a view to setting up a cross-disciplinary programme of professional services to address the needs of victims of domestic and sexual violence.

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