Press Release

IACHR Pays Tribute to the Memory of the Victims of the Mothers of April Demonstration and their Families in Nicaragua

June 1, 2020

   Related links

   Contact info

IACHR Press Office

   More on the IACHR
A+ A-

Washington, D.C. - Two years after the Mother’s Day Demonstration in Nicaragua, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) once again paid tribute to the victims of state repression. It continues to support victims’ families and calls on the state of Nicaragua to comply with its international obligations to investigate the events that occurred with due diligence to ensure that justice, truth, and adequate reparation for victims and their families are obtained.

After its visit to Nicaragua, the IACHR received an abundance of information about the events that took place on May 30, 2018. On that day, the peaceful protests being held as part of the celebration of Mother’s Day in Nicaragua were fatally attacked by armed civilians and shock groups who acted in coordination and collaboration with police forces. The demonstrations in question had been organized throughout the country in support of the Mothers of April and as a tribute to the early victims of the state repression of the prrotests that began on April 18. In Managua, historic numbers of people took part in these events.

According to official figures, 15 people were killed and 199 were injured in Managua, Estelí, and Masaya. In its “ Report on the Violent Events That Took Place in Nicaragua Between April 18 and May 30, 2018,” the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) created by the IACHR concluded that the day’s events resulted in 19 deaths throughout the country and 85 injuries requiring hospital care in Managua alone.

Likewise, in its Country Report on Nicaragua, “Gross Human Rights Violations in the Context of Social Protests in Nicaragua,” the IACHR strongly condemned these events and the exacerbation of the already excessive use of state force. It also repeated the recommendation that the state dismantle these groups and adopt measures to prevent the ongoing operations of armed third parties that attack and harass the civilian population. The IACHR has noted that these groups are continuing to operate in the country by making arrests and carrying out other acts of harassment, surveillance, and aggression against people who identified as dissidents, prisoners who have been released, human rights defenders, and journalists.

In memory of the victims of the Mother’s Day demonstrations, the IACHR invoked the country’s international obligations and urgent need for truth, justice, and reparation as well as guarantees that events such of those of May 30, 2018, will not be repeated. It also noted that the state of Nicaragua has not complied with these obligations in relation to the human rights violations that have taken place during the crisis that continues to affect the country. Specifically, the IACHR has repeatedly expressed its concern over the “reconciliation policies” and set of laws adopted by the state that are incompatible with international law, namely the Dialogue, Reconciliation, and Peace Act, the Comprehensive Care for Victims Act, and the Amnesty Act.

The IACHR has taken note of the ongoing demand for truth, justice, and reparation from Nicaraguan civil society. As a consequence, it underlined the urgent need for measures that are designed and implemented through broad social, democratic dialogue which specifically includes victims and their families.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 123/20