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Human Rights

Nicaraguan government closes 83 additional NGOs and civic groups

Ortega’s government has been cracking down on the NGOs and groups that it views as opposed to the regime

June 2, 2022 5:31pm

Updated: June 2, 2022 9:51pm

The government of Daniel Ortega ordered on Tuesday the closure of 83 non-governmental organizations and civic groups operating in the country amid a crackdown on institutions. 

Nicaragua’s congress—dominated by Ortega’s party—voted 75-0 to cease the groups' operations in the country. 

Ortega’s government has been cracking down on the NGOs and groups that it views as opposed to the regime. Ortega claims that these groups receive funding from abroad to conspire to remove him from office. 

Nicaragua has closed more than 200 institutions this year and more than 320 since 2018, after protests against Ortega’s regime took place. 

The Nicaraguan regime withdrew from the Organization of the American States (OAS) and closed its offices in Managua in April after the Nicaraguan ambassador to the OAS called the government a “dictatorship” that repressed political opposition and committed human rights abuses. 

The same month, Nicaragua’s parliament closed 25 other NGOs, many of which have publicly criticized the government. 

In March, Ortega expelled the representative of the International Red Cross (ICRC) from Central American country. According to the organization, the government’s decision came as a surprise given that the ICRC was “adhering to its principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence.”

The papal nuncio, Msgr. Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, was also expelled from the country. An action that the church called “grave and unjustified.”

Ortega has been widely criticized for the November 2021 presidential elections, when he was elected as president for the fourth consecutive term. Ahead of the elections, the regime arrested more than 46 opposition leaders and six presidential candidates.