Ortega-Murillo Police Continue Intimidation Campaign: Abductions and Police Harassment are Daily Occurrences.

In spite of the latest OAS resolution about Nicaragua, the Ortega-Murillo government shows no signs of backing down. Citizens disappear on a daily basis, presumably abducted by the police. Public protest is still forbidden, and human rights organizations are besieged by riot police officers.

Over the weekend, at least six people were reported as missing.

Among them is 22-year old María Ruiz Briceño, who was abducted after participating in a picket at the Managua Cathedral. According to Ruiz’s sister, the police deny any knowledge of her sister’s whereabouts. However, eye witnesses say that police took her. “We demand her release, and we want them to tell us where she is”, she stated.

On Monday, protesters staged a picket outside the of the office’s of the Comisión Permanente de Derechos Humanos (CPDH), to demand the release of María Ruiz Briceño, Juan Palacios, and Erickson Pinell, three of the six abductees.

Soon, they were surrounded by riot police officers, who arrived in seven pick-up trucks.

Marcos Carmona, director of CPDH, characterized the police actions a form of harassment and a denial of constitutional rights. “Nicaragua has lost all constitutional rights, thanks to the criminal police we have nowadays,” said Carmona to a gaggle of reporters.


On average, the CPDH receives three abduction complaints against the police per day. On Saturday, they received five reports, including the abductions of Ruiz, Palacios, and Pinell.

Defensores del Pueblo also on Police Sights.

The CPDH is not the only human rights organization caught in police crosshairs. On Tuesday, three patrols carrying at least twenty riot police officers surrounded the offices of Defensores del Pueblo, a law firm specializing in human rights’ cases.

Julio Montenegro described the police deployment as harassment, stating that the police had impeded access to the offices of Defensores del Pueblo. According to Montenegro, the police had prevented three people from reaching the office. “We cannot continue in a situation in which people’s rights are violated and are not allowed to denounce these anomalies,” said Montenegro in an interview with VOA.

After interviewing Montenegro, journalists Houston Castillo and  Donaldo Hernández reported that they had been followed by a police vehicle. Both journalists took refuge inside a hotel.

On July 12, the Inter American Human Rights Court ordered the state of Nicaragua to adopt measures to “effectively protect the lives and personal integrity of the members of the Centro Nicaraguense de Derechos Humanos (CENIDH) and the CPDH”. The state was also ordered to “ensure the continuation of [CENIDH and CPDH’s] work in defense of human rights without harassment, threats, or aggression.

The Ortega-Murillo dictatorship has thus far ignored the Courts’ ruling.






  1. Tess

    Can someone tell me how and why this is been allowed to go on for so long and why the news in the US is not covering it? Where is the public outcry?

    1. dr.minuscula (Post author)

      Good questions. This has been going on for over a year, and it gets covered, every so often, by US English-language media. US Spanish language media covers it regularly. As for the public outcry, many Nicaraguans who live abroad have mobilized and lobbied, along with allies who either have ties to the country or have an interest in it; we are the public outcry. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find an SOSNicaragua group in your area.

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