Nayib Bukele who assumed power as President of El Salvador on 1st
June 2019 has appointed more women to his government’s cabinet than have ever
been appointed before in El Salvador’s history. Amongst these he has appointed
an ex-mayor, an ex-guerrilla fighter, an expert on drug trafficking and a
former union member with the Social Security Institute.
Bukele made almost daily announcements on Twitter in the weeks running
up to his inauguration. He has now appointed seven women to top ministry posts
where two previous Presidents (Francisco Flores, 1999-2004, and Salvador
Sánchez Cerén, 2014-2019) had each appointed three women to cabinet positions.
Those appointed by Bukele are as follows.
Karla Hananía de Varela
Alexandra Hill Tinoco
Ana Orellana Bendek
Morena Ileana Valdez Vigil
Navarrate (María Chichilco)
Suecy Callejas Estrada
Irma Michelle Martha Ninette Sol Schweikert
Additionally, Egriselda López has been nominated as El Salvador’s
Ambassador to the United Nations.
Karla Hananía de Varela.
Karla Hananía de Varela.
Minister of Education. Consultant to UNICEF 1992 – 2010. A member of the Advisory Committee to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Wants to have internet in all schools.
Alexandra Hill Tinoco.
Minister of Foreign Relations. Formerly Executive Director of the Anti Drugs Foundation of El Salvador (FUNDASALVA). Expert consultant to the OAS’s Inter-American Commission on the Control of the Abuse of Drugs (CICAD). Wants to strengthen relations with the United States and does not want to deal with ‘undemocratic governments’.
Ana Orellana Bendek.
Health. Doctor of Medicine from the Evangelical University of El Salvador.
Member of the Medical Workers’ Union of the Salvadoran Institute of Social
Security. She has promised to review the funding of hospitals.
Morena Ileana Valdez Vigil.
Tourism. Has experience in the promotion of exports, investments, marketing and
communications. Wants to promote El Salvador like the Dominican Republic.
María Ofelia Navarrate (María Chichilco).
for Local Development. Teacher of Social Sciences and Mathematics. Member of
the guerrilla, 1980 – 1992. FMLN Deputy in the Legislative Assembly, 1997 –
2000. Vice Governor of Chalatenango. Vice Minister of Government in the FUNES
administration, 2009 – 2014.
Suecy Callejas Estrada.
Culture. A former ballerina. Formerly Culture Secretary in San Salvador City
Hall, during which she was mentioned in a corruption case involving audiovisual
productions associated with President Bukele.
Irma Michelle Martha Ninette Sol Schweikert.
Housing. Formerly councillor and mayor of Nueva Cuscatlán. In 2003 involved in
a people trafficking prosecution, but not convicted.
Ambassador to the United Nations. A career diplomat with experience in international
relations and human rights. She has so far laid much emphasis on getting the UN
to strengthen the rights of Salvadoran immigrants in other countries.
A half-yearly comment and update on political developments in El
Salvador by the El Salvador Network (ESNET), a UK-based solidarity network.
We are grateful to ESNET for
permission to reproduce their latest Update (November 2019) in our website.
Key words: ARENA; FMLN; GANA; Nayib
Bukele; gang violence; corruption; Archbishop Oscar Romero.
The former Marxist guerrilla army (the FMLN) demobilised, as Peace
Accords were signed, in 1992 to bring the 12 year long civil war to an end in
El Salvador. There was space for the FMLN to organise politically, and contest
elections locally and nationally. This finally resulted in the first ever Left
Presidency from 2009 – 2014. President Mauricio Funes is now in exile in Nicaragua
after being charged with large scale corruption. Previous right wing (ARENA)
Presidents have also been charged, conveniently died or been imprisoned for
even greater corruption offences.
The second FMLN term, 2014 to May 2019, of President Salvador Sánchez
Cerén, saw little social progress as the FMLN tried a variety of tactics to
tackle massive gang related violence, which has forced many into exile and
resulted in many murders each day. Against this violent background it was clear
that the historic opportunity so many had fought for – and many had died for –
had not achieved a lot. Programmes to give out free school uniforms, and fund
co-operatives to grow maize seed for food sustainability were a good start, but
there was never a radical transformation of society. Ten years of the FMLN in government
left them exhausted by the gang wars, mired in many accounts of favouritism,
ineffectiveness, nepotism and worse.
In the February 2019 Presidential Election, the FMLN candidate came a
distant third, with ARENA (extreme right wing) second and a clear first round
victory with well over the necessary 50% for Nayib Bukele, formally of
the GANA centre right party.
An initial wave of euphoria that here was something new politically to
move El Salvador beyond the 2 party paralysis of the post-civil war period has
given way to a more nuanced reflection. Bukele has allied himself with Trump
and against Cuba and Venezuela and has recently expelled Venezuelan diplomats.
Some of his more left wing supporters hope this is to keep onside with the US
in order to be left alone to initiate some social and economic progress.
Announcing that all teachers will move to ‘flexible’ (in effect zero hours)
contracts shows the economic direction of travel of Bukele.
Who is Nayib Bukele?
Son of a wealthy family and working originally in the family business,
Bukele (now 38) worked as a PR specialist on the 2009 FMLN Presidential
election campaign for Mauricio Funes, and subsequently joined the party. He was
quickly elected Mayor of a small town, and then of the capital city, San
Salvador. He proved to be dynamic, controversial, slick, a maverick who never
fitted well in the FMLN. He was expelled from the FMLN for a number of acts
against party rules, and then became candidate for President of the GANA centre
right party in 2019.
Bukele is a figure similar to Macron in France – a young dynamic
outsider who has shaken the political mould – with no clear ideology, but
clearly of the centre / right. Above all he is a ‘self-brand’, adept in using
social media. He has had some early successes against the gangs, reducing the
daily murder toll. El Salvador recently hosted the Latin American surfing
championships, and Bukele encouraged all the surfers to go back home and tell
everyone how wonderful El Salvador is for surfing, and how they should all come
and stay a while! It seems that attacks on trade unions, public sector social
programmes and the alternative press show that Bukele is going all out to
attract US private sector investors.
Meanwhile Archbishop Oscar Romero (murdered while saying mass by a
death squad in 1980) has been finally officially canonized by the Argentinian
Pope Francis as ‘San Romero de las Americas’. The ceremony in Rome was a
national celebration of Romero and his legacy – which is still disputed, since
the right have tried to reclaim Romero as one of their own. March 2020 will mark the 40th
anniversary of the assassination of Romero, which will be commemorated widely
in El Salvador, and around the world, including here in the UK.
after the inauguration of Alejandro Giammattei as the new Guatemalan President,
he met with President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador and offered a deal of
potentially great benefit to El Salvador: namely a port on the Atlantic coast
of Guatemala. Lucy Goodman translated articles about the deal from La Prensa
Gráfica (by Melissa Pacheco, 28.01.20) and El Economista (29.01.20), and Martin
Mowforth summarised and commented upon these for The Violence of Development
words: El Salvador – Guatemala integration; Atlantic port; security
cooperation; domestic flights.
Salvador and Guatemala plan to eliminate the border initially for the passage
of persons and later for freight. They have also re-defined flights between the
two countries as ‘domestic flights’.
The Guatemalan president offered a concession to create a public-private
partnership as the means to enable completion of a Salvadoran port on the
Atlantic coast. Land from the Santo Tomás de Castilla National Port Company
(Empornac) will be ceded to El Salvador for this purpose. The area to be ceded is
known as El Arenal (or The Quicksand) and currently serves as a depot for
containers. Last year (2019) Empornac carried out technical studies to
determine the feasibility of constructing a pier to accommodate dredgers and
cruise ships there.
“We have offered El Salvador something unprecedented in the history of
Central American integration and today I want to announce it publicly because
we’re going to explore, as soon as possible, the possibility of El Salvador having
a port in the Guatemalan Atlantic. We will deliver this Project as a public-private
partnership so that El Salvador can develop it. It is an offer that we have
made to El Salvador, we consider it to be the right thing to do,”
Giammattei announced at a press conference that took place at the Presidential
He added that he had spoken with the authorities of SICA (Sistema de la
Integración Centroamericana / Central American Integration System) in order to
receive the support of the institution in the implementation of the project. He
also announced that he made a firm pledge to officially de-categorise flights
between Guatemala and El Salvador to ‘domestic’. This comes as part of the
initiatives to improve integration in the region.
The Guatemalan Minister of Economics, Antonio Malouf, confirmed that a
legal-technical analysis for ceding the land of Empornac will be carried out.
“Basically, it would be our entry to the Atlantic. Our goods will have
the power to go from the Atlantic and enter from the Atlantic. I believe what
we’re doing is making a real union that is going to spread to other countries
in Central America that will want to unite and do similar,” declared the
Apart from the possible construction of the Salvadoran port on the
Guatemalan coast and the re-categorisation of flights, the leaders announced
that in one month they hope to have removed the border for the passage of
people and within three or four months the barriers for goods between the two
“We have to sign papers where we can eliminate the customs on goods
respecting that goods entering El Salvador and destined for Guatemala have already
paid taxes in El Salvador and do not have to pay them in Guatemala and those that
have entered Guatemala destined for El Salvador do not have to pay them in El
Salvador. We believe it will take us about three months,” the Guatemalan
president declared to the media.
The elimination of the borders for the passage of people also requires the
implementation of a bi-national arrangement on security. “If someone passes
from Guatemala to El Salvador evading an arrest warrant, they will not be
evading anything because we are going to have the same approaches in both
countries,” Bukele stated.
referred to their intention to apply similar security sanctions, one of which
was to standardise the criminal codes in both countries. In the language he
used to explain this part of the agreement, Giammattei betrayed his profoundly
hateful and hardline understanding of crime in society. “Standardising the
penalties, the sanctions, the punishments, so that when they spray ‘Baygon’
here the cockroaches do not go there because they think that there they will
find it easier, and when they spray ‘Baygon’ the cockroaches won’t come here,
as the law will be the same for the two countries,” said the new president.
he said that they had been monitoring Bukele’s Territorial Control Plan (PCT),
the main commitment of the Salvadoran Government to improve security
conditions, and he (Giammattei) did not rule out implementing some of the same sanctions
Key words: Guatemala; non-governmental organisations (GOs); human rights
defenders; social activists; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights (OHCHR).
Early this month (February 2020) the Guatemalan Congress moved to limit
the work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Human rights defenders
and social activists criticised the Guatemalan Congress for passing a law
that could be used by governments to arbitrarily control non-governmental
The ‘Law of Non-Governmental Organisations for Development’
establishes that NGOs will not be able to use foreign donations or
financing to carry out activities that “alter” public
“If an NGO uses foreign donations or financing to alter public
order, it will be immediately cancelled … its executives will be charged
under criminal and civil legislation,” the new law states.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR) also expressed its reservations regarding what happened in
“The reform of the NGO law could affect the freedom of
association, assembly, and expression, as well as democratic spaces for organised
civil society,” the OHCHR said and added that “it is important
to adopt laws and policies that guarantee spaces for democratic participation.”
In 2019, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet
expressed concern about the NGO bill as it introduces controls that could
be used to arbitrarily limit social organisations.
The NGO law is based on proposals that lawmakers of the previous
legislature made to avoid the fight against corruption promoted by the
International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala.
With the new law, the government can “arbitrarily cancel
uncomfortable organisations,” said Justice Now (JusticiaYa), an NGO
which was born amidst the anti-corruption fight in 2015.
The leftist party Winaq, whose most notable member is the 1992 Nobel
Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, said the NGO law is “a blow to
freedom of social organisation and harmful to the majority.”
artículo siguiente es originario del blog Two Worlds por John Perry. Apareció originalmente
en el Grayzone.com – thegrayzone.com . Estoy agradecido a John por su
autorización para reproducir el artículo en este sitio web.
Worlds blog: (twoworlds.me)
18 de febrero 2020
Aquí hay un titular que no verás: Nicaragua está en paz. Tras el
violento intento de derrocar al gobierno en 2018, que costó al menos 200 vidas,
el país ha vuelto en gran medida a la tranquilidad que disfrutaba antes. Esta
no es sólo la impresión que recibe cualquier visitante de Nicaragua, sino que
está confirmada por las estadísticas: Insight Crime analizó
los niveles de homicidio en toda América Latina en 2019 y demostró que sólo
tres países eran más seguros que Nicaragua en todo el continente.
Además, tres de sus vecinos, el ‘triángulo del norte’ de Honduras, El
Salvador y Guatemala, estaban entre los peores países. También tienen altos
niveles de violencia mortal contra las mujeres. En los primeros 24 días de
2020, por ejemplo, 27 mujeres hondureñas sufrieron muertes violentas, mientras
que el vecino Nicaragua sigue teniendo uno de los niveles más bajos de femicidio en América Latina.
Las últimas provienen de un incidente a finales de enero. Los campesinos
sin tierra atacaron una comunidad en el gran bosque de Bosawás. Según la
agencia Reuters, seis
muertos, diez secuestrados y casas destruidas. The Guardian, el New
York Times y el Washington Post repitieron la historia. El periódico local de
derecha La Prensa citó a la ONG
Fundación del Río, que lo calificó de ‘masacre’; la Alianza Cívica de la
oposición nicaragüense se sumó a esta calificando el ataque de ‘etnocidio’. Amnistía
Internacional condenó ‘la indiferencia del Estado’ ante el sufrimiento de los
pueblos indígenas. La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos dijo que el
gobierno no estaba cumpliendo con sus obligaciones internacionales.
Bosawás es la mayor superficie de selva tropical al norte del Amazonas.
Tiene pocas carreteras y principalmente comunidades pequeñas, muchas de las
cuales dependen de los ríos para su transporte. Muchos habitantes locales
pertenecen a grupos indígenas a los que el gobierno ha concedido títulos de
propiedad de la tierra. Otros son los llamados ‘colonos’, familias campesinas
de las cuales algunos han comprado sus tierras pero también hay otras que las
ocupan ilegalmente. Las disputas entre los agricultores establecidos y los
campesinos sin tierra son comunes, y durante muchos años han dado lugar, a
veces, a la violencia. Los problemas de la vigilancia de esos lugares, con su
historia de conflictos y corrupción, no se limitan a su lejanía.
Lo que realmente ocurrió en el caso reciente sólo quedó claro después de
que la policía llegó en horas avanzadas de la tarde del 29 de enero para
investigar, tras haber sido llamada al lugar por motivo de un reporte de dos
personas muertas, no de seis como se reportó en los medios. En el lugar donde
se produjo el atentado, la comunidad de Alal, la policía encontró 12 casas
quemadas y dos personas heridas. Nadie había desaparecido. Para el 31 de enero
habían revisado otras tres comunidades cercanas y no encontraron pruebas de
asesinato o secuestro. Los líderes de la comunidad local condenaron las
Luego, en un lugar completamente distinto, a 12 km al este de Alal, a lo
largo del río Kahaska Kukun, cerca de la comunidad de Wakuruskasna, la policía
encontró e identificó cuatro cadáveres, dos en
una parte del río y dos en otra parte, aparentemente muertos por heridas de
bala. La población local dijo que no conocía a nadie que hubiera desaparecido o
estuviera desaparecido. Las investigaciones continuaron y dos días después
altos funcionarios de la policía y del gobierno se reunieron con la comunidad en la escuela local para explicar las investigaciones y la labor de
aplicación de la ley que estaban realizando, así como la ayuda que recibirían
las personas para reconstruir sus casas destruidas. Posteriormente, el 5 de
febrero, los familiares de las víctimas se reunieron con la Procuradora de los Derechos Humanos de Nicaragua, Darling Ríos, para denunciar los crímenes cometidos. La
policía cree haber identificado a la banda criminal involucrada y continúa la
búsqueda de los mismos.
Los antecedentes de esta historia son importantes y son ignorados por
los medios de comunicación internacionales y los organismos de derechos
humanos. Una parte importante del territorio nicaragüense está legalmente en manos
de grupos indígenas y ha sido debidamente titulado por el Gobierno de Nicaragua
como tierras comunales de cada comunidad. Las autoridades que las administran
son designadas por las propias comunidades. En el territorio indígena de
Mayangna Sauni As, formado por 75 comunidades, existe una disputa interna por
el control de estas tierras comunales. De tal manera que algunos de los líderes
han vendido tierras a grupos de colonos externos, lo que podría ser la raíz del
conflicto del mes pasado.
Lamentablemente, a pesar del proceso masivo y continuo de reforma
agraria en Nicaragua, sigue habiendo casos de campesinos desplazados que no
pueden comprar tierras caras en zonas pobladas y tratan de comprarlas en otro
lugar a bajo precio, y tal vez ilegalmente, o simplemente las toman. Las zonas
poco pobladas como Bosawás son especialmente vulnerables. Las organizaciones
internacionales describen los conflictos resultantes como luchas entre pueblos
indígenas conscientes del medio ambiente y forasteros destructivos, instigados
por el gobierno. La realidad es que los pobres compiten por la tierra, a veces
de forma violenta. Y la violencia es espasmódica: en los dos últimos años se
han registrado pocas muertes en conflictos por la tierra, aunque hubo varias en
2015 y 2016, que afectaron principalmente a una comunidad indígena diferente,
No es de extrañar que los medios de comunicación se pongan del lado de
los grupos indígenas y que los colonos rara vez tengan voz. Inevitablemente,
como en el caso de Alal, quien pueda sacar una historia a través de una llamada
telefónica recibirá atención, e incluso una agencia como Reuters parece ser
dispuesta a basar sus reportajes en ese tipo de información antes de que los
hechos puedan ser comprobados. Para quienes no están familiarizados con
Nicaragua, cualquier noticia sobre grupos indígenas conjura imágenes de los
tribus aislado de la Amazonia, lo cual está lejos de la situación real. Los
medios de comunicación establecen la escena con imágenes románticas de las selvas tropicales. Sólo en raras
ocasiones envían a sus reporteros para investigar a fondo los acontecimientos
sobre que están reportando.
Si esto es lo que se espera de los medios de comunicación de hoy, no
debería ser el caso de las ONG de derechos humanos. Sin embargo, los organismos
de ‘derechos humanos’ con sede en Nicaragua son notoriamente sesgados
políticamente, y desde hace mucho tiempo ya pasaron el punto en que se pueden
considerar ser objetivos. Sus recientes denuncias de una campaña gubernamental
de asesinatos en zonas rurales, por ejemplo, se han demostrado ser completamente falsas. Todas
las ONG locales compiten por las donaciones de gobiernos extranjeros, y (como
uno admitió) exageran sus cuentas de muertes para conseguirlo.
Lamentablemente, las ONG internacionales no son mucho mejor. Los
reportajes de Amnesty International sobre Nicaragua se han demostrado estar llenos de errores y tergiversaciones. Anteriormente, varios individuos y organismos habían solicitado a la
ONG Global Witness corregir la información sesgada en sus informes sobre de las
disputas de tierras en el área de Bosawás, que caracterizaron a Nicaragua como
el “país más peligroso del mundo” para ser un defensor del medio ambiente. A pesar de los muchos
esfuerzos que hizo para asegurar que Global Witness escuchara las complejidades
de la historia real, ese ONG se negó a retirar sus acusaciones, incluso cuando
se descubrió que algunas eran completamente falsas.
Por eso los titulares como ‘Una trágica epidemia de violencia’ no deben
tomarse al pie de la letra. Incluso la BBC (seis indígenas muertos en un ataque) se equivocó. El sesgo mediático contra el gobierno sandinista de
Nicaragua es incesante, y las ONG internacionales lo están alimentando (al
igual que el gobierno de EE.UU., por supuesto). Mientras tanto, detrás de los
titulares, el pueblo nicaragüense está recuperando con éxito la preciosa paz y
seguridad de la que disfrutaba antes de los violentos acontecimientos de 2018.
La mayoría se siente aliviada de que la verdadera ‘epidemia de violencia’ haya
terminado unos meses después de haber comenzado para dejar a Nicaragua el país
más seguro de la región.
The following article by John Perry comes
from his Two Worlds blog. It originally appeared in The Grayzone, an independent news website dedicated to original
investigative journalism and analysis on politics and empire – thegrayzone.com.
I am grateful to John for permission to reproduce his article in this website.
headline you won’t see: Nicaragua is at peace. After the violent attempt to
overthrow the government in 2018, which cost at least 200 lives, the country
has largely returned to the tranquillity it enjoyed before. This is not only
the impression that any visitor to Nicaragua will receive, it is confirmed by
statistics: Insight Crime analysed homicide levels across Latin
America in 2019 and showed that only three countries were safer than Nicaragua
in the whole continent. What’s more, three of its neighbours, the ‘northern
triangle’ of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, were all among the worst
countries. They also have high levels of fatal violence against women. In the
first 24 days of 2020, for example, 27 Honduran women met violent deaths, while
next-door Nicaragua continues to have one of the lowest levels of femicide in Latin America.
ones come from an incident at the end of January. Criminals attacked a small
community in the large forest reserve of Bosawás. It was reported by Reuters to have led to six deaths, ten people being
kidnapped and houses being destroyed. The Guardian, New York Times and Washington Post all
repeated the story. Local right-wing newspaper La Prensa quoted the NGO Fundación del Rio who called it a
‘massacre’. Nicaragua’s opposition Civic Alliance joined in by calling it
‘ethnocide’. For the opposition news channel Patriotic Communications it was a ‘war’ against
indigenous people in which ‘the Ortega government is silent’ about the crimes
committed. Amnesty International condemned ‘the state’s indifference’ to the
sufferings of indigenous people. The Interamerican Commission for Human Rights
said the government was failing its international obligations.
the largest area of tropical rainforest north of the Amazon. It has few roads
and mainly tiny communities, many relying on rivers for transport. Many local
people belong to indigenous groups which have been granted land titles by the
government and this land cannot be sold, only leased. Others are settlers
(called ‘colonos’) some of whom have leased land but others who occupy it
illegally. Disputes between established farmers and landless peasants are
common, and for many years have sometimes resulted in violence. The problems of
policing such places, with their history of conflict and corruption, are not
confined to their remoteness.
happened in the recent case only became clear after the police arrived to
investigate, having been called to the scene of two reported
deaths, not six, late on the afternoon of 29 January. In the place
where the attack occurred, the community of Alal, the police found 12
houses had been burned down and two people had been injured. No one had
disappeared. By 31 January they had checked three more nearby communities and
found no evidence of murder or kidnapping. Local community leaders condemned
the false news reports.
Then, at a
completely differently place 12km east of Alal, along the River Kahaska Kukun
near the community of Wakuruskasna, police found and identified
four bodies, two in one part of the river and two in another part, apparently
dead from gunshot wounds. Local people said they knew of no one who had
disappeared or was missing. Investigations continued and two days later senior
police and government officials met with the community in the local school to explain
the investigations and the enforcement work they were doing, as well as the
help that people would get to rebuild their destroyed houses. Then, on February
5, the families of the victims met with Nicaragua’s Procurator of Human Rights, Darling
Ríos, to denounce the crimes committed. The police are pursuing the criminal
gang involved and so far (February 12) have captured one culprit who was
carrying a sub-machine gun.
background to this story is important and is ignored by the international media
and human rights bodies. A significant proportion of Nicaraguan territory is
legally held by indigenous groups and has been duly titled by the Nicaraguan
Government in each community’s ownership. The authorities that administer them
are designated by the communities themselves. In the indigenous territory of
Mayangna Sauni As, made up of 75 communities, there is an internal dispute over
control of these communal lands. Some of the leaders have sold land to groups
of outside settlers, which is possibly at the root of last month’s conflict.
despite a massive and ongoing process of land reform in Nicaragua, there are
still cases of displaced peasant farmers who can’t buy expensive land in
populated areas and seek to buy it cheaply, and perhaps illegally, elsewhere,
or simply to occupy it. Sparsely populated areas like Bosawás are especially
vulnerable. The ensuing conflicts are portrayed by international organisations
as struggles between environmentally conscious indigenous people and destructive
outsiders, abetted by the government. The reality is that poor people are in
competition for land, sometimes violently. And the violence is spasmodic: there
were few reported deaths in land disputes for the last two years, although
there were several in 2015 and 2016, mainly affecting a different indigenous
community, the Miskitu.
hardly surprising that news media side with indigenous groups and that the
settlers rarely get a voice. Inevitably, as in the Alal case, whoever can get a
story out via a phone call will receive attention, and even an agency like
Reuters will (it seems) accept such a report before the facts can be checked.
To those unfamiliar with Nicaragua, any news item about indigenous groups
conjures images of uncontacted tribes in the Amazon, which is far from the real
situation. News media set the scene with romantic images of rainforests. Only
rarely do they send reporters to investigate in depth.
If this is
to be expected of today’s media, it shouldn’t be the case with human rights
NGOs. Yet Nicaraguan-based ‘human rights’ bodies are notoriously biased
politically, and have long passed the point where they can be considered
objective. Their recent allegations of a government campaign of rural
assassinations, for example, were shown to be completely
false. All the local NGOs compete for donations from foreign
governments, and (as one admitted) exaggerate their death counts in order to get it.
the international NGOs are little better. Amnesty International’s reporting on
Nicaragua has been shown as full of errors and misrepresentations. Global Witness
was earlier called out for biased reporting of the land disputes in the Bosawás
area, in which it called Nicaragua the world’s ‘most dangerous country’ to be an
environmental defender. Despite many efforts to get it to listen to the
complexities of the real story, it refused to withdraw its allegations even
when some were found to be completely untrue.
This is why
headlines like ‘A Tragic Epidemic of Violence’ should not be taken at face
value. Even the BBC (Six indigenous people reportedly killed in attack) was
wrong. Media bias against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government is unremitting, and
international NGOs are feeding it (as, of course, is the US government).
Meanwhile, behind the headlines, Nicaraguan people are successfully recovering
the precious peace and safety they enjoyed before the violent events of 2018.
Most are relieved that the real ‘epidemic of violence’ ended a few months after