AMERICA/NICARAGUA - Bishops concerned due to the violence against the rights of citizens

Thursday, 1 December 2016 human rights   episcopal conferences   indigenous   environment   violence  

Managua (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Nicaragua condemn the violent repression of the government against farmers, on 29 and 30 November (see Fides 30/11/2016), who were attacked by anti-riot police forces in New Guinea and in other places along the way that leads to Managua, to prevent them from reaching the capital to participate in the march in defense of their land, threatened with eviction for the construction of the inter-oceanic canal.
"Both as Church and as Episcopal Conference we are close to the people and we are coherent in this. We are not close to the powerful, but close to our people", said His Exc. Mgr. Jorge Solórzano, spokesman and secretary general of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (CEN ). Speaking with journalists he also expressed the Bishops concern for the wave of violence on behalf of the government against the rights of citizens.
"This is not normal. People must be brave, we must always try to defend the rights and we are with them ... We asked (President Ortega) on several occasions: dialogue, free elections, but he never listened to us. Now we ask him calmly, not to suppress the people", urged Mgr. Solórzano.
According to the note sent to Fides, the Secretary General of CEN said that he is considering the publication of a document on the wave of violence that exists in the country, and that the Bishops were invited to meet Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), who is visiting the country.
After the clashes many farmers were injured, while a large part of them failed to reach the capital due to the violent intervention of the police. Tension remains high also because today, Thursday, December 1, a demonstration against the electoral system organized by opposition political groups and social movements in the country is being planned. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 01/12/2016)