AMERICA/NICARAGUA - Mgr. Fonseca: Massacre of peasants: the army and institutions must clarify

Thursday, 23 November 2017 human rights   violence   democracy   poverty

Managua (Agenzia Fides) - "The army must immediately clarify this situation, it must save its honor. If it was not one of them, then someone must must tell us who he was, but this situation needs to be clarified as soon as possible". These are the words of Mgr. Silvio Fonseca, episcopal vicar for the family, life and infancy of the Archdiocese of Managua regarding the horrific crime of November 2. Six peasants were killed, including two minors, in San Pablo 22, municipality of La Cruz de Rio Grande, in the South Caribe of Nicaragua.
"The army runs a serious danger, unless it clarifies this episode, it can be defined as an army of assassins", added Mgr. Fonseca in a video interview sent to Fides and released by La Prensa in its digital edition.
The priest pointed out that other state institutions, such as the National Police, the Supreme Court of Justice, and the State Attorney's Office, should ask for clarification on the tragic event that took place. "There are two serious aspects: first the crime that cries out to heaven, and then the silence, not only on behalf of the army but also by other state institutions that should be immediately ready to clarify the crime. This raises concern in the country, because it means we are insecure", the vicar continued. Mgr. Fonseca insisted that the military institution should clarify why, and what were the circumstances in which the massacre occurred.
Yesterday, during a press conference, the President of the Human Rights Center of Nicaragua (Cenidh), Vilma Núñez, accompanied by the mother of the boys killed, Lea Valle Aguirre, announced that she will present the case to the CIDH (Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos de la OEA). The boys, one 16 and his 12-year-old brother, were shot to death.
According to information gathered by Fides, the Nicaraguan army announced last week that alleged criminals were killed in a clash with a group of soldiers. The armed forces had identified the alleged gang leader as Rafael Dávila Pérez, a Nicaraguan who, according to the Army, "was involved in the traffic, the cultivation and marketing of marijuana, and other crimes such as rustling, theft, murder, extortion". There were no injuries among the military during the clash. The fact has caused much tension in public opinion and strong criticism regarding the local press. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 23/11/2017)