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Nicaragua: News & Updates

Nicaragua was ruled by the Somoza dictatorship, backed by the US, for 30 years. After the Sandinista Revolution took control in 1979, the US assembled former Somoza National Guardsmen into a counterrevolutionary force that, for the next decade,  terrorized the civilian population in an attempt to weaken popular support for the Sandinistas. The  “contra war”  left 30,000 people dead and forced more than 100,000 to seek refuge in the US.

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In this montly newsletter, please read about : (1) Immigration Court in Cleveland, OH: Nicaraguans rank #1 in deportation proceedings filed; (2) - Recent Border Trends: Why We See so Many Nicaraguans and Venezuelans Arriving at the U.S. Southern Border; (3) Title 42: Expelling Migrants in the Name of Health Measures: Biden Urges Mexico to Take Migrants under COVID Expulsion Order He Promised to End; (4) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Increase in ICE’s use of Ankle Monitors and Smartphones to Monitor Immigrants and Detention Numbers; (5) At The Border: Recent Incidents at and around the US-Mexico Border. TAKE ACTION ITEMS: After reading the articles, please take a few moments to advocate for migrant justice with our TAKE ACTION items: (1) Support Ohio Immigrant and Refugee Businesses this Holiday Season; (2) ​​​​​Urge Congress to Support and Pass Permanent Pathways to Citizenship (3) Stop the illegal and immoral transportation of migrants by certain governors to other states and Washington, DC.

https://www.irtfcleveland.org/blog

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As Fiscal Year 2022 is almost over, we are hearing numbers of 750 or more migrant deaths over the past twelve months. While, tragically, it does still happen that migrants die while being chased by Border Patrol agents or shot when attempting to cross the border, the majority of these deaths are a result of the so-called “prevention through deterrence” strategy that forces people to take on more dangerous routes when traveling up to the southern U.S. border to seek safety. And if they do make it through to the U.S., they are often expelled immediately or put into deportation proceedings, waiting for their hearing in Mexican emergency shelters or U.S. detention centers. Read IRTF's monthly overview of recent updates on U.S. immigration and what has been happening at the border!

https://www.irtfcleveland.org/blog/migrant-justice-newsletter-sep-2022

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On September 17, the New York Times published an article  by Anatoly Kurmanaev and Jody García including misinformation and false claims about the US government's efforts to support democracy in Central America. 

The article claims that the Biden administration is working to end corruption and impunity in Guatemala, while being inactive as the military backed government  “methodically dismantled the last vestiges of independent institutions." The US is supporting this illegitimate government, referring to the Guatemalan ruling class as "democratic allies." 

Besides this, Biden lied about stopping the sanctions against Nicaragua, which the U.S. and many "western" countries have been using since the 1980's to squeeze its economy and cause political change. 

The article also states that the U.S. aided the return to democracy in Honduras. In fact, the U.S. has always held mutually beneficial relations to the Honduran government which came to power by an U.S. backed coup.     

 

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Practicing journalism in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador is becoming increasingly difficult in the face of the persecution of independent media outlets by neo-populist rulers of different stripes, intolerant of criticism. The union of Guatemalan journalists and the reporter’s family say the arrest is a clear example of political persecution as a result of the investigations into corruption and mismanagement in the Giammattei administration published by the newspaper, which was founded in 1996. “I definitely believe it is a case of political persecution and harassment, and of violence against free expression and the expression of thought,” Ramón Zamora, son of the editor of elPeriódico who has been imprisoned since his arrest, told IPS from Guatemala City.

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Some time in the 17th century, a vessel carrying enslaved people from the west coast of Africa ran aground near the Caribbean island of St Vincent, close enough to shore that the survivors swam to land, disposed of their captors and settled alongside the Indigenous Carib-Arawak people, who already offered a safe haven to runaway slaves from other islands. The Afro-Indigenous culture that resulted came to be known as ‘Garifuna’ (meaning ‘Black Carib’). Their language derives from that of the Arawak, a people whose pre-Colombian origin is in the Orinoco River basin in Venezuela. Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines since 2001, had been visiting the village of Orinoco in Nicaragua, where some two thousand Garifuna now live. Orinoco is in a remote part of the Caribbean coast, accessible only by boat, and nearly 2500 km from St Vincent. The Garifuna diaspora is a consequence of the brutal treatment they received from the British when they were eventually colonised.

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) released its 2021 Annual Report, a reference instrument to foster institutional transparency. The Report addresses the situation of human rights and presents relevant progress made in the Americas, along with pending challenges. Each one of the Report's six chapters mentions specific institutional achievements. The IACHR granted 73 new precautionary measures, extended a further 33, and requested five temporary measures from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The Commission further issued four resolutions to follow up on precautionary measures, given persistent risk factors or the emergence of implementation challenges. A total of 40 precautionary measures were lifted, in the belief that the risk factors that justified their existence had disappeared. During 2021, all requests for precautionary measures received by 2019 that were pending a final decision were reviewed. 

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Many Latin American and Caribbean governments are unhappy with the US government’s decision to exclude Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua from the summit. Countries throughout the hemisphere have grown accustomed to US double standards where democracy and human rights protections are flaunted. Who can forget that the United States managed to have Cuba expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS) but never batted an eye over the memberships of Chile under Augusto Pinochet, Argentina under Jorge Rafael Videla, or Guatemala under Rios Montt, to name but a few murderous governments?

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Reproductive rights activists across Latin America have vowed to protect hard-fought gains in their own territories as they brace for potential ripple effects if the US supreme court overturns Roe vs Wade – the 1973 ruling which guarantees the right to abortion. Latin America has some of the most draconian anti-abortion laws in the world. But feminist movements have fought for decades to chip away at the prohibitions, and in recent years a younger, diverse generation of activists has mobilized in massive numbers to help clinch a string of victories in traditionally conservative countries.

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Nicaragua's parliament has voted in favour of shutting down 50 non-governmental organisations. Among the NGOs shut down on Wednesday are groups defending human rights, organisations providing medical help and those promoting educational projects. They range from a group representing dental surgeons to one promoting the rights of girls. The parliament, which is dominated by allies of President Daniel Ortega, said the NGOs had failed to comply with regulations. But government critics say the move is part of a larger crackdown on opponents of the president, which has seen 144 NGOs banned so far this year.

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