Procedure : 2019/2615(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0167/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 13/03/2019 - 27
CRE 13/03/2019 - 27

Votes :

PV 14/03/2019 - 11.18
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Nicaragua (2019/2615(RSP))

Ernest Urtasun, Bodil Valero, Barbara Lochbihler, Jordi Solé, Josep‑Maria Terricabras, Florent Marcellesi, Tilly Metz, Molly Scott Cato, Bart Staeson behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Nicaragua (2019/2615(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Nicaragua, in particular those of 18 December 2008(1), 26 November 2009(2), 16 February 2017(3) and 31 May 2018(4),

–  having regard to the declaration of 2 October 2018 by the Vice-President of the European Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on behalf of the EU on the situation in Nicaragua,


–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 21 January 2019 on Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the statement of 1 March 2019 by the Spokesperson of the VP/HR on the resumption of the national dialogue in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) call for conditions that enable the enjoyment of human rights during the Nicaraguan dialogue of 28 February 2019,

–  having regard to its ad hoc delegation to Nicaragua of 23-26 January 2019,

–  having regard to the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America of 2012,

–  having regard to the EU country strategy paper and multiannual indicative programme 2014-2020 on Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders of June 2004, as updated in 2008,

–  having regard to the Constitution of Nicaragua,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas since the outbreak of social protests on 18 April 2018 against planned reforms to Nicaragua’s social security system and the increasingly autocratic tendencies of the presidential couple, Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, the situation in Nicaragua has deteriorated into a serious and far-reaching crisis, as the Ortega regime has responded with unprecedented violence and repression, making use of paramilitary and anti-mutiny forces as well as regular security forces;

B.  whereas other sources of discontent and open conflict include the sharp increase in export-oriented extractivist activities in the mining, sugarcane and palm oil sectors, as well as in cattle farming, the interoceanic canal project, leading to relocations and serious irreversible harm to the environment, and the recurring repression of protests against these activities;

C.  whereas, as a result of this repressive response, reportedly more than 400 people have been killed, more than 3 000 people have been wounded, a countless number of people have disappeared or been sent to prison, where most of the latter remain detained under awful conditions, and many others are in exile;

D.  whereas students, peasants, former FSLN members, ecological activists and other activists are still in prison accused of terrorism, obstruction of public services and aggravated damage and robbery having participated in peaceful demonstrations, with a trial scheduled for 1 April 2019;

E.  whereas women are particularly vulnerable in times of crisis; whereas between January and December 2018 alone, 55 feminicides were perpetrated, according to the Nicaraguan branch of the non-governmental organisation Catholics for Choice; whereas these feminicides were reportedly even more brutal than in previous years, and mostly perpetrated in groups;

F.  whereas in June 2017 the Nicaraguan National Assembly adopted an amendment to the Comprehensive Law against Violence against Women which shifted the definition of feminicide to the private sphere, as a crime between spouses, even though a large part of feminicides happen in the public sphere;

G.  whereas Nicaragua is among the American countries with the highest rates of youth pregnancies and maternal deaths, according to the United Nations Population Fund; whereas abortion is prohibited in all circumstances in this country;

H.  whereas on 29 November 2018 the National Assembly approved by decree the cancellation of the legal status of several national NGOs; whereas the decree is reportedly based on excessively vague and imprecise provisions, without guarantees of due process; whereas the intention is reportedly to restrict these organisations and human rights defenders from being able to carry out their legitimate work in defending human rights in Nicaragua;

I.  whereas the Nicaraguan Government has regrettably stopped cooperation with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its bodies, following the publication of its report on Nicaragua, and with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); whereas it also ordered the suspension of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) mission;

J.  whereas on 27 February 2019 Nicaragua announced the conditional release of 100 prisoners, arrested since 18 April 2018; whereas these prisoners are now being held under house arrest; whereas, shortly afterwards, the establishment of a national dialogue between the Government of Nicaragua and opposition members united as Alianza Cívica indicated a positive step forward towards a negotiated solution to the crisis;

K.  whereas on the evening of 4 March 2019 this national dialogue was interrupted; whereas both sides signed a roadmap the following day, in the presence of the Catholic Church, and held new talks on 6 March, with a deadline of 28 March for finalising the negotiations;

1.  Firmly condemns any form of repression and criminalisation of civil society, including of the press, as well as the use of anti-terrorism laws and anti-mutiny forces against dissenting opinions in Nicaragua, and the ongoing intimidation, harassment, detention and kidnapping of individuals having participated in opposition protests;

2.  Is concerned about the increasing restrictions on civic space and expressions of dissent; recalls the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly; insists that human rights defenders should be the first to be protected and covered by the rule of law, as laid down in the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders;

3.  Condemns the cancellation of the legal status of several national NGOs by the National Assembly of Nicaragua; considers it necessary to swiftly reinstate the legal status of those civil society organisations affected by the decree;

4.  Calls on the VP/HR, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Member States to ensure full implementation of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, and to expand their protection and support for human rights defenders, and in particular to women human rights defenders;

5.  Strongly calls for the national dialogue to continue on the basis of the roadmap signed by both sides, in a transparent, inclusive and constructive way, in order to prepare for a widely supported negotiated solution to the current manifold crisis;

6.  Believes that the current crisis can only be addressed and resolved through a peaceful dialogue among Nicaraguan nationals and negotiations on institutional reform, including electoral institutions; reaffirms that the EU is prepared to act as a mediator if required;

7.  Calls for the immediate release of all prisoners being unlawfully detained; calls for a stop to the ill-treatment of detainees, for medical care and legal guarantees to be provided and for prison conditions to comply with international humanitarian law for those who remain in detention, and for due and fair process to be ensured; furthermore recalls that full, transparent and independent investigations into all infractions of law, crimes and human rights violations must be duly carried out, those responsible punished, and the victims provided redress;

8.  Is of the opinion that a national truth commission, possibly supported by international experts, would be the best way to ensure accountability for all human rights violations, overcome impunity and restore trust, with a view to achieving reconciliation;

9.  Insists that international organisations such as the IACHR, and its Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI), UN bodies and the GIEI must be allowed to return to Nicaragua and be reinstated, and that the conditions must be set for their return;

10.  Underlines that the need to revoke all measures targeting civil society organisations and independent media with the aim of closing them down, such as the seizure of assets;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government of Nicaragua, the Central American Parliament, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the co-presidents of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.



OJ C 45E , 23.2.2010, p. 89.


OJ C 285E , 21.10.2010, p. 74


OJ C 252, 18.7.2018, p. 189.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0238.

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