Procedure : 2019/2615(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0168/2019

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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<TitreSuite>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</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the situation in Nicaragua</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Ignazio Corrao, Rolandas Paksas</Depute>

<Commission>{EFDD}on behalf of the EFDD Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0165/2019


European Parliament resolution on the situation in Nicaragua


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Nicaragua, in particular those of 16 February 2017[1] and 31 May 2018[2],

 having regard to the declaration of 2 October 2018 by the Vice-President of the 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 letter sent by its President to the President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega,

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

 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 to the protests with unprecedented violence and repression, making use of paramilitary and anti-mutiny forces as well as regular security forces;

B. whereas, as a result of this repression, in the last year more than 300 people have been killed, more than 3 000 have been wounded, more than 700 are in jail and tens of thousands are in exile or fleeing to neighbouring countries;

C. whereas the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out a number of violations in the government’s response to the protests, including the disproportionate and arbitrary use of force by the police (including the use of firearms and extrajudicial executions), arbitrary and illegal detentions and forced disappearances, the use of ill-treatment and torture against detained demonstrators (including sexual violence), the use of snipers, the actions of groups of armed civilians who participated in the violent repression of the protests acting in cooperation the authorities, or with the authorities tolerating this violence, and the obstruction of access to medical care for those wounded in the clashes;

D. whereas this strategy of repression also entails severe attacks on the press and free media, including censorship and the closure of media outlets, as well as the arbitrary arrest and detention of journalists;

E. whereas in December 2018 Nicaragua’s Government suspended the mission of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) and the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) of the IACHR;

F. whereas the political crisis has led the already struggling economy of Nicaragua to plunge deeper into recession, with rising unemployment and other serious consequences for the population, in a country that was already among the poorest in the region;

G. whereas a European Parliament ad hoc delegation visited Nicaragua from 23 to 26 January 2019 to assess the situation; whereas this delegation made three clear requests to the authorities, namely that they release all political prisoners, put an end to the repression, and allow the return of human rights organisations to the country;

H. whereas Nicaragua has seen a decline in democracy and the rule of law in the past decade; whereas the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms must form an integral part of the EU’s external policies, including the Association Agreement between the EU and the countries of Central America of 2012;

I. whereas since 2007, Mr Ortega has been elected to the office of President on three consecutive occasions, despite the fact that the Constitution of Nicaragua prohibited consecutive re-election, demonstrating the corruption and authoritarianism into which the state has descended; whereas the elections in 2011 and 2016 were highly criticised for their irregularities by the EU institutions and the Organisation of American States, having been conducted without the presence of observers from either organisation or any other credible international observers;

1. Condemns the ongoing repression and serious human rights abuses in Nicaragua, the criminalisation of civil society members and the press, the disproportionate use of force by the police and armed paramilitary groups to repress social protests, and the ongoing incidents of harassment, unlawful arrests and arbitrary detention of individuals having participated in opposition protests;

2. Expresses concern over the increasing restrictions on civic space and expressions of dissent in Nicaragua, including the closure of independent media outlets and the cancellation of the legal registrations of a number of civil society organisations and the seizure of their goods and assets;

3. Condemns the decision of the Government of Nicaragua to expel from the country the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) and the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) of the IACHR and to withdraw the invitation extended to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit the country; urges the authorities to allow their return to the country and to resume their cooperation with them;

4. Welcomes the softening of the sentence of 100 prisoners arrested after the outbreak of social protests in the country, but laments the fact that hundreds of people are still wrongly detained; calls for the immediate release of all those detained for political reasons, and reiterates that due process, as well as all other legal guarantees enshrined in Nicaragua’s Constitution, must be respected for all prisoners and at all times;

5. Stresses the importance of political dialogue between the government and opposition in the country; welcomes the resumption of a national dialogue between the Nicaraguan Government and the Civic Alliance as a positive first step to overcoming the current political crisis through a negotiated solution, which remains the only possible way out of the current crisis;

6. Calls on the parties to negotiate in good faith and in a transparent and inclusive way, while also involving civil society actors; believes that the situation of prisoners should be at the forefront of the negotiating agenda as hundreds of innocent people are still in jail;

7. Laments the fact that the Nicaraguan authorities did not respect the guarantees given at the time of the visit of the European Parliament delegation, in particular by harassing the political prisoners who met the delegation;

8. Is seriously concerned by the new Law against Money Laundering, the Financing of Terrorism and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction approved on 16 July 2018, which, in Articles 394 and 395 thereof, contains a vague definition of terrorism and seems to be tailored to criminalise peaceful protesters; denounces the fact that this law has been repeatedly used to detain protesters, journalists and activists;

9. Calls for the EU to continue monitoring the situation in Nicaragua, and calls on the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service to assess the possibility of activating targeted individual sanctions against those responsible for human rights violations in Nicaragua if there is no progress in the negotiations and in fulfilling the conditions set by the European Parliament delegation, namely freeing political prisoners, putting an end to repression and allowing the return of human rights organisations;

10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, the Central American Parliament, the Lima Group, and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Nicaragua.


[1] OJ C 252, 18.7.2018, p. 189.

[2] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0238.

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