Nicaraguan Army: “We Will Not Repress Peaceful Protest”

"There is not a single soldier involved in acts of repression," military spokesman Colonel Manuel Guevara told DPA

The Nicaraguan Army has assured that it will not engage in acts of repression against citizens protesting against the government of Daniel Ortega since April 18, and advocated a dialogue to help resolve the country’s crisis, according to statements of spokesman, Colonel Manuel Guevara, to the German news agency DPA.

Hours later, and just minutes from a brief and unusual message from commander Daniel Ortega, the Army issued an official statement in which it lamented the “violence” of recent days and endorsed the dialogue as “the only route that will prevent irreversible actions to our people, our economy, national development and our security,” although it did not use the same words that were issued earlier by Colonel Guevara.

The spokesman had said “there is not a single soldier involved in acts of repression” and added that in this period of social unrest, the role of the Army has been “to safeguard vital objectives for the functioning of the country.”

Obedience to the Constitution

Guevara also said that the Army will continue to “strictly adhere” to the norms established in the Constitution of the Republic.

In the statement, the Army maintained that “within the framework of its missions established in the Constitution and the laws, it continues to provide protection and security to the entities and strategic objectives, which are vital for the functioning of the country.”

Although the Army did not specify it, in these days of protest the citizens have noted the soldiers guarding public institutions, power plants and water plants in different cities, including the capital. However, its presence was also reported in other public areas, such as the parks and streets of Esteli and Jinotepe, during the first nights of repression, but not attacking.


Continue in the direction of a dialogue

In their press release, the Army maintained that its call is “not to violence, not to instability, yes to tranquility, yes to peace.”

“The peaceful solution to the situation we are currently experiencing will allow us to continue working with security, stability, tranquility and peace, which has cost us so much,” he added.

According to the Army, “the current situation is dragging us to the division of the Nicaraguan family from campaigns that foment hatred.” In social networks, including reactions on the official website of the Army on Facebook, several citizens commented on their dissatisfaction or disappointment with the Army expressing itself in a similar tone to the Government of Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo, whom they blame for the repression.

Posted by Ejército de Nicaragua on Sunday, May 13, 2018


The Nicaraguan Army did not reveal its position on Ortega, its supreme leader, but expressed in bold capital letters that “WE ARE THE PEOPLE IN UNIFORM, WORKING FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT”, and then called to “stop the violence and actions that destabilize us.”

He also endorsed “the efforts made by the Government of Nicaragua in the search for a solution through dialogue” and its mediation, led by Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes. “We call on everyone to continue in that direction,” he added.

About the deaths, which now total more than fifty, he only commented “we sympathize with families who have lost loved ones … we support efforts to clarify these facts and proceed according to law.”

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