Nicaraguan Government hides 98% of Covid-19 deaths

Today's news report: Nicaragua has the highest Covid-19 mortality rate, Almagro warns about the presidential elections, and Gag Law ready for approval

An analysis of excess mortality presented during the National Medical Congress reveals that, as of August 31st, 7 569 people died in Nicaragua due to Covid-19. This is one of the highest mortality rates in the world, even higher than countries like Mexico, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy.

According to government data, until October 21, 2020, only 155 people have died from the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the analysis of the excess mortality data carried out by doctor Carlos Hernández includes the deaths that the Ministry of Health (Minsa) attributes to other diseases, which are associated with the pandemic.

The excess of 7,414 deaths – in relation to official data – means that health authorities are reporting only 2% of deaths.

Read the full report, in Spanish.

2. Luis Almagro warns about the legitimacy of the Nicaraguan presidential elections

The Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, assured that the OAS resolution that calls on the Government of Daniel Ortega to implement electoral reforms in May 2021, to guarantee free elections, must be fulfilled. Otherwise, the legitimacy of the electoral process of November of that year would be in doubt.

The United States ambassador to the OAS, Carlos Trujillo, affirmed that if the Ortega government does not comply with the demands established in the resolution approved by the entity, his country will not recognize the government that arises from the electoral process planned for the next year.

Read the full report, in Spanish. 

3. Government denies permission to enter prisons

For two consecutive days, the government closed the doors of La Modelo prison on a legal team from the Permanent Commission on Human Rights (CPDH), when they tried to enter to assess the situation of political prisoners.

This week, President Daniel Ortega described the allegations of torture of the detainees as lies and summoned their family members to visit the jails to verify that what they denounced is not true.

However, the CPDH and relatives of political prisoners were unable to enter the Jorge Navarro Penitentiary System last week.

Read an article on the matter, in Spanish. 

4. “Gag Law” is ready for approval

Law to Further Control
Photo: EFE | Confidencial

Three legislative commissions of the National Assembly, controlled by Ortega, supported the initiative of the Cybercrime Law, known as the Gag Law.

The law, which will be approved this week, imposes censorship by punishing the spread of alleged false news that causes fear and anxiety in the population with prison time.

Read the full report, in English.

5. Ministry of Family orders the closure of two Casa Alianza centers 

The Nicaragua Ministry of Family ordered the closure of two specialized residential centers of Casa Alianza, alleging that the norms established in the country’s current legal framework were violated.

The transfer of nine adolescent mothers and their babies from the Conrad Hilton Residence and the Adolescent Mother Residence, the two places that must stop working by mandate of this institution, began this Saturday.

Casa Alianza Nicaragua is a non-governmental organization that has accompanied thousands of high-risk children and adolescents for more than 22 years. Their representatives assure that both residences operated under the authorization and supervision of the Ministry of Family, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Interior.

Read the full report, in English.

6. The Inter-American Press Association warned about the deterioration of press freedom in Nicaragua

Resistance of the Press
A group of local and international journalists was attacked by riot police in the Metrocentro shopping center in Managua, February 25, 2019. Photo: Carlos Herrera / Confidencial

A report presented to the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), during the entity’s General Assembly, warned about the deterioration of press freedom in Nicaragua.

The report denounces the embargo of assets due to tax investigations against Channel 12, one of the two open television media that the government of Daniel Ortega does not control.

In addition, they point out that judicial processes are a new method to repress journalists and that the Government is promoting three laws that affect press freedom.

The report recalled that the 100% Noticias and CONFIDENCIAL offices are still confiscated by the Government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

7. Hugo Holman withdraws a 2 million dollars lawsuit against La Prensa newspaper 

The former general manager of the newspaper La Prensa, Hugo Holmann, withdrew a labor lawsuit of two million dollars against its former employer. According to the Board of Directors of LA PRENSA, in May 2019, Holmann had been compensated with 450 thousand dollars. The lawsuit would have meant the closure of the 94-year-old newspaper, which has survived economic harassment from the Ortega regime.

Read the full report, in Spanish.

8. Cosep rejects national budget proposal

The president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep), Michael Healy, questioned the draft of the Law for the General Budget of the Republic, which the Nicaraguan State aims to finance with a collection of 75 million cordobas.

Healy denounced that hundreds of companies in the country suffer fiscal repression through the revaluation of properties by the mayors, while the General Directorate of Customs withholds products to extract more taxes.

“The private sector, the business sector, the formal and informal sectors that pay taxes are going through very tough situations. Workers are being fired, Nicaraguans are losing purchasing power,” warned Michael Healy.

Read the full report, in Spanish. 


This article has been translated by Ana Maria Sampson, a Communication Science student at the University of Amsterdam and member of our staff*

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