Police repression to diffuse citizens’ mobilisation against the reform of social security proposed by the government of Nicaragua has left at least 30 dead over the weekend. The S&D Group in the Parliament considers that the withdrawal of such a proposal is not enough and call for an independent investigation on the deaths and for the immediate halt of any police violence.

S&D Vice-president for human rights, Elena Valenciano, said:

“We are outraged by the authoritarian drift of president Daniel Ortega and his wife, vice-president, Rosario Murillo. The authorities in Nicaragua must guarantee that people can express themselves freely; they must stop the repression and respect human rights. The Nicaraguan government must put an immediate end to all acts of aggression against the population and the media.

“Those responsible for the attacks that caused 30 victims must be brought to justice. A quick, impartial and independent investigation must start as soon as possible.”

S&D MEP Ramón Jáuregui, who co-chairs the EU-Latin America Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat), said:

“We deeply regret the violence unleashed in Nicaragua over the last days. We express our solidarity with the victims and their families, and we urge the government of Nicaragua to cease all types of repression against citizens. Within the rule of law, the use of force is legitimate only when it is proportional and it seeks to re-establish order without undermining citizens’ freedom to express themselves and to demonstrate. Indiscriminate violence is intolerable in a democracy, and the government using it, or allowing for it to be used on its behalf, portrays itself as authoritarian.”