NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs, Hélène Laverdière, and NDP Critic for International Human Rights, Cheryl Hardcastle, made the following statement:

“New Democrats are deeply concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in Nicaragua. We are alarmed by attacks on Wednesday’s mass demonstration led by the mothers of those who lost their lives as a result of violent state repression in Nicaragua. According to Amnesty International, these violent attacks on peaceful demonstrators were led by police and pro-government armed groups.

We unequivocally condemn the 'shoot-to-kill' policy of President Ortega’s government, revealed by Amnesty International. The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) have confirmed dozens of deaths and close to one thousand injured in recent weeks, with fears that violence will worsen over coming days.

Nicaraguan authorities continue to use a policy of state repression, including the use of excessive force, extrajudicial killings, pro-government armed squads, and control of the media in order to stop protests.

We are encouraged that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) obtained the consent of the Nicaraguan State to create an international mechanism to investigate violent events that have occurred in the country since April 18.

We strongly urge the Government of Canada to provide its full support to the IACHR during its investigations. We also urge Canada to call upon its Nicaraguan counterparts to put an immediate end to the violence, cease its repression of the Nicaraguan people, and restore respect for human rights and the rule of law.”