SAN JOSE – The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that entities with ties to the Nicaraguan government were using unacceptable lethal force against citizens during protests and urged the country to halt violence and return to dialogue.
“It’s evident that there is a shocking number of deaths and a lethal use of force by entities tied to the state that is unacceptable,” Guterres said at the 40th anniversary of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights held in San Jose, Costa Rica.
The UN chief gave the statements at a press conference after a meeting with Costa Rican president Carlos Alvarado in which the Nicaragua issue was discussed.
“It’s essential to immediately halt the violence and rebuild national political dialogue. Only a political solution is acceptable,” Guterres said.
He added that relevant agencies within the UN are available to work on a peaceful solution to the conflict that has so far claimed more than 350 lives since protests against the Daniel Ortega administration broke out in April, according to figures from humanitarian agencies in the country.
Guterres said the UN can help create a favorable atmosphere for dialogue, but stressed that the region should take leadership and contribute.
Alvarado said that “what happens in Nicaragua demands a response from the United Nations to stop the wave of generalized violence.”
He added that disappearances, arbitrary arrests and intimidation against protesters, media, students, human rights defenders and members of the Catholic Church are inadmissible acts that must end as soon as possible.