MANAGUA – The auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, Silvio Baez, thanked on Thursday the Organization of American States (OAS) for its majority vote in support of “a peaceful solution to the crisis in Nicaragua,” which has claimed between 317 and 448 lives since the conflict first broke out in April.
“Thanks to the countries of the American continent that have supported, without undermining national sovereignty (...) to follow up and support a peaceful solution to the crisis in Nicaragua,” Baez said on his social networks.
With 20 votes in favor, four opposed, eight abstentions and two absences, the OAS on Thursday approved the establishment of a “working group,” which will help Nicaragua “search for peaceful and sustainable solutions” to its bloodiest crisis since the 1980s, in which the administration of President Daniel Ortega launched attacks on its dissidents.
Baez, one of the most influential figures in the Central American country, is a member of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (ECN), which was invited by the government to acts as mediator in the national dialogue. The government, however, now seeks ways to discredit the Catholic Church.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) have accused the Nicaraguan government of “murders, extrajudicial executions, ill-treatment, possible acts of torture and arbitrary detentions,” all of which Ortega has denied.
The protests against Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, began on April 18 over failed social security reforms and became a national call for his resignation. President Ortega has been in power since 11 years and has been accused of abuse and corruption.