Mónica López Baltodano amd Haydée Castillo
Popol Na Foundation, Las Segovias Leadership Institute
Women human rights defenders
Criminalization, defamation, labeling, threats
THE FACTS – Just as we’ve been denouncing lately in keeping with IACHR pronouncements, the campaign against social protest initiated on April 19th in Nicaragua has given rise to an aggresive criminalization campaign in which false accusations and numerous arbitrary arrests have been made against women activists and human rights defenders.
Mónica López Baltodano is widely recognized as a defender engaged in the anti-canal movement and is the current consultant of the University Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CUDJ) and member of the Network of Civil Society and Social Movements. The most recent attack against her revolves around accusations of the illegal possession of arms and explosives and rumors of her future imprisonment for being a “terrorist.” At the same time, she has received severe threats against her physical integrity and that of her family.
The systematic campaign of criminalization and attacks against Haydeé Castillo, Director of Las Segovias Leadership Institute, has become increasingly serious with the publication of a vídeo in which labels of “terrorism” are linked with false accusations of murder, relations with assassins, and conspiracy against the government.
We of IM-Defensoras repudiate and condemn these acts and demand an immediate end to any action that criminalizes these women human rights defenders; furthermore, we hold the Nicaraguan government responsible for any harm that may come to them.
In the same vein, we repeat our call to the international community to stay tuned to what is happening in Nicaragua and to show solidarity with women human rights defenders, their organizations and movements.