Council for the Defense of Land, Lake and Sovereignty
Territorial and environmental defense
Confiscation of work equipment
Last December 1st, defender Francisca Ramírez was in Managua to file a formal complaint over acts of repression, violations of the right to free circulation, and aggression experienced by several communities from Nueva Guinea on their way to the capital city for a peaceful protest against the Grand Interocianic Canal, all of which was denounced by IM-Defensoras last November 30th in a #WHRDAlert. While she was there, she was notified via a phone call and photographs that the Nueva Guinea Police had confiscated her van, which she had left parked in El Boninche, and her truck, parked near La Lechera, and that both vehicles had been taken to the Nueva Guinea Police Station.
As of today, the Police Department is still holding both vehicles even though Francisca Ramírez has not been notified of any reason for the confiscation and the defender, along with several different human rights organizations, have continued to demand that the Police return her property, which the campesina leader relies upon to pursue her work.
It is important to note that on December 2, the defender denounced the condicions experienced in the country and her own personal situation in a meeting with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, on his visit to Nicaragua.
The retention of the vehicles belonging to Francisca Ramírez is an abuse committed by the State in order to sanction and impede her work in defense of the territory and against the imposition of the Canal.
Accordingly, we of IM-Defensoras demand the immediate return of the defender’s confiscated property, a guarantee that no criminalization process will be initated against her, and assurance that she will be able to continue working in defense of human rights in conditions of security, without the imposition of any kind of obstacles.
We also call on international organizations and institutions to support the defender and monitor the situation.