Fear of violence spreads in ‘Mining Triangle’

Human rights team departs today on fact-finding mission

(posted Dec. 14, 7:21 a.m.) – The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) is sending a fact-finding mission to the “mining triangle” in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) today to investigate claims of a rearmed rebel group operating in the region, according to El Nuevo Diario.

The alleged rebel group, the Democratic Coastal Front 380 (FDC-380), is allegedly targeting local leaders of the Sandinista Councils of Citizen Power (CPCs). On Dec. 5, the group dragged a local Sandinista leader out of his house and executed him in the community of Luku Paraska, Mulukukú. They then spray painted his house with the messages “God, Country, Democracy and Liberty or Death” and “This is the result of stolen elections.”

Four days later, two armed attacks against police in Rosita and Siuna left two officers dead and two injured. The CENIDH committee will be investigating whether the attacks are related, and if they are politically motivated.

The National Police maintain that the armed groups are common delinquents and not politically motivated rebels. But allegations of police persecution by local leaders of the opposition Independent Liberal Party (PLI)seems to  indicate otherwise.

La Prensa quotes the PLI’s legal representative in the RAAN, Selmira Ruiz, accusing the police and army of persecuting members of her political organization. She says 18 members of the PLI have been arrested in recent days on unclear charges.

“We know that there are armed groups in the region and they are moving around in the municipality (of Mulukukú), but as the PLI we have no type of relation with them,” Ruiz told La Prensa, adding that he party condemns the recent murder of the CPC leader in Luku Paraska.

Meanwhile, Sandinista campesinos and members of the CPC have reportedly started to abandon their properties in Luku Paraska in fear of violence, according to El Nuevo Diario. The daily reports that groups of Sandinistas have left their farms in fear of the FDC-380 and have started to squat in temporary shanties along the banks of the Tuma River.

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