Press release

Freedom House Latin America Director Denied Entry to Nicaragua

The Nicaraguan government has denied entry to Carlos Ponce, Freedom House director for Latin America programs. 


In response to Nicaragua’s expulsion of Latin America Programs Director Carlos Ponce, Freedom House issued the following statement:

"We are appalled by the Nicaraguan government's decision to deny entry to Carlos Ponce, and its broader strategy of persecuting human rights defenders," said Mark P. Lagon, president. "Barring the representative of a human rights organization signals the deteriorating protections for civil society in Nicaragua.”

Ponce traveled to Nicaragua to meet with local civil society organizations, and diplomatic and government officials. He was denied entry to the country February 2, held overnight, and forced to return to Washington. Nicaraguan officials said he was denied entry due to an “administrative decision.”

Nicaragua is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016 and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2015