The election of Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega in 2006 began a period of democratic deterioration marked by the consolidation of all branches of government under his party’s control, the limitation of fundamental freedoms, and unchecked corruption in government. In 2018, state forces, with the aid of informally allied armed groups, responded to a mass antigovernment movement with violence and repression. The rule of law collapsed as the government moved to put down the movement, with rights monitors reporting the deaths of at least 325 people, extrajudicial detentions, disappearances, and torture. The crisis continued into 2019 as arbitrary arrests and detentions continued, and perceived government opponents reported surveillance and monitoring.
Freedom in the World — Nicaragua Country Report
Nicaragua is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.
Our Work in Nicaragua
In the wake of the 2018 crisis and against the backdrop of increasingly restricted civil liberties and constitutional rights, and ongoing violations of human rights in Nicaragua, Freedom House is working to support human rights and transitional justice initiatives.
To learn more about Freedom House's work in the region, visit our Latin America and the Caribbean programs page.
Nicaragua: Democracies Must Condemn Violence, Attacks on Places of Worship; Demand Return to Rule of Law
November 21, 2019
Take Action in Nicaragua: Joint Statement to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
August 27, 2019
Nicaragua: One Year Later, President Ortega Must Release Prisoners of Conscience
April 15, 2019
Nicaragua: Farmworker Leaders Sentenced to Steep Prison Terms for Protests
February 20, 2019
Nicaragua’s New Terrorism Law Is Aimed at Protesters
September 11, 2018
Nueva Ley Anti-Terrorismo de Nicaragua Está Dirigida Hacia los Manifestantes
September 11, 2018