A man holds up his chained wrists during a memorial on the one year anniversary of a government crackdown on a Mother's Day march. Managua, Nicaragua. 30 May 2019. Editorial credit: Alfredo Zuniga/​AP/​Shutterstock


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.

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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.