On October 18 Amnesty International released a report documenting a series of human rights violations committed in Nicaragua between May 30 and September 18, 2018. Many of the reported violations were supposedly carried out under the orders of governing authorities, including President Daniel Ortega and Vice-President Rosario Murillo, who is married to Ortega. According to Amnesty International, the Nicaraguan government continues to criminalize protests for political gains, and has made extensive use of pro-government armed groups to intimidate the opposition. These tactics allegedly include the use of lethal force against protesters. The report also states that many people were arbitrarily detained without the proper or lawful judicial guarantees. Furthermore, security forces have purportedly resorted to torture to fabricate and extract confessions from captives. The same source indicates that as a result of political turmoil and violence thousands of people were forced to migrate. In recent months Costa Rica witnessed an average of 200 Nicaraguans registering as refugees per day. Finally, the report suggests that at least 322 people have been killed since the crisis began in April.
On April 18 a series of government reforms altering the social security system triggered large anti-government protests throughout the country. The findings of Amnesty International highlight the deteriorating state of human rights in the country and give credence to reports suggesting the rule of law is not being upheld. We assess President Ortega is unlikely to show interest in political compromise, as he continues to dismiss any mediation attempt or proposal by international parties. As similarly forecasted in regards to the situation in Venezuela, the Nicaraguan government will continue to repress demonstrations disregarding potential consequences in terms of public image or possible international sanctions. In this context, as security forces are unlikely to be held responsible for reported abuses, urban areas in the country are prone to witness surmounting scenes of violence, endangering locals and foreign nationals alike.