What follows is a translation of the agreement signed on March 29, 2019 between the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy (ACJD) and the Government of National Reconciliation and Unity (GRUN) within the context of the renewed National Dialogue. When sit-ins for the release of political prisoners were held the next day and were attacked by riot police, and a Sandinista Party member fired into the crowd wounding three, the ACJD accused the government of violating the accords the day after their signing. This shows the fragility of the situation in Nicaragua.
Agreement to Strengthen Citizen Rights and Guarantees
[See original Spanish at: https://www.alianzacivicanicaragua.com/es/acuerdo-para-fortalecer-los-derechos-y-garantias-ciudadanas/(Note: could not find a copy on GRUN website)
We the parties aware that, within the Democratic State and the Rule of Law, the Governors as well as the Governed are subjected to the rule of Law.
The parties, recognizing that according to Article 27 of the Constitution, “The State respects and guarantees the rights recognized in the current Constitution of all people who are found within its territory and are subject to its jurisdiction.”
Likewise, based on Article 24 of the Constitution, “All people have obligations to the family, community, homeland and humanity…the rights of each person are limited by the rights of others, the security of all and the fair demands of the common good.”
In virtue of this, we the Members of the Negotiating Table, committed to Peace, Justice, Safety, Democracy, Stability and the Progress of Nicaragua, agree on the following points:
Due process and effective legal redress
- Urge compliance with due process and that effective judicial recourse be exercised, in administrative as well as judicial procedures, and ensure the fulfillment of the final verdicts. Urge that the corresponding authorities obey the constitutional mandate that establishes that every prisoner has rights. “To be placed in liberty or at the order of the competent authority with a 48 hour period after their detention.”
- The State ensures that no one can be subjected to arbitrary detention or prison, nor be deprived of their liberty, except by causes set by law and with arrangement for a legal proceeding. Detention will only be carried out by virtue of a written order of the competent judge or from authorities expressly empowered by the law, except in the case of a being caught in the act of a crime, all pursuant to what is set forth in Article 33 of the Constitution and the procedures of the law.
The State ensures that the home can only be searched by written order of a competent judge, must b e done between 6AM and 6PM, with the exceptions that the Constitution establishes and always under the existing legal procedures.
- In accordance with the Constitutional mandate, ensure the unrestricted right to all forms of property, without discrimination for reasons of birth, nationality, political creed, race, sex, language, religion, opinion, origins, economic position or social condition.
Security and National Defense
- We urge the authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure the disarmament of those who bear arms without authorization, or of those who organize as armed groups outside of the constitutional and legal order. For the purpose of maintaining Public Order and Citizen Security, stop violent or aggressive actions of any person or authority.
- We urge the Army of Nicaragua and the National Police to comply with the registration and marking of arms used by each institution, in accordance with the law on this subject.
We urge the National Police to adjust their norms of behavior to their own Organic Law and the “Basic Principles of the United Nations on the use of force and firearms by officials responsible for the application of the law.”
It is especially recalled that the confiscation or intervention of electronic mechanisms only can be done with the proper judicial order.
Rights of Nicaraguans outside the country
- All Nicaraguans outside the country, particularly those who left in the context of the events beginning on April 18, 2018, will be able to return with full personal and family guarantees and security, in accordance with the law, and enjoy the benefits that these laws grant them.
- Ensure the right to concentration, demonstration and public mobilization, in fulfillment of the Constitution and the Laws on this subject. On meeting the requirements established by the law on this subject , the National Police will authorize the exercise of this right.
Likewise it is recognized that the right to peaceful meeting, that does not affect the free circulation of people or vehicles, and that does not alter the normal co-existence of the population, does not require prior permission.
The unrestricted right of all Nicaraguans to the respectful use of the National Flag is fully recognized, in accordance with the Constitution and the laws on the subject.
- Ensure the constitution of organizations of any nature, without any restrictions than those that the Constitution and the laws on the subject establish.
Review the decisions adopted in terms of the cancelation of the legal statuses of non profit associations that have been cancelled in the context of the events occurred since April 18, 2018, in order to achieve the restitution of their legal statuses and the return of their assets, when appropriate.
To this end the competent judicial authorities are urged to expedite the process proposed by the writ of judicial protection introduced against the decree of the National Assembly where the legal status was ordered cancelled of some non profit associations or NGOs in the same context.
- Ensure workers the right to participate in the management of enterprises through their organizations and in accordance with the law.
Ensure that no worker in the public or private sector be fired for reasons of their political preferences, in accordance with the Constitution and the laws on the subject. We urge both sectors to contribute to the generation of new employment opportunities.
Freedom of expression and accurate information
- The State ensure the unrestricted right to freedom of expression, the right to inform cannot be subject to censorship, nor can the communications media be the object of prior censorship, nor the use of mechanisms that can violate what is established in the Constitution and the Law, or that can limit the right to accurate and timely information.
The right should be guaranteed by the State to import paper, machinery, equipment, and spare parts for the social, written, radio and television communications media, all in accordance with the Constitution and the Tax Laws of the Nation.
The communications media should contribute to the development of the Nation.
Review the decisions adopted by the State in terms of the assets: installations, assets, equipment, documents, licenses and any other type of material and non material assets belonging to the communications media affected in the context of the events occurred starting on April 18, 2018, in order to achieve the return of those assets when relevant, in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
Consequently the competent judicial authorities are urged to expedite the processes for the purposes of returning to their legitimate owners what legally belongs to them.
- We recommend that the competent authorities proceed to processing and expediting the processes for Habeas Corpus, Habeas Data and Constitutional Protection, whose resolutions require unconditional compliance.
- Strengthen the full exercise of University Autonomy.
Right of the Original and Afro-descendent Peoples of the Caribbean Coast
- The original and Afro-descendent peoples of the Caribbean Coast, as an inseparable part of the Nicaraguan people, enjoy the same rights and guarantees to which the current accord refers.
Definition of Terrorism and Terrorism Financing
- The Delegation of the Civic Alliance asks the GRUN to review the antimony that might exist between the definition of terrorism and terrorism financing in Law 977, the Penal Code and the international instruments signed by the Republic of Nicaragua. The GRUN commits to reviewing the antimony.
- The parties recognize that the Nicaraguan State, its powers and the rest of its institutions are the principal organs for the implementation of this accord, and that they promise, as it is their constitutional duty according to its article 6, to carry out this implementation in strict compliance with established constitutional principals, and being completely faithful to the spirit of this accord, under the supervision of monitoring of the Follow up Roundtable for the Implementation. If the agreements approved by the negotiation table enter into conflict with existing legislation, the table will take the necessary steps with the authorities for the reform of the legislation concerned, in order to reconcile it with constitutional principles.
- This accord expresses the political will of the delegations to find the path for reconciliation, peace, security and stability. Its development and impact on the lives of Nicaraguans will be an essential basis to achieve these objectives. Its application will be an integral part of the process that is promoted from the sphere of this negotiation table. We the sectors represented here commit to promoting them with the best disposition. It will be society that appropriates the spirit of this accord and will make it a reality.
- The parties agree and ensure that the points of this accord that require it will be applied through specific protocols, in accordance with the law. The application will be supervised and monitored by the Followup Table with the accompaniment of National and/or International Guarantors.
- The implementation of this accord will begin with its signing.
Issued in the city of Managua on the 29th day of March of 2019.
[Signatures by GRUN and by ACJD and witnesses and accompaniers]