Femicides on the Rise in Nicaragua during 2021

Gender violence continues to increase in Nicaragua. In the first three months of 2021, according to the monitoring of Catholics for the Right to Decide, at least 19 femicides and 41 frustrated homicides were documented. These figures that exceed the 17 femicides and 30 frustrated femicides that the organization reported in the same period of 2020.

Of the 19 documented femicides, eight of the victims were between 18 and 35 years old; ten were between 35 and 59 years old; and one was not identified.

The report details that these murders, 13 occurred in the public sphere and six in private. Most were registered in rural areas (11) and the rest (8) in the urban areas.

Most of the assailants had a close bond with the victims. The monitoring indicates that the murderers were: partners (6), acquaintances (4), relatives (2), former partner (1), co-worker (1), strangers (3) and unidentified (2).

The departments that registered the most murders were Managua (4), Matagalpa (3), Nueva Segovia (3). Caribbean South Region (2) and Rivas (2). In other places such as Jinotega, the North Caribbean Region and Chontales, one murder was recorded.

The defenders indicate that, as part of the monitoring abroad, the murder of a Nicaraguan woman in Costa Rican territory was also documented.

In total, these 19 hate crimes against women left 25 children and adolescents orphaned.

“Impunity and complicity of the State” of Nicaragua

The defenders of women’s rights denounced, through their report, that half of the murders are in impunity. Of these cases, three of the perpetrators are still fugitives, six have not even been investigated and one of them committed suicide.

They add that of the remaining nine cases; five are under judicial process; three have been sentenced and one is under investigation.

“The machista brutality, encouraged by impunity and complicity of the State, is ending the lives of women, girls, and female children,” says the organization.

Feminists from different civil society organizations have denounced, according to Confidencial reports, the vulnerability of women’s rights in the absence of state measures that seek to eradicate violence.

Martha Flores, from Catholics for the Right to Decide, notes that in Nicaragua women are “completely unprotected…because in this country justice is hard to come by.”

The Ortega regime, claiming to be concerned about justice to cases where women, female children and girls are murdered, approved a reform to the Political Constitution of Nicargua that established life imprisonment for “hate crimes.” However, the measure has been criticized by feminists, since they consider that this is not the solution for machista violence. In addition, they have expressed that the reform is actually intended to be used against dissent, since the Ortega regime has repeatedly accused opponents of committing “hate crimes.”

In May 2020, the Network of Women Against Violence warned about the vulnerability of the women, some of whom are even survivors of machista violence. The group indicated that among the more than 2,000 common prisoners released recently to house confinement are men who have committed crimes against women.

Flores pointed out that such actions by the State make “the situation of insecurity worse. We are institutionally unprotected.”

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