Below are updates we have been posting since the unrest begin in Nicaragua in mid-April 2018. The most recent information is first, you can scroll down to read earlier updates. Please keep Nicaragua in your prayers and if you are able to make a donation today, please click here, thank you so much.
June 18 2018
During the past week, violence worsened even more, when we thought more wouldn’t be possible. Armed people are rampart on the streets killing, hurting, and destroying property both public and private. Last Saturday, an entire family was burned to death in Managua inside their own home which served as a mattress business. People believe that the paramilitary forces did it.
This terrible situation has reopened old wounds and made new ones in the society. Hatred is increasing to the degree that deaths and attacks are justified depending on who the victims are and on the perspective of the people. We need to seek reconciliation with each other, but right now it seems there is no time for that. Trying to survive, to get food, to get to work and home are the priorities every day.
Last Thursday the 14th, there was a national strike called by the private enterprise sector. Most businesses were closed, some because they responded to the call and others because of fear that their businesses might be burned down or attacked.
Finally, last Friday the 15th the dialogue was resumed. On Friday and Saturday, they approved the agenda and appointed sub-committees for the issues of democratization, judiciary and electoral reforms. Those sub-committees will work today and go to plenary discussions tomorrow. The Roman Catholic Church continue serving as witnesses, now with the support of the Ambassador from the Vatican in Nicaragua. We still hope that the dialogue will bring a solution although sometimes we despair because it’s taking too long.
Two months after the unrest started more than 200 people have been killed and many more are wounded, detained and missing. At least a death occurs every day somewhere in the country. Our staff remains safe. This week we are on mid-year vacation praying that there are advances on the dialogue table and that by next week the environment is less dangerous.
We have to regret the tragic death of Wilton Cornejo, one of our youth of the psycosocial program in community Las Piedras in Pantasma. There are still investigations going on about the causes of his death. Please pray for his family and entire community where he was greatly appreciated.
Finally, we are grateful for all your support. Prayers, letters, words of encouragement and financial support inspire us and remind us that we are not alone. Thank you.
May God bless you
May 25 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I wanted to inform you about the situation in CEPAD at the national level.
1. The Community Development Committees in all of the zones are developing their community plans, meeting and visiting beneficiaries of the projects. What they have not been able to do is ask for support for their projects due to lack of transportation or access to the municipal governments.
2. Farmers are optimistic with the entrance of the rainy season and are preparing their plots to plant. In Pantasma and Oriente they have begun planting. The farmers in Pantasma have made their compost and in Teustepe they are even selling compost to farmers who normally use chemical fertilizers.
3. The women working with family gardens have been planting their vegetables. The women participating in Community Banking and Work programs are putting into practice what they have learned in their training and are working on their businesses.
4. The pastors in the municipalities have been meeting regularly to pray for peace. In Nueva Guinea members of the pastoral committee are members of the Municipal Commission of Peace that has been formed and they are promoting peace through radio programs in the area.
5. All of CEPAD’s zonal offices have been in touch via phone with the community leaders to monitor the advance of their plants. The social technicians of Matagalpa, Teustepe and Pantasma have been able to visit the villages. The access has been more limited for villages in the zones of Oriente and San Francisco Libre because there have been roadblocks even though it is still possible to reach the villages. The only zone where this is no access to the villages is in Nueva Guinea but we have been monitoring the situation through phone calls. Teustepe has not had any interruption in training activities; Pantasma and Matagalpa have pushed training back to next week.
6. The Institute in Leon (high school) has had classes normally with the exception of a few days. The administrative staff has been working normally. Radio CEPAD has also been transmitting normally with their staff. Despite the challenges the Nehemias guest house had two groups from Nicaragua in May.
7. We have not had more delegations cancel. We hope to have at least 4 groups visit in June and July. However, if the problems continue do to roadblocks the groups will not be able to visit the villages so we are proposing a change in the purpose of their visit. We would like them to come and listen and see what is happening in Managua so they can promote the solidarity in their churches and/or denominations. This was the objective of the program when it was founded in the ‘80’s.