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Nicaragua's Indigenous tell OAS of killings, land takeovers

March 18, 2021
Connecticut Post

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua’s Indigenous groups complained Thursday to the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights about land takeovers and killings that have hit the Miskito and Mayangna communities on the country’s Caribbean coast.

The commission, which is part of the Organization of American States, held the hearing by internet link due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Indigenous activists and rights groups said there were 13 killings, eight people wounded and the forced displacement of one community in 2020 linked to land takeovers by non-Indigenous settlers.

The activists said the government of President Daniel Ortega has not done enough to address the problems on the jungle-clad coast, something his administration denied.

Activists told the commission that many of the “settlers” moving into lands taken from them were ex-soldiers linked to timber and illegal logging interests. Residents of some communities have been forced to leave because of the continued violence.