Members of the country’s parliament accused the local Red Cross of violating the law on non-profit organizations.
Nicaragua’s parliament unanimously decided on Wednesday to dissolve the Nicaraguan Red Cross, accusing it of violating its obligation to maintain neutrality during the 2018 anti-government protests, and to be replaced by a new public organization.
Unanimously, members of parliament – all affiliated with the government of President Daniel Ortega – approved a resolution canceling a decree establishing the Nicaraguan Red Cross on October 29, 1958.
Before the vote, parliamentarians accused the Nicaraguan Red Cross of violating the country’s legislation on non-profit organizations, as well as the principle of neutrality of the Geneva-based International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, where it was founded in 1863.
The 2018 protests, with a central demand for the resignation of President Ortega and his wife and vice president Rosario Murillo, were characterized by the authorities as a coup attempt incited by the US. In the riots and their suppression, more than 300 people were killed, according to the UN.
Since then, more than 2,000 organizations and organizations, including business associations and Catholic universities, have legally ceased to exist after being accused of violating Nicaraguan law, particularly that on “foreign agents.”
“During the events of 2018 (…) the associations (of the Red Cross) acted in a way that is contrary to their principles (of neutrality) and (their) statutes,” states the rationale of the resolution.
The text specifies that the Nicaraguan Red Cross will be replaced by an “autonomous decentralized (public) organization”.
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