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LATIN AMERICA | 17-08-2021 13:50

Nicaragua cancels work permits of six foreign NGOs, including Oxfam

Nicaragua on Monday cancelled operating permits for six NGOs from the United States and Europe, just days after President Daniel Ortega's government was sanctioned for arresting prominent political opponents.

Nicaragua on Monday cancelled operating permits for six NGOs from the United States and Europe, just days after President Daniel Ortega's government was sanctioned for arresting prominent political opponents.

Oxfam, as well as the US-based National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute, are among the groups affected, according to the official government gazette. Charities from Spain, Denmark and Sweden also had their operating permits revoked.

The Interior Ministry said these charities have not given a "detailed itemised breakdown" of the origin of the donations and who the final beneficiaries are.

The goods and assets of these NGOs will now be sold off or become government property. 

The NGOs, several of which have been in Nicaragua for years, worked on issues such as human rights, the environment, poverty alleviation, health and education.

With three months to go before the country's elections, Nicaragua's government has detained 33 prominent opposition figures that they accused of treason. 

Among them are seven potential candidates who could run against Ortega, 75, who is seeking a fourth consecutive term.

The former guerrilla, who also ruled the country from 1979-1990, took office as president in 2007 as part of the left-wing Sandinista National Liberation Front. 

His government faces US and European sanctions and has been accused of humans rights violations and the repression of opposition figures since anti-government protests in 2018.

Ortega accuses the opposition of trying to overthrow him with the support of Washington. 

– TIMES/AFP

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