Financial assistance

RENACER law supports human rights in Nicaragua


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CHANTILLY, Virginia – On March 25, 2021, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez introduced S. 1041 to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Almost three months later, members sent the bill, also known as the RENACER law, to the Senate for consideration on June 22, 2021. Focused on human rights in Nicaragua, the RENACER law aims to extend American diplomacy to the Nicaraguan people by calling for democratic elections and, in turn, reduce poverty and violence against civilians in the nation.

What does the RENACER law provide?

As a bill, the RENACER Act – which stands for Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform Act – must pass through the Senate and receive President Biden’s signature to become law. If enacted, Article 1041 would combat corruption and exploitation of citizens, as stated by the following sections of the bill:

  1. Section Four (Restrictions on International Financial Institutions Relating to Nicaragua): To reduce contact with the current President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, and subversive and infamous behavior on the part of his administration, Senator Menendez and his co-sponsors call for increased monitoring of financial aid in Nicaragua. To do this, they will demand that loans or other forms of assistance be made independently of the Nicaraguan government.
  2. Section Five (Targeted Sanctions to Advance Democratic Elections): This section promotes democratic elections by asking the Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury to brief Congress on how the US government can impose targeted sanctions on officials from the government of Ortega, to the Nicaraguan police, to members of the Sandinista National Liberation Front and other parties threatening justice in the country.
  3. Section Six (Development of a Coordinated Sanctions Strategy with Diplomatic Partners): To ensure the successful implementation of the targeted sanctions mentioned in section five, the sponsors of the RENACER Act will contact the Canadian government and the European Union .
  4. Section 10 (Report on human rights violations inside Nicaragua): the bill will require the publication of a report on human rights violations after its enactment to raise awareness of the abuses d’Ortega against native civilians and campesinos, or peasants. Its purpose is to provide recommendations for diplomacy and support to the United States and its partners.

Additional sections of the bill push the United States and its international partners to investigate and report the involvement of Ortega, Nicaraguan officials and the Russian Federation in government corruption. In addition, the final section urges the Director General of the United States Agency for Global Media to report on Ortega’s mistreatment of independent media and recommends a strategy on how the United States can protect the media. press freedom and human rights in Nicaragua.

Rising Corruption and Poverty: The Need for Help in Nicaragua

In the grip of corruption and decline, President Daniel Ortega has caused infrastructural and democratic erosion in Nicaragua since 2007. More recently, Ortega’s re-election campaign has sparked outrage and mass protests among civilians demanding his resignation. Earlier this year, Nicaragua’s Electoral Council and Supreme Court of Justice allowed Ortega to run in the November 2021 presidential elections and banned competition from opposition parties, ignoring the country’s constitutional injunction and political rights. .

In addition, Ortega’s contempt for legality and democracy continues to lead to human rights violations. Since 2018, cases of further harassment, assault and violence by police and government officials have increased. Indigenous groups, journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders are the most affected by violence, including extrajudicial killings.

Although not apparent, a link between such government corruption and global poverty is important. Almost half of Nicaraguans live below the poverty line, at 46.2%, and a supplement 90,000 people fell into poverty following the COVID-19 pandemic. Ortega’s dismissal of the coronavirus and his multiple offenses against the Nicaraguan people have further isolated the government from its people. These factors have reduced the government’s ability to provide people with the resources they need to prosper. Indigenous peasants and other agricultural workers remain the poorest due to unequal distribution of income.

Fortunately, the United States offers a chance to fight corruption and enduring poverty by strengthening national security and prioritizing human rights in Nicaragua with the passage of the RENACER Act. If international organizations pressure the Nicaraguan government to exercise control over presidential power and hold free and fair elections, Nicaraguans will not only benefit from democratic practices, but will also have a better chance of escaping poverty. .

Riya sharma
Photo: Flickr

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