In 1992, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights continued
to monitor developments in the human rights situation in Nicaragua.
The purpose of this section is to update the information reported
by the Commission in its previous annual reports.
During the period covered by this Annual Report, a delegation
from the Inter-American Commission visited Nicaragua at that
Government's invitation, to observe the human rights situation there.
During its stay in Nicaragua, the Commission met with the highest
ranking government authorities, with representatives of various State
powers, with a number of human rights organizations, and with
individuals and members of institutions representative of Nicaraguan
society, among them the Movimiento Civilista, the Asociación Cívica
Resistencia Nicaragüense and the Asociación Nacional de Confiscados.
During its visit, a subcommittee of the IACHR delegation traveled
to Puerto Cabezas on the Atlantic coast and there met with various
institutions and individuals interested in describing their situation in
the context of human rights in the region.
Another subcommittee went to the Tipitapa prison where it had an
opportunity to speak with the men convicted of the murder of Pedro Joaquín
Chamorro; the Commission has a case in process concerning these men.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a press
communique on April 30, 1992, the last day of its visit to Nicaragua. In that communique, the Commission said that among the people
it had met with the consensus had been that the situation of civil and
political rights had improved since the armed conflict ended and the new
administration took over. There
was also a consensus, however, that economic, social and cultural rights
were suffering because of the serious economic crisis the country was
Commission also noted that high-ranking government officials directly
informed it of their commitment to consolidating and furthering respect
for human rights.
Some progress has been achieved in promoting and protecting human
rights. In September of
1992, the Government of Nicaragua enacted Decree No. 46-92 whereby it
amended the bylaws of the Attorney General's Office, expanding its
functions and establishing a number of special prosecutors' offices,
among them the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights and the
Office of the Special Prosecutor for Property-related Matters.
The purpose of the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Human
Rights is "to promote and protect human rights so that the citizens
may enjoy them to the fullest"; the purpose of the Office of the
Special Prosecutor for Property-related Matters is to "settle
swiftly the various property-related problems that date back to the
previous administration, all for the sake of the country's stability and
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights believes that the creation of
these special prosecutorial offices is a positive development in the
defense of human rights and that it is imperative that those
institutions enjoy absolute independence so that they may discharge
their sensitive functions to the fullest.
On October 2, 1992, at the initiative of the President of the
Republic, a Tripartite Commission was established composed of the
Government of Nicaragua, Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo, and the
International Support and Verification Commission of the Organization of
American States, for the purpose of guaranteeing the human rights of the
demobilized former members of the Nicaraguan Resistance and their
families. The mandate of
the Tripartite Commission is based on the Agreements signed by the five
Central American presidents at Esquipulas II (Guatemala) and at Tela
(Honduras); agreements concluded between the Government of Nicaragua and
the Nicaraguan Resistance forces; letters from the President of the
Republic to Cardinal Obando y Bravo and to Mr. Santiago Murray, General
Coordinator of CIAV-OAS, and, finally, the Protocol of Verification
signed between the parties on October 2.
The fundamental objectives of the Tripartite Commission are
"to analyze and review, given the political and social scenario in
Nicaragua in the postwar period that began on June 26, 1990, the cases
of violence against former members of the Nicaraguan Resistance and
sectors of the population beset by collective conflicts, and those cases
wherein the authors of the facts denounced are alleged to be former
members of the Nicaraguan Resistance; to facilitate an exchange of views
on the causes of the violence and to make recommendations to improve
coordination and the mechanisms to prevent and eradicate the problems
examined for the sake of Nicaragua's stability and peace; and to
strengthen the system for protecting the rights and guarantees of those
sectors of the population adversely affected by the war."
In mid October, the Commission began to meet on a weekly basis
and will present a report to President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro
within three months. It may
also make its recommendations on the various cases brought to its
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has also been
informed that in November 1992 the Supreme Court of Justice launched a
project to strengthen the Judiciary in order to correct some of the
problems with the administration of justice.
Projects have been instituted to establish the material
infrastructure in municipalities that are not departmental seats and at
certain locations within embattled areas.
The Judiciary Training School has also started its activities.
There, graduates of law schools will be trained to provide one
year of social service in regions where the judges on the bench are not
Since the visit, there have been a number of negative
developments in the human rights situation with the heightening of
political tensions between members of UNO--the coalition that brought
President Chamorro to power--,her Administration and the Frente
Sandinista. A group of UNO
legislators purportedly linked to the Government have voted as a block
with members of the FSLN on important matters such as the law on
normalization of the property system.
Against that backdrop, the United States Senate initially
withheld disbursement of 104 million dollars in foreign aid, which
merely served to exacerbate the economic and political problems in
After the economic aid was suspended, the present crisis with the
political institutions grew worse and eventually led to a confrontation
between the branches of government.
On September 2, 1992, according to the information received, the
then Chairman of the National Assembly, Lic. Alfredo César, appointed
two Secretaries of the House without the quorum required by law, when 39
Sandinista deputies and 8 from the government coalition "UNO"
that formed the "Centro" group that supports the Chief
Executive were absent. The
Commission was also informed that Alfredo César accused the Chief
Executive of meddling in Parliament's affairs and then in the affairs of
the judicial branch of government, when a Managua Appeals Court
provisionally suspended the decisions taken at the September 2 meeting
and their effects. Later,
on November 27, 1992, the Supreme Court of Justice handed down a ruling
in favor of the petition of amparo filed by Sergio Ramírez and
Gustavo Tablada, representatives of the FSLN and the "Grupo
Centro", respectively, against Alfredo César, Chairman of the
National Assembly at that time. That
ruling nullified all actions taken since September 2, 1992.
In late 1992, the Chief Executive dissolved the Governing Board
of the National Assembly chaired by Alfredo César, and installed a
provisional board in its place. It
ordered all documents seized and the Congressional facilities placed
under military guard. On
January 9, 1993, a new Governing Board of the National Assembly was
elected by a simple majority. Dr.
Gustavo Tablada, a member of the Socialist Party, was elected its
On September 5, 1992, the Government of Nicaragua, through Decree
No. 45-92, issued a new charter for the National Police.
In the preamble, it states that "the National Police shall
be a civil institution; under Article 144 of the Constitution, the
Supreme Commander of the National Police shall be the President of the
Republic, who shall exercise that office through the Ministry of
However, human rights organizations have said that rather than
bolstering civilian power over the police, the new law weakens it and is
at variance with the Law on Military Inspectorship, which puts police
who commit common crimes under the jurisdiction of the military courts
and even civilians who are involved in a crime with or against a
policeman, thereby violating the universal maxim of the law that no one
shall be denied a hearing by a competent judge.
These human rights organizations have also reported that the law
is at odds with the Charter of the Ministry of Government, enacted by
Presidential Decree in 1990. They
argue that under the law, the newly created office of under secretary
for police affairs has very little authority to supervise and control
the police service, even though hierarchically it is above the Director
General of Police. They
have also said that there is practically no supervision of the heads of
civil government in the provinces in the interior and that the
authorities of the Minister of Government are weakened, among them the
authority to appoint the police chiefs in the provinces who are
appointed by and directly answerable to the Director General of Police.
During the period covered in this Annual Report, the Government
of Nicaragua took steps to reorganize the National Police.
Some 18 high-ranking officers were removed, including its
Director General, Commandant René Vivas.
Commandant Fernando Caldera was appointed to replace him on
September 5, 1992. According
to reports, under the previous administration he was chief of State
Security in the embattled Region V.
According to human rights organizations, he was allegedly
responsible for very serious human rights violations.
They also report that the changes made in the National Police
have not affected those with the most serious records of human rights
abuses. These human rights
organizations believe that the changes are irrelevant in practice.
Another change introduced was the appointment of a Presidential
Delegate to the National Police, a position held by the newly designated
Deputy Secretary for Government, Frank César.
They are waiting to see the extent to which this institutional
change will bring about a significant change in what human rights groups
regard as a bias on the part of the National Police in favor of the FSLN.
In that context, the Nicaraguan human rights groups launched a
public campaign to single out members of the security forces that have
been involved in human rights violations in the past.
The most notorious case they have cited is that of Commandant Lenín
Cerna, Chief of State Security during the previous government and who is
now performing similar functions in the Army. The human rights groups
came under heavy attack by sectors of the FSLN and felt threatened by
those security forces. In
that context, the Inter-American Commission received a petition from
that organization which it processed.
RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL AND TO PERSONAL LIBERTY
Human rights organizations have told the Inter-American
Commission that the administration of justice continues to be
politicized, a problem that has a direct effect on the right to a fair
trial and to due process of law. They
say, in effect, that even though the Supreme Court of Justice has
reported that 70% of the judges appointed under the previous government
have been replaced, this would not necessarily mean that the new
appointments have been made properly, as the human rights organizations
continue to receive complaints that justice is administered too slowly
and is biased.
Another problem that concerns the exercise of the right to a fair
trial is that the law on the Office of the Military Inspector has still
not been amended. Under
that law, police charged with common crimes are under military
jurisdiction; the military courts are also authorized to try civilians
charged with involvement in a crime committed with or against a police
As for personal liberty, the Inter-American Commission was told
that on May 9, 1992, Harold Cedeño Aguirre, one of those convicted in
the murder of Pedro Joaquín Chamorro on January 10, 1978, was paroled. Originally sentenced to 21 years and six months in prison,
Cedeño was released on parole upon completion of three quarters of his
sentence in consideration of the fact that he had no prior criminal
record and was a model prisoner. The
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights considers Cedeño's release to
be a positive development; however, it hopes that the situation of the
others convicted in this case will soon be resolved.
The Commission is processing a case in this regard and will adopt
a decision in due course.
Again on the question of personal liberty, human rights
organizations report that 70% of those being held have not been brought
before the courts; the main problem is the sluggishness in the
administration of justice, especially in rural municipalities.
RIGHT TO PROPERTY
As for the right of property, there has been some slow progress
in returning certain properties confiscated from their owners under the
previous government. However,
the problem is far from settled and continues to be a source of serious
friction in Nicaraguan
After taking office in April 1990, one of the first decrees
issued by the Government of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro was Decree
11-90, which created the National Confiscations Review Board.
Its purpose was to review the confiscations made by the
Sandinista regime, estimated at some 25,000 farm and urban holdings.
According to the reports supplied to the Commission, the National
Review Board was receiving applications for review up until December 31,
1990, by which time it had received some 4,600. By June 1991, the Board
had ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in some 1,000 cases, where the
properties in question were ordered returned to the plaintiffs.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was also told that
only a few of the Board's decisions were complied with and the
properties returned to the rightful owners when the properties were in
the hands of the Central Government.
According to those reports, almost all of the Board's decisions
were ignored because the properties were in the hands of persons who
claimed to have acquired them under laws 85 and 86, which are the laws
that the Legislative Assembly passed between February 25 and April 25,
1990, and that have come to be called the "Piñata."
Decree 11-90 provided that to enforce a ruling of the Review
Board, public force should be used if necessary; however, according to
reports, the police systematically refused to enforce the orders of the
National Review Board, because its decisions usually were against
persons affiliated with the previous government.
On May 27, 1991, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling on a
constitutionality case. It
ruled that articles 7 and 11 of Decree 11-90 were unconstitutional,
thereby leaving the National Confiscation Review Board virtually
according to the reports received, the functions of the Review Board
were virtually nullified as all confiscatory claim files were
transferred from the Office of the Attorney General, who chairs the
Board, to the offices of the Presidency to be inventoried.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was also informed
that in August 1991, the deputies from the National Opposition Union
political alliance passed a law ordering expropriation of property
acquired under laws 85 and 86; where
appropriate, the property acquired by virtue of those laws was to be
taken back by the State to be restored to its rightful owner.
That law, passed by the Legislative Assembly, also ordered that
all grants of State-administered enterprises should be declared null and
void. This law, known as
Law 133, was vetoed by the Executive, who sent it back to the National
Assembly on the grounds that it was in violation of the Constitution.
As the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights noted in its
Annual Report 1991, many believed that laws 85 and 86 had benefitted the
needy; however, there were those who said that prominent leaders of the
Sandinista Front had also benefitted by these laws, being assigned
valuable properties, including properties owned by the State or by
individuals who had not ceded their rights thereto.
One article in Law 85 that was heavily criticized by the
citizenry is Article 10, which refers to the taxes levied on property
being sold. It reads as
follows: "any treasury
or municipal taxes owed on these properties up to and including the date
on which the present law enters into force shall be waived."
This provision would place those who had received these
properties from the State in a privileged position, since they would be
exempt from the payment of taxes, disregarding the fact that every law
must apply with equal force to everyone; that the law cannot require
some to pay taxes and others not, and certainly not deny the public
treasury its tax revenues. The
same article establishes another privilege for the property
beneficiaries by stating that notaries need not require the proof of
payment of taxes and the other documents required by law to issue
registered deeds, which again adversely affects the public treasury.
It also orders that any mortgage or lien on the property to which
this law refers is automatically canceled.
During the period covered by this Annual Report, the Government
of Nicaragua adopted new measures to correct this matter.
Thus, through Decree 47-92, of September 9, 1992, the Government
reinstated the National Confiscation Review Board to continue to examine
the confiscations made and to adopt the appropriate decisions.
On September 9, 1992, via Decree 48-92, the functions of the Land
Office created under Decree 35-91 of August 19, 1991, were expanded. In principle, it called for a Special Review Board to be set
up to examine the distribution, deeding or possession of farm lands
between February and April 1990. According
to the legislation in force, those would be the functions of the Land
Office. Despite the changes
made, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has received reports
that the Land Office continues to legalize the de jure and de
facto situations of the new beneficiaries of urban housing and lots
and the farm lands arbitrarily distributed on a massive scale during the
period of transition from the Government of the Sandinista Front to that
of Mrs. Chamorro. The
original property owners are given very little in the way of a hearing.
Also in September, Presidential Agreement No. 248-92 was issued,
instructing the National Review Board "to settle favorably all
claims filed by the deadline with the Office of the Attorney General, in
the spirit of Decree 11-90 and its amendments, meaning that only those
claims filed under decrees 3 and 38 shall be subject to Board
review." Decrees 3 and
38 were the first issued by the previous Government and under them the
properties of the Somoza family and its followers were confiscated.
On October 15, 1992, through Decree 56-92, a system of
compensation was established whereby securities were given as
compensation to those people whose property had been expropriated by the
previous Government and could not now be restored to them.
The Government of Nicaragua has said that it will develop a
privatization project involving a number of public utilities that will
honor the securities.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hopes that the
system of compensation will correct the problem and that the concern
felt in some quarters that these companies will be in bad financial
shape and controlled by politicized unions or unions with ties to the
previous government will not affect payment of a fair compensation.
As it has said before, the Inter-American Commission believes
that this matter must be settled within the legal framework of the
American Convention on Human Rights to which Nicaragua is a State Party
and which has been incorporated into Nicaragua's system of
As the Commission noted in its Annual Report 1991, the many legal
norms issued during the various periods and the various ways in which
property was adjudicated, and the recipients' resistance to pressures
from the owners are some of the factors that have made this situation so
complex and so difficult to straighten out.
It has a dangerous potential for social conflict.
In fact, one
especially serious development during the period covered by this Annual
Report was the murder of Dr. Arges Sequeira, President of the Asociación
de Confiscados and President of the Unión de Productores Agrícolas de
Nicaragua (UPANIC). According to information provided to the Commission, Dr.
Sequeira was murdered on November 23, 1992, at 8:30 a.m.; three unknown
individuals were waiting for him near his farm "El Queserito",
located outside the city of El Sauce, Department of León and fired on
him from a moving vehicle.
Dr. Sequeira was one of the principals negotiating the return of
properties confiscated during the previous administration and--according
to reports received-- recently rejected the Government's offer of
securities as compensation, given
the lack of funds to meet the demands of those whose property had been
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had an opportunity to meet
with him, as President of the Asociación de Confiscados de Nicaragua,
during its visit there last April.
In light of these unfortunate events, the Government of Nicaragua
requested the Spanish Government's assistance in investigating the case.
On November 29, the special detectives--Ricardo Sánchez and
Manuel García--sent by the Spanish Government to collaborate in the
investigation of the murder of Dr. Arges Sequeiras, arrived in
Nicaragua. According to
reports received, in mid January 1993, the Police allegedly identified
two former military from the E.P.S. [Sandinista People's Army] as being
involved in Mr. Sequeiras' murder.
However, the whereabouts of the suspects is still unknown.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hopes that those
responsible for the crime will be identified, brought to trial, and
receive the punishments that such criminal conduct warrants.
The political tensions heightened in late November and early
December when --according to the reports received--in the midst
of a series of strikes called by unions controlled by the Sandinista
National Liberation Front (FSLN) the headquarters of the Private
Enterprise Council (COSEP) in Managua was dynamited.
The reports also state that the attack came at 2:00 a.m. and left
two floors damaged but no casualties.
In its Pastoral Letter of October 6, 1992, the Conference of
Bishops of Nicaragua said the following:
We are gravely concerned by the increasing proclivity to settle
social differences through recourse to indiscriminate violence to have
one's right vindicated or restored.
While the social differences can be traced to injustices, they
are being exploited by certain groups that use the aggrieved sectors to
provoke chaos, thereby satisfying their own selfish lust for power.
The social decay caused by the economic crisis and the erosion of
moral values leads to violence against goods and property, and against
persons as well. The
attacks have become an almost daily occurrence, at night and in broad
daylight, causing upheaval, chaos and unrest for the entire citizenry,
which needs a climate of peace and tranquility to work honorably and to
support their families.
The social breakdown, loss of moral values, disrespect for the
individual are becoming worse, and the agony caused to individuals and
entire families is of no importance.
The wave of kidnapping exacerbates the social tensions, leaving
the general public with a sense of confusion and uncertainty,
discouraging production and ultimately the generation of goods.
As the Inter-American Commission noted in its Annual Report 1991,
the Government of Nicaragua has an obligation to guarantee the full
observance of its citizens' rights when events occur that are
prejudicial to the exercise of such fundamental rights as the right to
life and to humane treatment. That
obligation is established in Article 1.1 of the American Convention on
Human Rights to which Nicaragua is a State Party and presupposes the
subordination of the military to a lawfully elected civilian power.
THE RIGHTS OF THE DEMOBILIZED AND RURAL VIOLENCE
Another issue to which the Inter-American Commission attaches
particular importance is the human rights of the demobilized.
As the Inter-American Commission has said before, the
demobilization process officially ended in June 1990 with the disarming
of some 22,000 combatants in the Nicaraguan Resistance and the
commitments undertaken by the Government to take a number of measures to
facilitate their reassimilation into civilian society, which included
promises to provide land and other means to enable them to engage in
However, in July 1991, groups of former members of the Nicaraguan
Resistance, calling themselves "recontras", resumed armed
activities. According to
their leaders, this was a response to the feeling of uncertainty and
insecurity created as members of the police and the army were violating
their rights. Another reason they cited was that the Government had failed
to comply with the demobilization agreements, particularly the promises
to turn over land and provide bank loans for farming.
Simultaneously, former soldiers with the Sandinista People's
Army, calling themselves "recompas", took up arms again
arguing that they felt threatened by the activity of the "recontras".
All this added to the potential for conflict, especially in
In response, the Government of Nicaragua expressed its
determination to respond to the grievances of the "recontras"
and "recompas" and began a series of talks and negotiations to
launch a new disarmament drive and to get the "recontras" and
"recompas" reassimilated into society, with full guarantees of
their rights. The
negotiations took place on June 11, October 17, November 18, 1991, and a
last round on February 14, 1992. According
to the Government, in disarming the "contras" and rearmed
Sandinistas, some 10,600 weapons have been retrieved.
However, the climate of tension and violence continued,
especially in the northern sector of the country: according to reports,
in March former combatants with the Nicaraguan Resistance and former
soldiers in the Sandinista People's Army joined forces for the first
time since they established themselves in June 1991.
They formed what has come to be called the "revueltos",
to demand that the Government honor its commitments to provide them with
land, housing and financing so that they can rejoin civilian society.
In effect, on March 6, 1992, according to reports received, a
battalion of special troops and aircraft of the Sandinista People's Army
forced a group of former "contras" and armed Sandinistas to
leave the Nicaraguan town of Ocotal, part of which they occupied.
The Inter-American Commission also received reports that in
April, rebel groups of "recontras" and "recompas"
obstructed traffic on the main arteries in and out of a number of
communities in the northern departments of Jinotega, Estelí, and
Matagalpa. They also shut
down traffic at the customs stations at El Espino and Las Manos, on the
border with Honduras.
Again in April, according to reports received, anti-riot police
had to be transferred from Managua to take on armed groups that had held
up traffic along the Pan American Highway near the city of Estelí, some
149 kilometers north of the capital.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was also told that
because of violence in the early months of the year, the Government of
Nicaragua began the month of June with two military operations called
"Winter 92" and "Recovery 92", calculated to control
the bands of thugs operating in the northern and central regions of the
country and to break up the groups of armed irregulars still operating
in that area. According to
the reports received, the first operation was executed by combined Army
and National Police forces, while the second is being carried out by the
Human rights organizations report that complaints have been filed
by peasant farmers in that region, which indicate that the military
campaigns are designed to intimidate demobilized members of the
Nicaraguan Resistance or former collaborators.
Those groups have also said that the great military deployment
with that operation and the consolidation of the Army's military power
in rural areas have escalated tensions and instilled enormous fear,
forcing peasants to leave their land and move to the departmental seats.
The Pastoral Letter from the Conference of Bishops of Nicaragua,
dated October 6, 1992, also states that:
There are increasing numbers of human rights violations committed
by the military and police authorities, especially in the interior. The peasant farmers have been those most affected.
It all adds to the climate of ill-will and insecurity.
The offer of reconciliation sometimes seems to be one-sided.
The reports of deaths among former members of the Nicaraguan
Resistance are adding fuel to a fire that threatens to unleash more
armed violence, death and property damage.
With this scenario the people continue to clamor for the promise
to abolish or reduce the Army and reorganize the national police whose
job it is to protect the interests of the people and make them feel
As the Inter-American Commission pointed out in its 1991 Annual
Report, it hopes that the human rights situation of the demobilized will
cease to deteriorate and that a negotiated settlement can be found to
the existing differences, one that fully respects the human rights of
all persons involved.
DISCOVERY OF SECRET GRAVES
One particularly crucial aspect that the Commission has been examining concerns the discovery of secret
cemeteries or common graves in various regions of the country since the
end of the armed conflict.
According to the information supplied to the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights, between January 14 and 15, 1992, seven
common graves were discovered in El Bijagua district, Camoapa
jurisdiction, department of Boaco.
They contained the bodies of 75 people.
The investigations conducted by human rights organizations found
that they were the bodies of peasant farmers from the area who were
murdered in November 1984, after being "recruited" by elements
of State Security who pretended to be members of the Nicaraguan
Resistance. They were taken
to the site where the graves were discovered supposedly to receive
military training. According to the reports received.
The current Chief of the National Police, Commandant René Vivas
Lugo, was Deputy Secretary of the Interior at the time these events
The Inter-American Commission was also told that in May, a common
grave containing the six corpses of an entire family were discovered in
the town of Quininowas, Department of Jinotega.
Human rights groups investigated and found that the killings were
allegedly committed by members of the Ligero Cazador Battalion of the
Sandinista People's Army, who invaded that town on February 7, 1985.
By December 1992, human rights groups had received 72 reports of
common graves and had investigated 13 of those reports.
While the majority of those graves seem to contain the remains of
individuals summarily executed by members of the Sandinista People's
Army, some contain the remains of persons executed by members of the
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is confident that
the Government of Nicaragua will launch a thorough investigation to
ascertain the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the persons whose
bodies were discovered in these common graves.
During the period covered by this Annual Report, the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has received information to
the effect that with the grave economic crisis the country is
experiencing, the situation of the economic, social and cultural rights
has continued to deteriorate. It
has also been reported that the suspension of the United States' foreign
aid in June served to hasten that process.
However, in December the United States Government announced that
it would unfreeze part of the aid being withheld, which would enable the
Nicaraguan Government to improve the people's living conditions with a
view to putting into practice the economic, social and cultural rights.
Summing up, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights finds
that in the period covered by this Annual Report, some progress has been
made in the promotion and protection of human rights.
However, it is the Commission's view that in that same period,
violence in the country has become worse.
There has also been a disturbing deterioration in the political
situation and unhealthy feuding between the branches of government, all
to the detriment of the human rights situation.
Contributing to this is the failure to identify and punish those
responsible for serious crimes committed since this Administration took
office and the magnification of an institutional crisis of alarming
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