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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09MANAGUA794 2009-08-12 17:25:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Managua
Cable title:  

FSLN CONTINUES ACTS OF VIOLENCE TO INTIMIDATE

Tags:   PGOV PHUM ASEC KDEM NU 
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VZCZCXRO0897
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #0794/01 2241725
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 121725Z AUG 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4428
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAGUA 000794 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN AND DRL
STATE PASS TO USAID
TREASURY FOR SENNICH

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2019
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ASEC KDEM NU
SUBJECT: FSLN CONTINUES ACTS OF VIOLENCE TO INTIMIDATE
CIVIL SOCIETY

REF: A. MANAGUA 232

B. MANAGUA 35

C. 08 MANAGUA 1405

D. 08 MANAGUA 1393

E. 08 MANAGUA 1328

F. 08 MANAGUA 1195

Classified By: Ambassador Robert J. Callahan for reasons 1.4(b & d)



1. (SBU) Summary: As has become customary with
non-governmental organizations' sponsored public events, on
August 8 FSLN mobs attacked members of civil society who
attempted to assemble peacefully. Over 500 members of the
Coordinadora Civil (CC, a network of left-of-center civil
society organizations) attempted to walk from the Hotel
Hilton Princess in downtown Managua to the Managua Cathedral
to cap off their annual national assembly. However, FSLN
sympathizers carrying pipes, rocks, and other makeshift
weapons blocked the CC members along the route, as well as on
the Cathedral's premises. The FSLN-led violence resulted in
approximately 15 people injured and various vehicles damaged.
In an attempt to excuse the violence, President Ortega
claimed his supporters were led to violence by the members of
the civil society. The Nicaraguan National Police present
took no action and allowed the FSLN mobs to carry out its
violence. End Summary.



--------------------------


FSLN, Government Employees Lead Violence


--------------------------





2. (C) On August 8, the Coordinadora Civil (CC) celebrated
its annual national assembly, in which its delegates approved
a "Proposal to the Nation to Change the Country's Direction"
(a proposal to address Nicaragua's political, social and
economic problems). After the assembly in southern Managua,
over 500 delegates were transported by vehicle to a
central-Managua intersection near the Hotel Hilton Princess
where they were to walk approximately one mile to the Managua
Cathedral for a cultural celebration. The Managua
Archdiocese previously had authorized the use of its premises
for the CC event. Mirna Meza, CC Director for the City of
Leon and a participant in the CC event, told us that
approximately 100 sympathizers of the Sandinista National
Liberation Front (FSLN) were already waiting for the CC group
when they arrived at the intersection and began throwing
rocks at the buses transporting the delegates. The FSLN mobs
also threatened the civil society members with pipes, rocks,
and other makeshift weapons. Due to the violence, some CC
members fled the area, but others continued their walk to the
Cathedral. The FSLN members then drove around the march to
the Cathedral to once again block the CC's event. At the
Cathedral, the FSLN mobs again attacked the CC members.
Their actions occurred both on public land and on the
Cathedral's premises. Fifteen people were injured and
several vehicles were damaged in the violence.



3. (C) The FSLN mobs were composed of the Managua City
Hall's Ecological Brigades and Sandinista Youth. Media
reported, and Meza confirmed, the participation of several
government employees, including: Meyling Calero Peralta,
Executive Vice President of Nicaragua's Tourism Institute,
and Candida Huete Baca, Managua City Councilwoman. Violeta
Granera, a CC member, stated that the FSLN supporters were
augmented by members of well-known Managua gangs. There were
press reports that the FSLN mobs used government vehicles to
move from the Managua intersection to the Cathedral.



--------------------------

-
Ortega Excuses Violence, Police Facilitates It


--------------------------

-



4. (SBU) In a public speech the evening of August 8,
President Daniel Ortega excused the FSLN-led violence. He
stated that his supporters were celebrating the International
Day of the World's Indigenous People, but were "confronted by
people who supported the coup in Honduras." (Note: The CC

MANAGUA 00000794 002 OF 002


has publicly condemned the "coup" in Honduras and called for
the reinstatement of President Mel Zelaya.) Media reported
that the only Honduran connection to the August 8 incident
was the presence of Zelaya's jeep (with Honduran license
plates), which was used to support the FSLN mobs. Ortega's
explanation of the FSLN supporters was contradicted by
members of the mob that attacked the CC. One FSLN
sympathizer involved in the violence did not mention World
Indigenous Day, but rather told media that his group was
simply "celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Sandinista
Revolution."



5. (C) Unfortunately the presence of police at the
intersection and Cathedral did not prevent the violence, but
rather facilitated it. As has been the case in other
instances where non-government public events are confronted
by FSLN violent opposition (ref C), Granera stated that the
Nicaraguan National Police was complacent and passive in
allowing the FSLN mobs to inflict violence on the CC members.
One officer was quoted in the media as stating, "let them
(CC members) get hit. That's not our problem, but theirs.
Those idiots go to the streets looking to get beat up."
Media publicized the badge number of the police official who
told his colleagues to take no action to protect the CC
members.



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





6. (C) While Nicaragua's civil society continues its attempt
to exercise its fundamental right to free assembly and defend
its democracy, the governing FSLN continues to threaten and
physically prevent any group or individual not in-line with
the Ortega administration. Once again, Ortega's own
statements defend the violent actions of his supporters and
discredit the "opposition," reinforcing the sense of
entitlement by FSLN-supporters that any action against
perceived opponents is justified and further exacerbating the
breakdown in public order. Meanwhile, the police's failure
to uphold citizens' basic rights and protect victims of
violence further leads to the popular belief that the police
force is under Ortega's control.
CALLAHAN