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Nicaragua : Amidst ‘Socio-Political And Human Rights Crisis’, Independent Expert Condemns Environmental Defender’s Death

An independent UN human rights expert condemned
on Monday the murder of an indigenous environmental defender
in Nicaragua, calling for those responsible to be “duly
investigated and brought to justice”.

Lawlor, Special
on the situation of human rights defenders,
explained that Nacilio Macario was slain on 14 November,
allegedly killed by settlers while taking water and food to
communities protecting their land on Nicaragua’s northern
Caribbean coast.

The UN expert urged
the Government to investigate his killing, saying it has a
responsibility “to ensure a safe and supportive
environment for those who defend the environment and the
rights of indigenous peoples in

Combatting illegal

Mr. Marcario, an indigenous Mayangna,
who was originally from the Autonomous Region of the
Northern Caribbean Coast, had campaigned against illegal
gold mining and logging taking place in his community,
according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights (OHCHR).

Government has a duty to ensure a safe and supportive
environment —

“This time it was
Mr. Macario who stood up for his land against the illegal
exploitation of people associated with the extractive
industry, but if those responsible are not duly investigated
and brought to justice, these murders will continue to be
carried out with impunity”, upheld the UN

“These attacks have occurred in a context of
socio-political and human rights crisis, which has worsened
since 2018”, said OCHA, adding
that laws recently approved by the National Assembly further
restrict the civic and democratic space.


The UN independent expert concluded by
echoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle
Bachelet’srequest that the Nicaraguan Government
“guarantee the exercise of freedoms of peaceful assembly,
expression and association; and publicly condemn and
sanction any attack or intimidation against human rights
defenders and community leaders, among others”.

Lawlor is currently in contact with the authorities on this

David R. Boyd,Special Rapporteur on Human
Rights and Environment
, Dante Pesce (Chairperson), Anita
Ramasastry, Surya Deva, Elżbieta Karska, and Githu
Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations
and other business enterprises
have also endorsed her

Special Rapporteurs are appointed by the
Geneva-based UN Human
Rights Council
to examine and report back on a specific
human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are
honorary and the experts are not paid for their

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