Nicaragua must investigate violent attacks against human rights activist

The Nicaraguan authorities must investigate violent attacks and death threats against a human rights activist, Amnesty International has said. Leonor Martínez received numerous phone messages throughout November threatening to kill her and her family unless she gives up her work with the Coalición de Jóvenes Nicaragüense, a civil society group. On 20 November, a man approached the activist as she left her house and told her she would be killed unless she stopped “sticking her nose in”. Leonor Martínez recognised him as someone who was present a month earlier when three men beat her and broke her arm in three places. She had been returning home from a press conference where she had criticized restrictions on protests and curbs on fundamental freedoms. The human rights activist, who is also a member of a national network of civil society organizations (Coordinadora Civil, CC) told Amnesty International that the men threatened her with a gun, saying if she continued “with the CC and the activities with the young people” they would “attack or kill” her and her family. Leonor Martínez believes the men involved in these attacks have connections to the ruling party in Nicaragua, the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), Sandinista National Liberation Front. She has reported the attack and the messages to the police, but they have taken no action. Amnesty International has called for a swift and thorough investigation into the attacks and for those responsible to be brought to justice. The organization said that Leonor Martínez must also be given immediate protection to ensure her safety.