Nicaragua has dissolved the Nicaraguan Red Cross and replaced it with a government entity after accusing it of violating neutrality during the 2018 protests. The Sandinista Front of President Daniel Ortega controls the National Assembly, which unanimously passed the resolution repealing Legislative Decree number 357 of October 29, 1958, creating the Nicaraguan Red Cross Association. Parliament has ordered the creation of a new Nicaraguan Red Cross, which will be a “decentralized autonomous entity with legal personality, its own assets and indefinite duration,” attached to the Ministry of Health.
The government accused the Red Cross of transgressing the laws on non-profit organizations and the principle of neutrality of the humanitarian organization. The Red Cross treated injured opposition protesters in the protests, which had sparked clashes between opposition protesters and pro-government supporters that left more than 300 dead. The new Nicaraguan Red Cross will continue to comply with the international legal framework based on the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols.
All the assets, assets, and shares belonging to the National Association called the Nicaraguan Red Cross will become state property and will be administered by the new Nicaraguan Red Cross, a decentralized entity attached to the Ministry of Health. Rosario Murillo, Vice President of Nicaragua and Ortega’s wife, stated that the Red Cross is Nicaraguan and will continue to “comply with the international legal framework.”
International organizations accused the executive of promoting repression against the opposition during the 2018 protests, which lasted for at least three months in different areas of Nicaragua, with roadblocks and clashes. The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), based in Geneva, stated that the situation is in development and is being studied.