UN condemns killing of two more indigenous residents on Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The UN human rights office said Friday it condemns the murder of two more indigenous residents on Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast.

The office called on the Nicaraguan government to investigate and punish the crimes. The government has yet to confirm or comment on the two killings.

“Communities in this region have been severely affected by violence in 2023,” the UN office said on its social media accounts.

The area where the attacks took place, known as the Bosawas Nature Reserve, is reserved for indigenous groups and environmental protection. But the settlers want to clear the land to make ranches and farms. The reserve has also been affected by illegal mining and logging.

Such killings often go unpunished in Nicaragua, where many settlers are believed to be former soldiers.

The UN human rights office said it “calls on the government to investigate and find those responsible for these attacks, to take action to prevent it from happening again and to guarantee the rights of the victims. and their families”.

Environmental group Del Río Foundation said the latest victims were two park rangers and were members of the Mayagna Sauni As people.

The men, Sergio Julián and Serato Juwith Charly, worked in the indigenous nature reserve known as Bosawas, which is inhabited largely by the Mayagna and Miskitu peoples.

Prilaka, an indigenous rights organization, said Julian, 42, was shot dead by four men near Bethlehem township on Sunday. He said Charly, 23, was killed by suspected settlers in Wilu village on Wednesday.

Wilu was the scene of an attack in March by suspected settlers who killed five Mayagnas and injured three.

The Mayangna and Miskito communities have been affected by a number of attacks in recent years, with around three dozen indigenous leaders and community members killed.

The Del Río Foundation says around 60% of Mayangna territory has been invaded by around 5,000 settlers since 2015, displacing some 3,000 indigenous residents.

Indigenous activists say President Daniel Ortega’s government has not done enough to address the problems in the jungle region. His administration denies it.

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