At least four people died and scores more were injured in post-election violence. Rape and sexual abuse were widespread. The total ban on all forms of abortion remained in force. The independence of the judiciary was called into question.
In the wake of the November elections, violence erupted amid widespread allegations of electoral fraud. At least four people were killed and scores were injured in confrontations across the country between supporters and opponents of Daniel Ortega, who was re-elected for a third term as President.Top of page
Rape and sexual abuse remained a concern. Despite this, in July the Supreme Court of Justice reduced the sentence imposed on Farinton Reyes for the rape in 2009 of his co-worker, Fátima Hernández, to four years’ imprisonment. The Court sought to justify its decision on the grounds that Farinton Reyes had committed the crime while under the influence of alcohol and in a state of sexual excitement that he could not control. The judges also argued that Fátima Hernández had acted permissively and co-operated in the rape.Top of page
The total ban on all forms of abortion remained in force, giving rise to serious violations of the rights of women and girls. The revised criminal laws, which came into force in 2008, allow for no exceptions to the ban. As a result women and girls who were pregnant as a result of rape or whose lives or health were threatened by continued pregnancy were denied the right to seek safe and legal abortion services. All abortion remained a criminal offence and anyone seeking, or assisting someone seeking, an abortion risked prosecution.
In March, the state was urged by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to take action to put an end to sexual violence against women and girls and to repeal the total ban on abortion.Top of page
Reports of intimidation of media workers increased in the context of a heated political debate in the run-up to the November presidential elections.
In November, following the announcement by the Supreme Electoral Council of Daniel Ortega’s victory in the presidential elections, crowds took to the streets across the country in protest.