Intentionally staged brutality

Indigenous peoples murdered in Nicaragua (Press Release)

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has condemned a brutal massacre in which at least 13 members of the indigenous Mayangna and Miskito were killed by non-indigenous settlers. According to local media and NGOs, the massacre occurred on August 23 – in the biosphere reservation Bosawas, near the border with Honduras. "The extreme brutality was intentional: Judging by the state of the bodies, the victims were tortured. Several women were raped, then killed. This is not the first incident of its kind in Nicaragua. As long as the police forces are reluctant to consistently investigate violence against indigenous people, there will be more such crimes," stated Regina Sonk, STP expert on indigenous peoples. "The fact that non-indigenous authorities tend to not care about violence against indigenous communities will encourage even more attacks." This phenomenon is apparent not only in Nicaragua, but also in many other parts of South America.

The massacre occurred at the Kiwakumbaih (a hill that is both a sacred place and a traditional hunting and fishery area) between 7 and 9 in the evening. "The fact that the police remains silent about this massacre is striking – and the family members are traumatized even more," Sonk criticized. "They are shown that their suffering is seen as irrelevant. The issue is not only about illegal entry into nature reserves and indigenous territories, but about assassinations that were most probably planned. Politics must ensure that the law is enforced and that crimes like this are punished adequately."

Most certainly, the reasons for the illegal entries and the violence are the same as in other regions, where other indigenous communities are affected: the search for gold, illegal logging, and land grabbing for the agricultural industry.