Members of the National Police armed with RPK automatic machine guns, AK riffles and sniper riffles in Masaya

Nicaragua: Police operation points to continuing lethal repression

In the early hours of 17 July, Bryan Murillo López died as a result of shots fired by members of the Nicaraguan National Police. Two of his relatives – his brother, Kener Murillo López, and his brother-in-law, Javier Cortez – also sustained serious injuries.
According to a police statement, the officers reportedly fired in self-defence. However, information analysed to date suggests that the police were carrying out an unlawful operation during which they used military-grade weapons. According to information received by Amnesty International, the victims, who were unarmed at the time of the shooting, belong to a family that has openly opposed the government of Daniel Ortega in the context of continuing political violence against those who disagree with the government.
“The death of young Bryan Murillo López and the serious injuries sustained by Kener Murillo López and Javier Cortez demonstrate once again the brutality of Daniel Ortega’s government. The circumstances surrounding the operation, as well as the profile of the victims, suggest that it may be a new act of lethal repression of dissent,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.
“The Nicaraguan authorities, far from giving a plausible explanation, have presented the victims as criminals. We demand a thorough, prompt and impartial investigation into these events and other possible serious violations of human rights, to ensure access to justice for victims and guarantees of non-repetition.”