The Free Enterprise & Democracy Network (FEDN), of which the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) is the Secretariat, released the following statement regarding ongoing violence in Nicaragua:
Washington, DC – The Steering Committee of the Free Enterprise and Democracy Network (FEDN) expresses deep concern over the Government of Nicaragua’s response to protests that occurred following proposed changes to the social security system.
The private sector, including women entrepreneurs and owners of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, have joined Nicaraguans in protesting the government’s actions. Since last week, the situation rapidly deteriorated when police and government supporters responded violently to civilians exercising their constitutional rights to free expression and assembly. As of today, more than 30 people have been killed and more than 100 students have been detained.
The FEDN Steering Committee supports the democratic rights of the Network of Nicaraguan Businesswomen (REN), along with other private sector organizations and civil society, to freedom of expression and peaceful protests. The FEDN Steering Committee urges the government:
- First, to stop violence against protesters;
- Second, to free jailed students; and
- Third, to initiate broad dialogue on social security, inclusive economic growth, elections, and democracy.
The Free Enterprise and Democracy Network (FEDN) is a worldwide network of leaders and experts from business and civil society who promote the principles of free enterprise and democracy and make the case for democratic, prosperous societies. The network currently has 50 distinguished members from 35 countries.