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Back to Index of Protection of Environmental Defenders

Nicaragua is a state party to the 2018 Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean,[1] which it signed on September 27, 2019.[2]

No specific legislation for the protection of environmental defenders was found.  The country’s environmental legislation, such as the Special Law of Crimes Against the Environment and Natural Resources[3] and the General Law of the Environment and Natural Resources, among many others,[4] does not refer to environmental defenders.

Secondary sources indicate that Nicaragua is not a safe place for defenders of the environment.  For instance, a study on two hundred defenders of the environment and earth who were killed during 2016 states that “[o]ther Latin American countries that stand out in the study are Nicaragua and Honduras.  The first case is worrying, because 11 murders recorded in 2016 make Nicaragua the most dangerous country in the world per capita for environmental defenders.”[5]

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Prepared by Norma C. Gutiérrez
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
November 2019


[1] Regional Agreement on Access to the Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (Regional Agreement) art. 4.1., Escazú, Mar. 4, 2018, C.N.195.2018.TREATIES-XXVII.18, https://perma.cc/F5AU-DZ94.

[2] Regional Agreement, Status as at 08-11-2019 05:00:38 EDT, UNTC, https://perma.cc/QV8G-KHRX.

[3] Ley Especial de Delitos contra el Medio Ambiente, La Gaceta [L.G.], Oct. 26, 2005, https://perma.cc/5TSY-Q5N2.

[4] Ley General del Medio Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales, L.G., June 6, 1996, https://perma.cc/NL8L-PP7F.

[5] Milton López Tarabochia, 200 Defensores del Ambiente y la Tierra Fueron Asesinados Durante el 2016, Mongabay Latam (translation by author), https://perma.cc/RK3R-GXXL.

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Last Updated: 12/30/2020