The Nicaraguan government and opposition have resumed Monday the national dialogue to stop the violence that has killed almost 200 people in two months.
The talks counted with the participation of a team from the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the Episcopal Conference, which is mediating the national dialogue since the beginning along with the Civic Alliance —including the business sector and a few student and campesino organizations among others.
The government was represented by Foreign Minister Denis Moncada and lawmaker Edwin Castro.
Last Saturday, the Episcopal Conference asked President Daniel Ortega in a public letter to “formally and officially accept the proposal of snap elections for March 2019.” On Monday, Bishop Silvio Báez reported on Twitter that Ortega had not formally accepted the proposal yet.
The dialogue, initiated in mid-May, was halted on May 23 after the opposition demanded President Daniel Ortega step down before finishing his term in 2021. The demand was criticized by Moncada, who called it an attempted coup.
Representatives of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, as part of the Special Mechanism Monitoring Nicaragua, or Menesi, will be supervising the investigations over the deaths of opposition members and government supporters.
Ortega's government rejected the 50-page report issued by the Commission on Friday as "partial" and "subjective," in a speech pronounced by Moncada before the Organization of the American States in Washington.
According to the last report issued by the Truth, Justice and Peace Commission, 194 people have been killed since April 18 to the date, including 10 women and 12 underage children.
Opposition members insist the government is not allowing the Inter American Commission for Human Rights to enter the country, despite their arrival in May.
The Nicaraguan political crisis began in mid-April with protests against social security reforms that President Ortega later withdrew in a bid to halt the escalation in violence.