“Justice will come. It’s merited… and we will be there”
Taken from an interview published by
Confidencial at the conclusion of
the Court of Conscience.
The seriousness of the crimes of sexual violence, specifically those committed in Nicaragua, matched the requirements of this Court. I think telling the world what happened was a very important initiative and it is also absolutely innovative in the sense of immediately recapturing that violence, extricating and analyzing it, because, generally speaking, as lawyers, investigators, and human rights defenders, we always arrive too late to become aware of that component. I think it is a crosscutting practice that has remained hidden or somehow minimized in many investigations. So I think it is a remarkable effort.
It isn’t true that Nicaragua is free from all responsibility because it is not a signatory of the International Criminal Court. Not being a signatory doesn’t provide carte blanche so a country is never responsible, or that the Criminal Court will not take an interest in investigating and elaborating on what happened. There are a significant number of national jurisdictions in various countries that would allow proceedings to be opened. The violence was a shock in Nicaragua. I think what’s more important for Nicaragua now than a trial might be an important political change. In this search for justice, only the victims, the communities and civil society can precipitate that change and my recommendation is to take it step by little step. But it will come, it will come. I know they won’t give up. It is through perseverance that one finds ways.
I think this is an initial moment of cohesion and of obtaining information about what is being done in Nicaragua, by identifying exactly what happened and who were responsible. Nicaraguan civil society is organizing itself and that will undoubtedly create the basis for justice processes, if not in Nicaragua, then in other jurisdictions. And we will be there. I know it’s a slow process sometimes, but it’s coming. And it is merited... and we will be there.”
Almudena Bernabéu was a juror. on the Court of Conscience.