Living in exile: “As long as the same government is in power I do not dare to return”

Samuel[1] is a Nicaraguan teacher and lawyer who was forced to flee his country in April 2019 after being repeatedly arrested in retaliation for his reporting on human rights violations committed by government forces.

For the latest instalment in our Living in exile series, CSW spoke with Samuel to hear his story.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

“I am a Nicaraguan citizen from the Department of Chontales. I am a teacher and a lawyer. I am currently in exile in Panama as a “Refugee in Process”, and have been since 16 April 2019 through Executive Order No. 5 for the Protection of Refugee Applicants from the Government of Panama, through the National Office for the Attention of Refugees (ONPAR).

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Cultura de impunidad en México Parte 1: Mediación en lugar de justicia

Si bien el tráfico de drogas en México está lejos de desaparecer, el presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) afirmó recientemente que “ya no hay guerra”. Tiene una nueva estrategia. El presidente dice que ya no están tratando de arrestar a los narcotraficantes, sino que quieren analizar las causas de la violencia.

“No hemos detenido a los jefes [de las bandas criminales] porque esa no es nuestra función principal. La función principal del gobierno es garantizar la seguridad pública … Lo importante para mí es bajar el número de homicidios, robos, que no haya secuestros. ¡Esto es lo esencial! No es algo extraordinario, porque perdimos mucho tiempo en esto y no resolvió nada ”.

Para lograr esto, AMLO parece estar buscando grupos religiosos.

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Waiting for action: An interview with a victim of forced displacement in Mexico

On 28 July 2019 four Protestant Christians were forcibly displaced from the village of Cuamontax Huazalingo in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. Community leaders told the victims that the expulsion was the consequence of their failure to sign an agreement that bans Protestants from entering the village.

Over a year after they were forced to leave their homes, CSW spoke with Uriel Badillo, who was among those displaced:

“My name is Uriel Badillo Lara. I am originally from the Cuamontax community, in the Municipality of Huazalingo, Hidalgo State, Mexico, but I am currently living in my sister’s house in Atlaltipa Tecolotitla, in the Municipality of Atlapexco, along with my parents, my wife and our new-born. I make a living doing odd jobs like helping with electrics and maintenance.”

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Esperando acción: Una entrevista con una víctima del desplazamiento forzado en México

En el 28 de julio de 2019 cuatro cristianos protestantes fueron desplazados por la fuerza de la comunidad de Cuamontax Huazalingo en el estado de Hidalgo, México. Los líderes de la comunidad dijeron a las víctimas que la expulsión fue la consecuencia de no querer participar en las fiestas religiosas católicas y su falta de firma de un acuerdo que prohíbe a los protestantes ingresar a la aldea.

Más de un año después de que los cristianos fueron obligados a abandonar sus hogares, CSW habló con Uriel Badillo, uno de los desplazados:

“Mi nombre es Uriel Badillo Lara. Soy originario de la comunidad de Cuamontax, en el Municipio de Huazalingo, Estado de Hidalgo, México, pero actualmente vivo en la casa de mi hermana en Atlaltipa Tecolotitla en el Municipio de Atlapexco. Allí también viven mis padres, mi esposa, y nuestra beba. Me gano la vida haciendo trabajos ocasionales como ayudar con la electricidad y el mantenimiento.”

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FoRB on the Frontlines: “Everyone’s hatred was ever present”

In several Latin American countries, religious leaders often take on the roles of community leader and human rights defender. As a result, these leaders often face harassment, intimidation and even violence at the hands of state and non-state actors. Over the past few weeks CSW has been presenting interviews with religious leaders working in the region to highlight their experiences on the frontlines of freedom of religion or belief.

Yilber is a Protestant pastor based in Cuba.

“I have received so many threats in my life as a Christian that there are, honestly, too many to count. This is something I want to describe, and to do this I won’t rely on generalisations or abstract, subjective examples, I will expose the scars borne by my family ever since we left our town to do pastoral work.

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