The struggle of the LGTBIQ+ community in Nicaragua is also forced into exile

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Within the framework of the International Day of Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, the Nicaraguan Never Again Human Rights Collective addressed with experts the topic: “Causes of forced exile: attacks on Nicaraguan sexual diversity.”

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Victoria Obando, a trans woman, released from political prison, is in exile in a Central American country, mentions that this type of conversation is important to address the current reality in Nicaragua, especially concerning people of sexual diversity who continue to fight for equality of rights, respect, and social acceptance.

The political prisoner released in 2019 was awarded the Tulip Prize, awarded by the Embassy of the Netherlands, for her performance as a human rights activist. She recalls that her situation in Nicaragua as a human rights activist became impossible, she explains, “it has not been easy being a transgender woman, in the sociopolitical field there is a battle against the macho society, against social violence, stigma, and discrimination”, a rejection that is experienced everywhere, including mostly in families.

Obando, being a human rights activist, had to face “political persecution with a dictatorship and this has been exhausting,” he mentions.

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Faced with so much suffering, even forced exile to protect his life, after having lived through repression, fear, and prison, he states that there is a greater cost in life and they are: “prison traumas,” that he currently experiences. She showed her eye and said “my right eye has blood because of the tension of being displaced for defending human rights and being transgender, these are situations that people of sexual diversity have to live through for the right to recognition of gender identity and we are going to live worse consequences, even to death,” Obando assured.

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Victoria points out that moving her to the place where she is now was for her safety. “I am not leaving my country, I am displaced; they force me to leave because I don’t want to experience what prison is like again, I don’t want to experience what it’s like to have a police patrol outside the house, under siege and that doesn’t let you go out to carry out daily activities as a human being normal.”

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For the express politician, seeing that other compatriots move to other countries is a very traumatic process, “to witness that as Nicaraguans continue to move in greater numbers, they are serious effects that touch our hearts and make us feel powerless,” to the point of getting sick from pressure and other health effects.

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Natalia Caro, the coordinator of the Safe Spaces program of the Center for the Social Rights of Migrants CENDEROS, explains that the psychosocial follow-up program they are developing has served people who, during forced displacement, survived sexual violence based on gender and other situations of risk, “they are people seeking refuge who in their country suffered from persecution, siege and traumatic processes that forced them to leave the country and leave everything they had.”

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When these people leave their countries, they seek international security. With the Safe Spaces program they seek, “a process of psychosocial strengthening and the route to access rights.”

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Caro adds, that in addition to providing support and listening to the traumas of exiled people, they also live with them to follow up on their positive changes, “we also listen to how they have come out ahead, how they have resisted, how the care techniques and tools have been He allowed them to continue on their way.”

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The coordinator of the trails program details in the panel that among the affectations that LGTBIQ+ people have presented during the displacement, is to change their identity to avoid greater risk “they have reached a point where trans girls have been identified who change their clothing their identity their way of expressing themselves towards the one indicated by the system to be able to get ahead, to be able to migrate in a less insecure way, this generates a lot of impotence because it violates their right to decide their identity and autonomy.”

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On the other hand, quite young LGTBIQ+ people between 20 and 30 years old who already suffer from chronic diseases have also been identified. “This is also affecting his quality of life in the medium and short term.”

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Forced displacement has psychologically or psychiatrically affected people from the LGTBIQ+ community “they begin to suffer from psychiatric disorders, delusions, schizophrenia, there is some genetic component; however, forced displacement has been studied that forced displacement is a trigger” asserts Caro.

https://video.wixstatic.com/video/c2bf80_4a4fe033186240c6ae8f610640494c4e/360p/mp4/file.mp4

Intertextual communicated with Dámaso Jussette Vargas, Trans girl, member of the National LGTBIQ+ Nicaragua Table and the Articulations of Social Movements, she mentions that the violence that exists against LGTBIQ+ people lies in the existence of fulfilling a role or social mandate of being men or women “When you are born men you are born with certain privileges and when you declare yourself homosexual you renounce them; if you declare yourself a trans person, you renounce being a man and the violence is much more devastating.” She adds “when you are a woman you are born with specific mandates, to live for a man, to be a procreator, when you declare yourself a lesbian you end up renouncing and rejecting these patriarchal orders of the system.” Therefore “violence is subject to these needs of the system” she exposes.

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According to the Observatory of Human Rights Violations of LGTBIQ+ People in Nicaragua, the year 2021 closed with a total of 70 violent cases against the LGTBIQ+ community, and in the first quarter from January to March 2022, 13 cases have already been documented, including a hate crime perpetrated against a Nicaraguan in neighboring Costa Rica for being from the diverse community.

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Vargas points out that in “Nicaragua there is no rule of law” and that the work of defending rights becomes obligatory and risky “if we defend rights we are against the State, because the State is abusive, and we cannot do it publicly, because we run the risk of prison and other aggressions.”

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There is nothing left but to continue fighting, but there is a requirement to defend human rights and that is to survive, ends by saying, Vargas. “Defending human rights is an objective of our lives, we cannot stop doing it, but it is complicated within Nicaragua, we continue to establish these contact networks and accompany people, but we have had to learn to do it in another way that makes it seem that we are in silence because survival is paramount.”

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