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La Prensa - Nacionales - Procuraduría reconoce que Gobernación violentó derechos de cooperante norteamericana: Artículo uno

El Nuevo Diario -- "Violan derechos de Dorotea Granada": Artículo dos

Paul Jeffrey writes:

"Jill: Here's the piece I did about Dorothy. My original was about 40 percent longer, this is what survived the editors. ENI is the news agency of the World Council of Churches, and is picked up by most religious press around the world and a lot of secular press in Europe. Thanks for your help. Paul"

Ecumenical News International
Daily News Service
10 January 2001

Nicaraguan police force US nurse to halt her work and go into hiding

By Paul Jeffrey

Managua, 10 January (ENI)--While Nicaraguan government agents and police
search desperately for her throughout the country, a 70-year-old nurse from the United States is spending her days "just being quiet and praying".

Dorothy Granada went into hiding in the early hours of 8 December shortly before 15 soldiers armed with machine guns surrounded her house in Mulukuku, a remote jungle village 150 kilometres north-east of Nicaragua's capital, Managua. Since then she has remained in hiding, provoking the anger of the government while receiving support from church groups and human rights organisations around the world.

Granada arrived in war-torn Mulukuku in 1990 and opened a clinic to serve the area's 30 000 residents. An Episcopalian, she and her clinic are supported by a network of Protestant churches in the United States.

On 14 November, Nicaragua's President Arnoldo Aleman announced that the government would investigate the clinic, which is part of a women's co-operative. Aleman sent ministry of health investigators to Mulukuku, where they seized patients' records and ordered the partial closure of the clinic. He claimed that Granada performed abortions, which are illegal in this country, and provided political support to the opposition Sandinista National Liberation Front, which, after a revolution in 1979, held power in Nicaragua until 1990.

Four days after troops failed to arrest her on 8 December (Granada had been warned of the troops' arrival in the village), interior minister Jose Marenco ordered her deportation. The clinic was closed down, and several government agencies began charging Granada with crimes ranging from providing assistance to armed rebels to using illegally-cut wood in the co-operative's carpentry workshop.

Granada is receiving vocal support here and abroad. A Managua judge ruled that the government had denied her an opportunity to defend herself against the charges. The Nicaraguan National Assembly's human rights commission has begun hearings on her treatment by the government.

A legal defence fund has been set up by St Boniface Episcopal Church in Sarasota, Florida, in the US.

Several US Congress members have drafted a letter to Aleman demanding he respect Granada and her work.

The US Embassy here has offered its support and Amnesty International has issued an international alert about Granada.

In an interview with ENI, Granada said that she was "embarrassed" by the attention that she had received in the past month. "One day I'm just doing my work, taking care of my patients, scrubbing the clinic, counting pills, and the next day I'm in hiding. It's terrible," said Granada, who requested that her whereabouts not be revealed.

The elderly fugitive admitted she had been depressed and ill for days after eluding her captors, but said she now felt "better", and was "very clear about what the issues are and what I have to do".

Granada vehemently denied the accusations against her.

"They accuse me of political proselytism, but what I do is educate the women about their rights, their human and civic rights, their rights as women. I talk to patients about their right to health under the Nicaraguan constitution. I urge them to use this right and support people that are concerned for the health of the poor. I never tell them to support a particular party," Granada told ENI. "We're trying to provide integral health care, so you can't just hand out pills. Rights are an essential part of health."

Granada also rejected Aleman's accusation that she had treated only Sandinista patients.

"All the people come to our clinic. I've treated many former Contras [US-backed guerrillas opposed to the Sandinistas]. I saved the life of one Contra chieftain who then went back to the mountains to continue doing horrible things," she said. "We've treated people with total impartiality in all our programmes. If we build 100 houses or dig 100 latrines, at least half of those go to former Contra families. The only way we can bring peace and reconciliation to the countryside is to be totally non-partisan in providing services."

She also denied the charge that abortions were performed at the clinic. "This is a vicious and totally untrue accusation," said Granada. "It would be the kiss of death in a Catholic country like this. It's illegal. We have absolutely never performed an abortion."

Granada told of a 15-year-old girl who had been gang-raped and came to the clinic seeking an abortion. "We begged her not to look for an abortion because it's illegal and people who practise abortions are untrained and work in unsanitary conditions," Granada said, adding that they had aided the girl with literacy training and by helping her to set up a small business after she had given birth.

"She's an example of how we deal with women who ask for abortions. We absolutely do not do them," Granada said.

Granada admitted that she had given food and medical care to members of a dissident insurgent group after they disarmed in 1997. She said she did so after the Red Cross requested her assistance.

Aleman's attacks against her were politically motivated, she said, adding that the government was "trying to destroy anything that smells of the Sandinistas because it wants to stay in power".

Granada claimed that going into hiding had been a learning experience. "What I'm experiencing now is the cost of standing on the side of the poor against people who really despise the poor," she said. "It's a lesson for me in solidarity. This is what the people suffer. And worse, they're tortured and killed. I hope that doesn't happen to me. I don't want to be a martyr. I just want to go back to work. But I am learning something as a Christian. Look what they did to Jesus. Why do I think I should get off easy?"


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Commission acknowledges that Ministry of Internal Affairs violated rights of North American co-op partner

By Mariela Ocón Rodríguez (La Prensa, January 16, 2001)

The Commission for the Defense of Human Rights
has determined that Minister of Internal Affairs José Marenco Cardenal violated the human rights of Mrs. Dorothy Virginia Granada, "by not giving her a hearing or informing her of the accusations against her, constituting violation of the right of due process, which is to say, a violation of her rights as a resident."

According to the Ombudsman Benjamin Pérez, his decision followed his office's investigations of Mrs. Dorothy Granada, 70 years of age, who had been accused of political proselytizing, performing abortions, and protecting irregular elements of the Andrés Castro United Front (FUAC).

Pérez said that after listening to the accusing parties and making on-site investigations, he recommended "immediate correction of present and future effects that infringe on the rights of the North American nurse."

In his decision, the Ombudsman set a period of five days for Minister Jose Marenco Cardenal to notify the Human Rights office of the measures that will be adopted to reinstate the rights of Ms. Granada.

After pointing out that the Ministry of Internal Affairs must not ignore the decision, Pérez said he hoped the nurse's rights would be quickly reinstated so that residents of Mulukukú will not be left without care.

Ana Quirós, a member of the Coordinadora Civíl (a network of civic organizations), expressed hope that the finding in Dorothy Granada's case will bring an end to repressive actions against Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Furthermore, she said, there should be a respectful attitude and recognition of the work that these groups are carrying on.

Jill & Others,

Some of you may be looking these up on your own, but since I know how hard it is sometimes to pull up these pages, I'll send them on to you.

Artículo 3
Artículo 4

Links to two articles in today's La Prensa.

Artículo 1
Artículo 2

For Immediate Release
January 3, 2001

Contact: Jill Winegardner, Gerry Condon
831/ 768-7004, 831/ 768-1556

Nicaraguan Government Caught in Lie
Accusations that U.S. Nurse Performed Abortion Proven False

[Se puede encontrar un artículo en español sobre este historia aquí.]

The Nicaraguan government's case against a U.S. nurse accused of performing abortions suffered an embarrassing setback today when Managua newspapers gave prominent coverage to a healthy one year old child which the government claimed had been aborted. It was only the latest twist in a story which has been the top news item in Nicaragua for over a month. Dorothy Granada, a U.S. nurse, who for 11 years has been directing a women's health clinic in rural Nicaragua, remains in hiding to avoid the government's attempts to arrest and deport her. The clinic she directed in Mulukuku, a poor village in central Nicaragua, has been closed down. And women's groups, human rights groups and health advocates in Nicaragua, the U.S. and internationally are calling on the Nicaraguan government to reverse its actions against Granada and the clinic.

In order to bolster its case, the Nicaraguan government published a full page paid ad in Managua's leading newspapers on December 26th. The ad, titled "The Truth About Dorothy Granada," claimed the 70-year-old nurse told her patients they should vote for the leftist Sandinista Party and that she also performed abortions. It included a sworn statement about one woman's abortion, purported to have taken place one year ago. But the government's story began to unravel dramatically when that same woman appeared at a Managua press conference yesterday with her one year old baby in her arms. The woman, Elba Rojas Hernandez, categorically denied the government's charges.

The press conference was held at the Managua offices of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, whose director, Vilma Nuñez de Escorcia, accused the Ministry of the Interior (Gobernación) with violating the human rights of Mrs. Rojas. "With its efforts to denigrate the work of Dorothy, [the ministry] is fabricating and inventing facts," said Vilma Nuñez. "This false testimony contains the implication of a punishable crime, abortion, and is committing outrage against the honor of a person."

A Nicaraguan judge ruled on December 14th that the Nicaraguan government had acted illegally in its attempts to deport Dorothy Granada because it had not granted her a hearing and had violated her due process rights. An appeals court is currently reviewing the case and may rule as early as next week.

The case gained international attention when Amnesty International issued an urgent alert calling for pressure on the Nicaraguan government to ensure the rights of the U.S. nurse, and the U.S. Embassy in Managua has been discussing the situation with Nicaraguan authorities.

The Women's Clinic in Mulukuku is supported by a network of churches and medical professionals in the United States who have generated hundreds of phone calls and faxes to the Nicaraguan and U.S. governments calling for an end to the persecution of Granada and the clinic. "This whole situation is really incredible," said Dr. Jill Winegardner, who has visited the Women's Clinic in Mulukuku several times. "Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the hemisphere. Those who are providing health care for poor women and children should not be persecuted."

- 30 -

Dear Carolyn (Scarr of EPI),

If only BA-cesi could be as effectively organized as the support for Dorothy!

I'm sure it's on Dorothy's website [No, but now it is!], but thought you might wish me to notify you that on tonight's news on KPFA, Anthony Fest played a very good story from WPKN in Bridgeport, Connecticut, about Dorothy and the clinic, including an interview with Dorothy. In case you wish to alert people to listen to it, or to tape it, KFCF keeps a 24-hour archive of programming. To hear it, go to and click on the "audio archives" link on the left side of the web page; scroll down the page and find the 6 p.m. block, and click on it -- within 24 (or 25) hours of the original broadcast (tonight between 6 and 6:30). If you have an MP3 player (e.g., RealPlayer or Windows Media Player) I am told it should automatically launch and play.

[Many thanks! to:]
Barbara Deutsch
1919 19th Street San Francisco 94107
ph 415 641-7538
facs 550-1470

SANTA CRUZ SENTINAL Saturday, December 23,2000



Granada's supporters
launch Web site

     Former Santa Cruz nurse Dorothy Gra-
nada's fight against the Nicaraguan government
has gone virtual. Her Santa Cruz supporters
just launched a Web site to coordinate their
efforts and keep abreast of changes in her
legal status.
     The Dorothy Granada Web site is located
at http// and
includes background n the case and recent
calls for action.
     Granada, a Santa Cruz resident in the 1880s,
started a health clinic in a remote Nicaraguan
jungle community 150 miles from the capital
Managua in 1990. In November, Nicaraguan
President Arnoldo Alemáan called for the clo-
sure of the clinic and Granada's deportation.
He's accused her of helping his political oppo-
sition and performing abortions, which are
illegal there. She has denied the charges and
is in hiding, vowing to stay and reopen the

Letter published in El Nuevo Diario, Dec. 24, 2000

Message from the women of Mulukuku to the Minister of Health

Esteemed Mariangeles Arguello, Minister of Health:

This Christmas in Mulukuku there is much rain, mud, and mosquitoes. Malaria and dengue pursue us. Nor does the Christ Child hear our pleas for the life of our community. They have unjustly closed the only clinic in the zone, saying it has not been approved by the Ministry of Health. But our cooperative has many letters sent to us by your ministry as proof of the coordination established between the cooperative and the hospitals. There are many instances of this. Even though, it is already known that the harassment of the Maria Luisa Ortiz Cooperative, the closing of the clinic and the persecution of the nurse Dorothy Granada have been an excessive reaction of the president.

So far this is how the government remembers the people of Mulukuku and its surrounding areas, not by surprising us with a Christmas present of medicines for the Central Salud in Mulukuku as the President had promised on November 14th, but by closing the clinic of the women's cooperative. These women, including Dorothy, have saved lives while attending to more than 22,000 persons who have no other alternative.

Mariangeles, as women we beg you to listen to our voice and act with justice and sincerity, because the ones who pay the cost of Arnoldo Aleman's outburst are humble persons without another way for the health of our families and our community.

We await your positive response,
The Women of Mulukuku

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