“If anything, I was struck by what good conditions the monkeys appeared to be in,” Kimberly Williams-Guillén, director of conservation science for Paso Pacifico, told TakePart. “The animals seemed to be in good condition other than being dead.”
There are increased concerns coming out of Nicaragua due to an on-going human rights crisis that began in April 2018 over planned cuts to welfare benefits. The government of President Daniel Ortega has been at the front of this situation and have done everything they can to silence and stop protesters.
This has all lead to multiple violent clashes on city streets between pro-government forces and protesters that have claimed more than 300 lives, injured more than 2,000 people and countless more have been imprisoned. According to human rights groups, this has included torture and the denial of due process. In return, the violence has prompted thousands of Nicaraguans to go into exile.
Here’s how we got to this point and what is being done to put an end to the violence in Nicaragua.
Back in April, the Nicaraguan Government announced that there would be cuts in social security payments. This resulted in immediate nationwide protests that brought flashbacks of the violence seen last year. These cuts were eventually rescinded but not the protests and calls for the resignation of President Daniel Ortega, who’s in his fourth term, to step down and for swift elections to follow. President Ortega balked at the notion of leaving office and says he’ll serve his full term until the next elections in 2021.
The Catholic church continues to be the mediator between the Ortega government and opposition forces in its efforts to initiate talks between the two bitterly entrenched sides to resolve the crippling ongoing crisis. Last week, a Vatican representative called for the continuation of talks and negotiations. The goal here is to try to release reforms to begin “free and transparent elections” in Nicaragua.
“The Holy See has been following with great attention the sociopolitical situation in Nicaragua and believes that the unsettled disputes should be solved as soon as possible,” Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva, told Reuters.
The Vatican is hoping to bring both sides together in a “renewed spirit of responsibility and reconciliation” to hopefully bring forth a resolution “that respects the truth, reestablishes justice and promotes the common good.” Jurkovic said at a speech on Sept. 10 during a session of the U.N. Human Rights Council on the situation in Nicaragua that these talks will be necessary if there is any hope of peace in the country.
“The Holy See strongly believes that it is essential to implement the agreements reached last March, to return immediately to open and mutually respectful negotiations and to realize, at the earliest, the electoral reforms for the holding of free and transparent elections with the presence of international observers,” Archbishop Jurkovic told Reuters.
The United Nations has also called for the immediate resignation of President Ortega, who has overseen violations of human rights in Nicaragua.
As the Vatican voiced its concern about Nicaragua, Michelle Bachelet, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, made comments on the same day about the violence in the country. She noted that while violence has decreased since the Ortega government and the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy met for peace talks in February, there is still human rights violation occurring.
“Between August 2018 and July 2019, human rights violations continued to occur in Nicaragua,” Bachelet told the Human Rights Council. “However, since the end of February 2019, when the Government and the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy resumed their dialogue, the number of violations against life and personal integrity has decreased, proof that dialogue is a possible and peaceful way to overcome the crisis.”
From mid-March to mid-June, the Ortega administration had released nearly 400 people who were detained due to protests over the last year. The majority, however, were released under restrictive measures. While most major protests have calmed over the last few months, there have been multiple human rights violations that have occurred. The government has banned public demonstrations from those that have criticized them and have also used violent tactics to stop citizens from public self-expression.
“We cannot remain in total silence, we cannot be silent,” Juan Mata Guevara, a bishop of Esteli, Nicaragua, said at the bishops’ conference.“This way of proceeding is an exercise of irrational authoritarianism. This reflects how the regime does not see the needs of those who suffer.”
We all love our puppies. There’s a reason they are called man’s best friend. They are adorable, loyal and sweet little pals who only want our affection and attention. However, giving them that much-deserved affection can sometimes backfire in a life-changing way — as it did for one Ohio woman earlier this year.
After nine days in the hospital, a woman woke up to find her hands and legs amputated and the reason behind their loss was a rare infection caused by puppy kisses.
The nightmare started after the woman returned home from a vacation to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Twitter / @cnni
When Marie Trainer returned from her trip, she experienced a backache and nausea that caused her to take time off of work. Soon, her temperature began fluctuating wildly — spiking and dropping sporadically. The sudden changes to her temperature and her worrisome symptoms landed her in the local emergency room on May 11.
When first admitted, Trainer was delirious and she soon fell unconscious. Doctors first suspected that the problem was some sort of tropical disease picked up from her travel to the Caribbean. However, this wasn’t the cause. It took the hospital seven days to eliminate that possibility and find the real cause of Trainer’s illness.
Trainer had contracted a rare infection from the bacteria Capnocytophaga canimorsus.
Twitter / @KXXVNewsNow
Doctors say bacteria was probably introduced into Trainer’s body when her German shepherd puppy, Taylor, licked an open cut somewhere on her body. As the infection took its course, the Ohio woman’s skin began quickly changing to a purplish-red color before progressing into full-blow gangrene in her extremities. She soon developed a blood clot that threatened Trainer’s life. The discoloration also spread to the tip of her nose, ears, and face.
While being hospitalized at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio, Trainer was treated by Dr. Margaret Kobe, the medical director of infectious disease. Kobe shared with CNN the process of identifying and treating Trainer’s illness.
“It was difficult to identify, We’re kind of the detectives,” Kobe explained. “We went through all these diagnoses until we could narrow things down. She didn’t lose parts of her face. But her extremities is what she had to have surgery on. This is off the scale, one of the worst cases we have seen in terms of how ill people become with infections. She was close to death.”
However, Trainer’s family wanted to get a second opinion before they made the life-changing decision to amputate.
Twitter / @WVTM13
Hoping to save Trainer’s legs and hands, her family reached out to see if they would get a less severe diagnosis. However, the damage was too extensive and had already corrupted the tissue in her extremities. Doctors confirmed the diagnosis of Capnocytophaga through the use of blood tests and cultures.
Trainer’s family then gave permission for her treatments. Trainer has now had eight surgeries and will soon be fitted for prostheses on her arms and legs. Gina Premier, Trainer’s step-daughter and a nurse at the same hospital she was treated at, spoke with CNN about the prognosis
“That was a pretty hard pill for us to all swallow,” she admitted. “To say she was fine a couple days ago on vacation and now she’s actively getting worse by the minute and now her hands and feet aren’t alive, like this doesn’t happen, it’s 2019.”
While this is a cautionary tale for all dog-owners, Trainer’s cause is a rare one.
Twitter / @ConLaGenteRos
This news has us seriously rethinking how we show our pups affection and vice versa. According to the Center for Disease Control, the bacteria is present in as many as 74% of dogs. However, most people who come into contact with infected dogs and cats don’t get sick themselves. The bacteria poses a greater risk to people with weakened immune systems, the elderly and children. Once contracted, symptoms of the infection usually manifest in three to five days. Three in ten of those who develop a severe infection will die because of Capnocytophaga.
Though changed forever, Trainer is grateful to still be living and is ready to move on to the next chapter of her life.
Twitter / @beshade1977
Though the bacteria was introduced via one of her dogs, Trainer has no intention of giving her pups away. In fact, she was eager to see them while she was still hospitalized. She asked doctors if her two furry friends could visit and they were happy to accommodate the request.
“They brought them here two times at the hospital so I can see them and that just put the biggest smile on my face,” Trainer told CNN.
It just goes to show that nothing can stop puppy love — not even a major bacterial infection.