By Carlos Polo Samaniego,
  Director, Latin American Office
  Population Research Institute

  LIMA, Peru, November, 2007 ( – Human Rights Watch wants abortion for Nicaragua. It wants Nicaraguan law to be altered and its investigators, Lance Lattig and Angela Heimburger, demand it with a passion. But…does Human Rights Watch have the right to do it? May we know what authority this foreign institution has to supersede the national laws of a sovereign nation like Nicaragua? Or is it that, well within the twenty-first century, the majority vote of the National Assembly of a country can be changed from outside, in the purest style of imperial Rome and its “protected” kingdoms and provinces? 

  Does Human Rights Watch think that there are primary nations and secondary nations?

  Human Rights Watch is an institution that in recent years has supported the process of democratization in the region. It is therefore surprising that two of its investigators have written the editorial published by El Nuevo Diario on October 26th, surprising because of the sheer quantity of lies that the article in question contains.

  It isn’t often that we see a democracy constructed on a foundation of falsification of the truth and confusing the citizens(and especially the women of the society). Something must not be right with Human Rights Watch for them to have let loose such a torrent of error.

  For example, Lattig and Heimburger have affirmed that “in accordance with information released by the government itself, the maternal mortality rate has increased by 100% in the last year.” But the real data shows that their assertion is false…by a little more than 100%.

  Maternal deaths reported by the government haven’t increased, but have actually decreased by about 4%. Anyone can verify this by accessing the web page of the Nicaraguan Health Ministry and observing the numbers (see