Nicaragua’s Maria Elena Cuadra Movement of Employed and Unemployed Women (MEC) has been partner of CoDev since the mid-1990s. For more than 25 years MEC has defended workers’ rights in the country’s free trade zones where many assembly-for-export maquilas (sweatshops) have been set up.
Since the beginning, the Canadian labour movement has accompanied MEC in its work for maquila workers’ and women’s rights. . Today MEC, like many Nicaraguan organizations, is under threat of being shut-down by the government of President Daniel Ortega. The government has already shut-down and seized the assets of eight human rights organizations. In the video message below, MEC director Sandra Ramos appeals to CoDev and the Canadian labour movement to take action to support MEC and other threatened rights organizations, as well as the more than 600 political prisoners she says the Ortega government is holding.