Nicaragua LGBTI Resources

(See Below for Case Law, Evidence of Public Attitudes, NGOs that Assist or Advocate on LGBTI issues, and Country of Origin LGBTI Specialists)


Same-sex sexual acts were decriminalised by the Penal Code 2008 which abolished the crime of sodomy by repealing Article 204. The age of consent is 18 for both heterosexual and homosexual acts. 

The new Penal Code has taken steps to respond to hate crimes against LGBTI populations. Hence Article 36(5) of the Penal Code 2008 deems motivation of a crime by discrimination on sexual orientation grounds an aggravating circumstance for criminal responsibility.


No asylum cases of LGBTI persons fleeing Nicaragua are listed here, but we welcome suggestions. 


Nicaragua was the first country in the region to appoint a Special Ombudsman for the Rights of Sexual Diversity in November 2009. While the Ombudsman has been active in education, information collection and collaboration with NGOs, however, according to the US State Department’s 2012 Human Rights Report, there is widespread belief among the LGBTI community that the office does not have sufficient resources to operate effectively.

Despite these developments, violence against LGBTI persons has not decreased in Nicaragua. According to the Ombudsman, five people were killed and six were physically or sexually assaulted in the first five months of 2012. In October 2012, a transgender woman was sexually assaulted and murdered in Masaya. In February 2013, a couple was beaten to death in Leon, while another person was raped and killed by two attackers in Ticuantepe. No arrests were made in either case, according to the US State Department.

When reporting crimes to the police, LGBTI persons are often mocked and treated with distrust. Gay Star News refers to the case of a transgender woman who, after being stabbed in 2012, was laughed at by local police authorities for when attempting to report the hate crime.

The US State Department report mentions ongoing societal discrimination against LGBTI persons in employment, housing and education.


No NGOs working with LGBTI groups in Nicaragua are listed here, but we welcome suggestions.


Dr Harry E. Vanden


Dr Harry E. Vanden is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of South Florida, Tamp. He holds a Ph.D., Political Science with a minor concentration in Latin American Studies from The New School for Social Research, New York and an M.A in Political Science and a graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He has written and researched extensively on Central America political conditions and Central American Gang Activity. He has also carried out election observation in Nicaragua, Venezuela and Mozambique. He has acted as an expert Witness on country conditions in U.S. Immigration, Federal and State Courts in the areas of general political and social conditions, gangs and gang victimization in Central America, status of homosexuals and domestic violence. His most recent published books include:

  • Gary Prevost and Harry E. Vanden, Editors in Chief, Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020
  • Gary Prevost, Peter N. Funke and Harry E. Vaden, eds, The New Global Politics: Social Movements on a Global Scale. London and New York: Routledge 2017
  • Social Movements and Leftists Governments in Latin America. London: Zed Press, 2012, Gary Prevost, Carlos Oliva and Harry E. Vanden, eds
  • José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology of His Writings. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2011, translated and edited by Harry E. Vanden and Marc Becker
  • Latin America: An Introduction. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011
  • Gary Prevost and Harry E. Vanden; Politics of Latin America: The Power Game. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 4th edition (further revised with additional new chapter on U.S.- Latin American Relations ), 2012, Harry E. Vanden and Gary Prevost
  • Latin American Social Movements in the Twenty-First Century, Resistance, Power, and Democracy, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008, Richard Stahler-Sholk, Harry E. Vanden and Glen Kuecker, eds (Chosen as a Choice Outstanding Academic Book for 2009)
  • Inter-American Relations in an Era of Globalization. Beyond Unilaterialism? Whitby, Ontario: de Sitter Publications, 2007, Jorge Nef. and Harry E. Vanden, eds.


Researched by: Minos Mouzourakis