Supported by lawmakers from the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), the initiative proposes that the life imprisonment penalty could be applied for inhuman, degrading, and hate crimes committed against children, women, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
Right-wing groups have claimed that the Executive branch is promoting laws that will be used against its opponents to intimidate or neutralize dissidents and critical voices.
The Special Commission's chairwoman Maria Auxiliadora Martinez has insisted on the exceptional and revisable nature of the life imprisonment penalty after its approval.
The initiative to reform the Constitution in order to apply the life imprisonment penalty was promoted by President Daniel Ortega on September 14, after the murder and rape of 2 sisters, aged 10 and 12, in a northeastern rural community.
According to Vice President Rosario Murrillo 3 million signatures have been collected nationwide to support the project.
The inclusion of life imprisonment requires the approval of the Assembly since it implies reforms to both the Constitution and the Criminal Code. Currently, Article 37 of the Constitution establishes the maximum penalty as 30 years of imprisonment.
In the last 10 months, gender violence has left 65 women dead in the country, surpassing the 63 registered until October last year.