Monday, October 3

Nicaragua outlaws another 100 NGOs, including two former Sandinista military

The Government of Nicaragua, through the Ministry of the Interior, has canceled this Monday the legal status of another 100 NGOs, including two created by former Sandinista soldiers and ex-combatants.

In the new list of affected NGOs is the Association of Retired Combatants of the Sandinista Popular Army, Renewal Movement (Asocomret), made up of former members of the former Sandinista Popular Army (EPS) and the Ministry of the Interior (now called the Ministry of the Interior). .

Also the Association for the Comprehensive Development of Army Retirees, Ministry of the Interior and Demobilized Persons from the Nicaraguan Resistance Horizonte Azul (Blue Horizon Association), which was created in January 2007, when President Daniel Ortega returned to power.

With the outlawing of these 100 non-governmental organizations, 1,868 entities of this type have been closed since the popular revolt of April 2018, described as an attempted coup by President Ortega.

So far this year, Sandinista legislators and their allies in the National Assembly (Parliament) have outlawed 1,269 NGOs and a total of 1,468 since December 2018. Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Interior has canceled the legal status of another 400 NGOs – based on a recent reform that grants it this power, which previously corresponded exclusively to Parliament–, which adds up to 1,868 illegal ones, out of nearly 6,000 registered.

The new list includes the Association of Demobilized Resistance, made up of former members of the “Contra” who fought the Sandinistas with arms during the civil war of the 1980s of the last century. In addition, there are also environmental, medical, educational, community development and care organizations at risk.

for breaching obligations

According to the Ministry of the Interior, these 100 NGOs failed to comply with their obligations as established by the Law for the Regulation and Control of Non-Profit Organizations and its Regulations, and the Law Against Money Laundering, the Financing of Terrorism and the Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Among others, the Ministry of the Interior argues that they were abandoned, they did not report financial statements for more than 4 and 24 years, details of donations, their origin and final beneficiary. The Government maintains that the boards of directors were headless.

According to Sandinista deputy Filiberto Rodríguez, one of the promoters of the initiative, the affected NGOs have used resources from the donations they received to try to overthrow Ortega in the demonstrations that broke out in April 2018, although he has not presented evidence.

In April 2018, thousands of Nicaraguans took to the streets to protest for some controversial social security reforms, which later became a demand for Ortega to resign because he responded with force. The protests left at least 355 dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), although local organizations raise the figure to 684 and the Government recognizes 200.

Nicaragua has been going through a political and social crisis since April 2018, which has been accentuated after the controversial general elections on November 7, in which Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth consecutive and second along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with her main contenders in prison. Ortega, close to turning 77, has been in power for 15 years and 7 consecutive months, amid allegations of authoritarianism and electoral fraud.

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