Nearshore Americas
President Daniel ortega

Nicaragua’s Ortega Continues to Detain Opposition Leaders

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega seems to have decided to win the upcoming elections by hook or by crook, as his regime has continued to detain potential presidential contenders in addition to stifling press freedom.

More than two dozen opposition party leaders have been detained this year so far, with the crackdown forcing thousands of Nicaraguans to seek protection in neighboring countries.

As many as 11,000 Nicaraguans sought refuge in Costa Rica in July and August alone, with the US Customs and Border Protection estimating that more than 13,000 people from the Central American country could have crossed into the US in July.

The government of Ortega has reportedly withheld newsprint for some newspapers. Its policemen recently raided the headquarters of the country’s leading news daily La Prensa and charged its managers with money laundering.

Ortega, whose wife is the country’s Vice President, is seeking a fifth term in office in the general election scheduled for November this year.

The detention of opposition leaders has made it easy for him to win the election. Just about every other candidate on the ballot has a history of collaborating with Ortega’s government, according to the New York Times.

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The United States and the European Union are unlikely to recognize the outcome of the election if it does not prove to be free and fair.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

1 comment

  • This is very misleading reporting. Independent polling consistently and currently shows Ortega with above 60% approval rating among Nicaraguans nationwide. His party, the FSLN, polls even higher. He leads a govt that is building hospitals, schools, low income housing, electrification projects, major highways, etc. His govt is recognized by world accounting bodies to be transparent in its use of funds. The police, despite what is reported by US allied sources, are not a force of repression. Nicas are immigrating out of tge country. True. Where were you when their migration was double during the neoliberal governments before the FSLN returned in 2007. Finally, please make note that easily 95% of those opposition members detained (who are reported as ‘precandidates’) were never registered with any political party. They have been detained for collaborating with a foreign power to do damage to the country. Your reporter should do a more thorough job.