Nicaraguan Army Speaks on the Paramilitary for the First Time

Former Supreme Court Justice Rafael Solis, reiterated this Sunday that it was Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo who allowed and ordered the arming Sandinista sympathizers

By Elizabeth Romero  (La Prensa)

Proclamation of a group of the pro-Ortega paramilitary forces. (See below)

HAVANA TIMES – Although in the last months of sociopolitical crisis the presence of paramilitaries has been visible and they were the ones who executed the “Clean-up Operation,” which claimed the lives of more than 325 Nicaraguans, now the Nicaraguan Army hinted yesterday that it will not allow armed people of any side and speaks of applying the law.

This is the first time that the Nicaraguan Army has referred to application of the law to paramilitary groups, after “La Prensa” sent inquiries about the circulation of a video on social networks where armed groups pro-regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo threatened those who oppose the dictatorship with death.

For his part, the ex-magistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) and former close ally of Ortega, Rafael Solis, reiterated this Sunday that it was Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo who allowed and ordered the arming of Sandinista sympathizers, during the violent repression to lift the barricades installed by some Nicaraguans.

In an extensive interview with journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, Solis also admitted that he did not know why the Army had not disarmed the paramilitaries, although he made it clear that the armed forces had remained aloof from the regime’s decision to arm civilians.

Solis also admitted that the presence of paramilitaries was unconstitutional and a barbarity that should not have been allowed, because only the Army and the Police have that power by law for reasons of national security and public order.

Although the Army spoke of applying the law, on social networks a video circulates in which a self-described Candido Perez Marcia Eastern Front appears, allegedly covering the departments of Masaya, Granada, Carazo and Rivas, publicly showing their existence and loyalty to dictator Daniel Ortega.

When asked about this armed group, with the Sandinista Front flag and military rifles, the military spokesman, Coronel Alvaro Rivas, replied:

“Anyone that acts against what is expressed in the law, must respond for their actions and unlawfulness before the competent authorities. In the issue of possession and carrying weapons for restricted civilian use, the Law 510 establishes how the competent authorities should proceed.”

It is also the duty of the Police

Although this suggests that this military institution will not allow armed groups to operate in the country, the law to which Rivas refers to directly confers powers on the Police.

However, part of article 92 of the Constitution, relating to national defense, states that “the Nicaraguan Army is the armed institution for the defense of sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”

And that military body establishes Law 510 among the binding laws for its mission, functions and attributions.

They have kept silence

Since the paramilitaries appeared at the crudest moments of the repression suffered by the population, especially during the so called “Clean-up Operation” in different parts of the country, the Nicaraguan Army has kept silence about these armed groups.

Moreover, in his public resignation letter, addressed to Ortega and Murillo, former magistrate Rafael Solis said: “I do not want a civil war for Nicaragua, but it is clear to me that you are going down that path and before an Army that for some reason has not disarmed the armed groups. It is also logical [that if all civic means of protest are closed] to expect that the opposition groups will seek how to arm themselves and the country will go back forty years, and return to those cycles of violence so characteristic throughout our history.”

Law 510 is the special one for the control and regulation of firearms, ammunition and explosives and other related materials, which establishes the Directorate for the Registration and Control of Firearms, Ammunitions, Explosives and Other Related Materials (DAEM) of the Police to enforce the law. However, the Ortega Police has been widely accused of operating alongside these irregular armed groups.

In part of article 124, the law in question says that “persons who commercialize, manufacture, export, import, hold and store firearms and ammunition of the exclusive use of the National Army, National Police, and the prison system, as well as explosives or accessories, or any other type of military equipment, commit the crime of possession and use of weapons.”

“And they will be punished with a main penalty of eight to ten years of in prison, plus the immediate confiscation of seized goods and accessories, plus an accessory penalty equivalent to the payment of ten average minimum wages,” said the same article.

And, in another part of the same article, it is stated that “firearms of strict military use, must be delivered by the enforcement authority to the Nicaraguan Army.”

Threats of paramilitaries

In the video the paramilitaries do not only abound in threats against the people that dissent from the regime, but for several minutes they appear shooting off the weapons of war that they carry.

In its final report on the violent events that Nicaragua suffered, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) verified that “during the acts of violence that took place after the 2018 crisis, the actions of groups with high firepower and organization that took to the streets using weapons of war.”

An outdated discourse

In an incoherent message, the so-called group Eastern Front insists on the version of the “coup” used by the regime when referring to the self-convened population, despite the fact that different international organizations such as the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) have emphasized that in Nicaragua there has not been a coup d’état.

The paramilitaries appear with an outdated discourse as if “the enemy continues to be the same, the bourgeoisie, that traitor, that sell-out of the homeland, that manipulator, that lackey of US imperialism, of information that causes fear and terror to our people.”