Ortega Confiscates Recreation Center in Condega, Nicaragua

The latest confiscation was carried out by the Police in coordination with the Education Ministry

View of the Xilonem Recreational Center, in Condega, Estelí. Photo: Courtesy

The center is owned by the “Aproroj” Association, although the Condega Women’s Network also operates there. Both NGOs were stripped of their legal status in May 2022

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The National Police and the Ministry of Education worked together in the manu militari takeover of the Xilonem Recreational Center in Condega, Estelí. The center is owned by the Association for Recreation, Education and Youth Guidance (Aproroj), and for 16 years the Condega Women’s Network for Training and Integral Development operated out of there. Both non-profits were stripped of their legal status by the regime on May 31, 2022, so the building has been closed ever since.

According to a former worker from the Women’s Network, on that day the head of the Ministry of Education office in Condega, Mery Johana Hernandez, along with another state employee, accompanied the police the entire time as they took over the center on June 20, 2023.

“They were present from the moment the police broke the locks to enter the building, until they finished their search of the facilities. Then they left the building, leaving a group of officers guarding it.”

In addition to the office of the Condega Women’s Network, there was a community preschool on the premises to which the Ortega-Murillo government “did not contribute a single peso for its operation,” said the former worker.

Those affected by the confiscation

The Xilonem Recreational Center was created in 1988 to offer the young people of Condega a recreational alternative to drugs and alcohol. And while it remained open to the public, some rooms were also rented out to cover maintenance costs.

“The Women’s Network did not have its own premises,” said the former worker. That is why they rented the offices that were on the second floor of the center. “We were an organization dedicated to advising and accompanying female victims of all types of violence, through judicial processes. We also trained women in the defense of their rights, and denounced cases of corruption that occurred in women’s access to justice,” she explained.

A room on the first floor housed the community preschool, which, according to the source, did not belong to the Ministry of Education and was created by Condega parents and families. However, now the entire building is going to be given to the Ministry of Education,” she added.

The dictatorship has confiscated the assets of many of the non-profit organizations that have been outlawed by both the National Assembly and the Ministry of the Interior. Over time, the assets of these NGOs have been transferred to State institutions and ministries with no compensation to their owners.

According to a report by the Fundación del Río, since 2018 the regime has ordered the closure of 3,364 NGOs in Nicaragua. That political decision has left 23,483 unemployed, is responsible for the loss of at least 255 million dollars in projects and has left 3.4 million Nicaraguans in vulnerable conditions.

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