Ortega Gov. Justifies Confiscation of Citizens & NGO Assets

View of the main entrance of the cancelled and confiscated Central American University (UCA), in Managua. Photo: Confidencial

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, through its Attorney General’s Office (PGR for its initials in Spanish), tried to justify the massive confiscations in Nicaragua, arguing that they have simply “recovered for the people of Nicaragua” hundreds of properties that they consider were “being unduly used” by private individuals.

In a press statement released on May 17, the PGR claims that the “transfer to the State of Nicaragua” of hundreds of properties is the result of a series of criminal proceedings related to “drug trafficking, money laundering and the commission of crimes against citizen security, sovereignty, peace and the well being of Nicaraguan families.”

According to the regime’s narrative, the Nicaraguan State, based on what it asserts was non-compliance with the legislation that regulates non-profit organizations, has “recovered properties” that belonged to those organizations. 

In these situations “what has prevailed is the restitution by the State of properties that private individuals have improperly used, through legal subterfuge,” reads the PGR statement.

Confiscations exceed US $250 million

The attempt to justify the confiscations comes two days after the publication of an investigation by the Pro-Transparency and Anti-Corrupción Observatory, which calculated the value of the confiscated assets to be at least $250 million which, the report asserts, will have to be paid by the citizens, as it constitutes a public debt.

The investigation, dubbed “the New Ortega-Murillo Piñata,” reveals that the seizures began in 2018, but intensified in February 2023, beginning with the banishment of a group of 222 political prisoners, and then the denationalization of 94 additional citizens that followed shortly thereafter.

During the past six years, the regime has confiscated companies, homes, properties, media outlets, NGOs, universities, chambers of commerce and churches.

The authors of the report admit that, given the lack of information available due to the opacity of the regime and the fear of those affected, the estimate of $250 million for these new confiscations is very preliminary. 

“For the benefit of our population”

Regarding the use of the confiscated properties, the PGR justifies its actions by saying that “they have been destined for the benefit of our population,” ignoring the fact that most of the confiscated properties belonged to Nicaraguan citizens and organizations that worked in favor of the country’s most vulnerable populations.

The press release stated: “Making full use of its sovereignty, the State of Nicaragua restored these assets in favor of the Nicaraguan people, who are the most affected by the criminal actions and non-compliance of natural or legal entities who transgressed the country’s internal rules.”

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.