Ortega Orders Confiscation of 16 Houses in Managua

and a raid of the home of feminist leaders Sofía Montenegro and Azahalea Solís

After the storm, the calamity continues… By PxMolina / Confidencial

Police operation executed 48 hours after Montenegro, Solis, and 92 other citizens were stripped of their nationality and their property confiscated.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – This Friday, February 17th, the Nicaraguan Attorney General’s Office executed the confiscation of 16 homes located in the Amazonia housing complex. That night, the Police Special Operations raided the home of Sofía Montenegro and Azahalea Solís, located in that housing complex in Reparto San Juan, Managua.

Montenegro, a journalist, and Solís, a lawyer, are members of the Autonomous Women’s Movement (MAM) and were not at home at the time of the invasion, so they remain free, witnesses to the raid said.

Both are among the 94 citizens who were stripped of their nationality on Wednesday, February 15, when the regime’s courts declared them “traitors to the homeland,” and ordered the confiscation of their assets.

Among this group of 94 citizens who were stripped of their nationality are: authors Sergio Ramírez and Gioconda Belli, Auxiliary Bishop of Managua, Silvio Jose Baez, human rights defender Vilma Núñez, the director of Confidencial, Carlos Fernando Chamorro and his wife Desiree Elizondo, as well as dozens of other citizens.

Montenegro and Solís live in the Amazonia housing complex in Reparto San Juan, located behind the Central American University. According to residents of the complex, the operation involved the mobilization of two trucks, three motorcycles and about 12 officers, some of them belonging to the Special Operations and others to the Directorate of Judicial Assistance.

Troops raided their property between 5:30 and 9:00 p.m. The details of what was seized are unknown. At the end of the day, without offering any information, most withdrew, leaving two policemen outside the site.

Amazonia consists of 16 duplex houses that were built in the early 1980s by a company associated with the then Ministry of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Reform (MIDINRA). The individual owners of the homes have titles to their properties since 1990, which are recorded in the Property Registry. The motive for the confiscation, which is prohibited by the Constitution, is unknown at this time.

The housing complex has been under intermittent police surveillance since 2019, when the regime escalated repression against all those it considered “political targets,” including Montenegro and Solís.

Montenegro was director of the Research Center for Communication, whose legal status was revoked by the National Assembly on December 12, 2018. Solís was a member of the Civic Alliance and participated in the negotiations of the national dialogue after the crisis of 2018 and in 2019. The dialogue failed because Ortega never complied with the commitment signed by Foreign Minister Denis Moncada to suspend the Police State.

Neighborhood sources reported that plainclothes police intensified surveillance of Montenegro and Solis on Thursday, February 16, a day after the court ruling against the 94. 

The Police observed Montenegro’s parked car, believed she was at home, and kept waiting for movement, but that never happened. When they returned later and discovered that Montenegro and Solis were no longer home, they apprehended the watchman to interrogate him.

At press time, it is unknown what has happened to the security guard, whom sources consulted by Confidencial identified only by the name “Agustín.”

The dispossession of the houses

The next day, the owners of the 16 duplex homes of Amazonia were summoned to an interview in the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to notify them of the astonishing dispossession of their properties by the State.

A PGR official verbally informed the owners that the houses — which have belonged to them for more than 30 years — now belong to the state, despite the fact that there is no previous process or claim that justifies the appropriation of these properties.

The options that the PGR gave the inhabitants of Amazonia were: to pay a monthly rent of US$ 500 to continue in their homes, or to vacate them.

The first owners of the 16 houses of Amazonia acquired their homes under laws 85 and 86, approved between February and March 1990, by the Sandinista government, led by President Daniel Ortega. Subsequently, they underwent revisions of the property laws of four governments, including Ortega’s second administration, in which they received their property titles and registered them. Some of the owners purchased their homes from the original owners and made expensive investments in them.  A third group of residents rent the houses from their owners.

“The Attorney General’s Office communicated everything verbally. It’s appalling that they strip people of what is theirs and then propose that they pay rent,” one of our sources said.

In this person’s opinion, this was a planned takeover. An investigation by a lawyer confirmed to the owners that the register entry —in which they appeared as owners— had been erased in 2022.

Among the owners of Amazonia there are also people linked to the Ortega regime, such as Juan José Ubeda, an official of INISER and former member of the State Security; engineer Ernesto Martinez Tiffer, Chairman of ENEL; and relatives of the Colonel Kautz’ siblings. However, it is unknown if they have also been stripped of their property.

“Everyone is concerned, and I mean in general. Nobody understands what is going on with the Sandinistas,” lamented a neighbor of the housing complex.

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