Warning About a “Fearsome Spying Apparatus” in Nicaragua

Photo: EFE / Confidencial

 

The setting-up of a huge police and espionage system against citizens is denounced.

 

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Several Nicaraguan social movements and civic organizations denounced that the government of President Daniel Ortega has created a “fearsome apparatus of political and financial espionage” in the face of the political crisis experienced in the country.

“The Ortega-Murillo dictatorship has completed the setting-up in Nicaragua of a huge police and espionage system similar to that of a fascist state to act against citizens, non-governmental organizations and the private sector,” stated the Articulation of Social Movements and Civil Society Organizations in a statement.

This Articulation is part of the Blue and White National Unity coalition, which brings together various Nicaraguan sectors demanding the resignation of President Ortega.

The warning comes in reference to the publication on October 3rd of the new regulations of the Financial Analysis Unit Law (UAF) and the Law against Money Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Financing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

For the Articulation, those legislative changes “violate several articles of the Constitution.”

A call to be alert

The UAF office has access to personal data, salary movements of workers and employees, and information from NGOs and private companies and may act discretionally and without any control, warned this grouping.

“This super institution of political espionage is not obliged by law nor by any regulation to previously inform people or companies that their data will be reviewed whenever this body wants, as if they were a suspect or someone under investigation of money laundering or financing terrorism,” it alerted.

Therefore, in the opinion of these movements, “with the regulations decreed by the Ortega dictatorship, the stability of free enterprise is threatened, since the UAF could close any business temporarily or definitely when it considers that it has failed to comply with the rules of prevention or suspects that it is involved in the crime of drug trafficking.”  [Business people who have taken a stand in support of the civic protests could be charged for these and other crimes by the UAF].

Similarly, it alerted that the UAF office “has such power, that it could stop the operations of banks, financing institutions, insurance brokers, vehicle dealers, remittance companies, jewelries and non-governmental organizations, among others.”

“The dictatorship confers to the UAF the unconstitutional power to violate bank secrecy by having direct access to the data of bank customers through the Risk Center of the Superintendence of Banks and other Financial Institutions. All this also creates great uncertainty and legal insecurity to any investor,” it adds.

The government is seen as having conformed a “fearsome police and political espionage apparatus called the National System for Sovereign Security established in the Sovereign Security Law.”

Meanwhile, Nicaragua’s Supreme Court admitted on Thursday an appeal for unconstitutionality against the Law that criminalizes money laundering, financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, according to information provided by Vilma Nunez, from the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), who lodged the appeal.  [Ortega’s control over the Supreme Court makes it highly unlikely that the appeal will succeed.]

With information from EFE.



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