Ortega “Wants to Make Nicaragua a Prison,” says Stepdaughter

Zoilamerica Narvaez Murillo. Photo: miamidiario.com

HAVANA TIMES – Zoilamerica Narvaez Murillo, the stepdaughter of President Daniel Ortega, whom in 1998 she accused of 19 years of abuse and rape, said today that the president clings to power “to feel he’s the leader and messiah” and that he intends to convert Nicaragua “into a jail,” reported dpa.

In an interview with CNN in Spanish offered in Costa Rica, where she has lived in self-exile for several years, Narvaez analyzed the political crisis in her country and compared it with her personal experience of abuse by Ortega.

“The most important weapon that Daniel Ortega used with me and uses today with the country is manipulation. He wants to make all of Nicaragua a prison that is tailored to his intentions,” said the sociologist.

Zoilamerica said that the ex-guerrilla who will turn 73 in November is “a person who has no other reason to live than to feel he is the leader and the messiah.”

About her biological mother and current vice president, Rosario Murillo, she said that “she needs to be the person who decides and controls everything,” held up with Ortega in their huge residence in the El Carmen neighborhood of Managua.

“The Ortega Murillo family lives behind a series of walls (and from there) governs, lives, eats, directs the destiny of the country and their children. El Carmen is a kind of fortress and prison for themselves,” she said. .

Regarding the crisis that erupted in April with student protests, Zoilamerica pointed out that Nicaragua “broke the silence in an extraordinary way” as she did when she denounced her stepfather in court for sexual crimes, a complaint that was filed away by a local judge until the statute of limitations ran out.   

Nonetheless, she said she never imagined that Ortega and Murillo would respond to the protests with such a violent police action, which has left several hundred dead and more than 2,000 injured according to human rights NGOs.

“I knew that the regime was going to be deformed, but I never imagined that Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo were going to order to shoot at a march (…) This already passes the limits,” she said.

Narvaez said she first met Ortega in 1978, when she was a nine-year-old girl and that his figure infused her with “fear and distrust”.  She pointed out that she never saw him read a book, dance or sing.

Zoilamerica said that the first time she spoke with Murillo about the abuse she suffered from Ortega, she was 13 years old and her mother blamed her for “having caused” the sexual outrage. She said that she was later forbidden to live with her brothers and was “excluded” from the family until today.