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Ortega appoints director of the BCN, a trusted man of Ramiro Ortiz

Daniel Ortega removed from the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN), Helio Montenegro Díaz, former president of the bank Produce, and appointed in his place Tirso Celedón Lacayo, the main executive of the real estate business of the banker Ramiro Ortiz Gurdián, owner of the Banco Promerica, which has a presence in nine countries in the region, and operates in Nicaragua under the name Banpro.

The new director of the BCN, has been manager of Multicentro Las Américas, an investment of Ortiz Gudián, and has also been associated with various structures linked to the business of the presidential couple, such as the Corporate Bank, (Bancorp), where he served as one of its directors, until the entity was sanctioned by the United States Governmentwhich led to bankruptcy.

His name also appeared during journalistic investigations to confirm who owns the North Building condominiumowned by the company Desarrollos del Norte SA (Denorsa), which remains semi-occupied, not only as a result of the economic crisis in the country, but also because of the reputational risk associated with the work.

According to data taken from his LinkedIn profile, between 1996 and 2008, he worked —and studied— at the Central American Institute of Business Administration (Incae), where he obtained a degree in Director of Agroindustrial, Real Estate, Commercial and Financial Companies, and later a Master in Administration, specializing in Finance, Operations, and Management of Boards of Directors, in 1996.

Sources from the private sector revealed that Celedón does not work for Grupo Promérica, which was directed by the former CEO of the business group, Luis Rivas Anduray, now a political prisoner of the regime, but instead manages the real estate investments of Ortiz Gurdián, separate from Promérica, and business own.

Few want to work with the Ortega Murillo family… among them, Celedón

Celedón worked as manager of Nissan, before it was sold to Grupo Q, from El Salvador, to later take over the real estate businesses of Ramiro Ortiz Gurdián, among them, the Hexx hotels and associated shopping centers, located in Managua and Esteli.

“Since you already know who he represents, you can speculate what that appointment means,” said one of the businessmen consulted, without daring to go any further.

“He rubs a lot with the high circles of power,” said one of those consulted, who defined him as “a businessman who takes advantage of the opportunities that are given to him”, “in addition to the fact that there are fewer and fewer people who are willing to work with those people. ”, he valued.

Despite the fact that in mid-2018, in the midst of the April Rebellion, the then Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sued the Congress of her country, apply the Global Magnitsky Law to a group of Nicaraguansamong them Francisco López, Francisco Díaz, Gustavo Porras, Sonia Castro, Roberto López… and Tirso Celedón, that request did not prosper.

At least not for him, because as one of the sources said, “I can assure you that he continues to travel north… and I don’t mean Honduras.”

Celedón, who was chosen to complete Montenegro Díaz’s five-year term at BCN, which expires on June 10, 2026.

According to his LinkedIn profile, acts as director of the company Agro-real estate development, from August 2000 to the present.

African palm company

Amaru Ruiz, director of the Fundación del Río, said that an investigation led by that NGO showed that Celedón is a member of the board of directors of the company Palmares del Castillo, SA (Palcasa), dedicated to the exploitation of African palm, cultivation widely questioned for its environmental impact.

Palcasa supplies raw material to the Aceitera Real, located in Chinandega. Both companies are owned by Ortiz Gurdián together with other capitals, but given his status as majority shareholder, the banker is the one who appoints the main executives.

Palcasa is affiliated with the Chamber of African Palm Producers (Capropalma), a member of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep).

Celedón was also mentioned during the gigantic leak of documents which started a international journalistic investigation that produced the ‘Panama Papers‘, which as recently as May 28, 2020, places him as president and legal representative of a company called ‘Energía del Norte’.

A source from the energy sector said that the existence of that company was unknown to him.

‘Energía del Norte’, registered in Panama on July 26, 2007, listed Alfredo Celedón Lacayo as secretary, and Roxana Guerrero Guillén, married to Tirso for more than 20 years, as treasurer. The three repeat as ‘directors’ of the same company.

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