The lawyer Werner Vargas, candidate of the Daniel Ortega regimebecame this Thursday, August 11, the new secretary general of the Central American Integration System (SICA), after receiving the support of the presidents of the region who voted in favor of the official, despite the fact that his decision implies recognition of the increasingly discredited Nicaraguan dictatorship.
With this decision, the Central American rulers put an end to the vacancy that lasted from July 2021 until the election of Vargas. The term of the secretary general of SICA is four years and it was up to Nicaragua to elect for the period 2022 to 2026.
The information was confirmed at 1:21 p.m. on August 11, through a tweet from the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
#ChancellorGT @MarioBucaroGT participated in the Extraordinary Meeting of Heads of State and Government of the @sg_sica on behalf of the President @DrGiammattei where the new Secretary General of the #SICAWerner Vargas, for the period 2022-2026. #SICA Region pic.twitter.com/eaRudraqMx
– MINEX Guatemala 🇬🇹 (@MinexGt) August 11, 2022
In a subsequent statement, the Nicaraguan regime celebrated that Central America today “has come together again as forces of glory,” committed to continuing to work together, consolidating peace.
“We are going forward and always beyond, in the words of our heroes and founding fathers who dreamed of a Central America of union, peace, work and a future,” says the statement signed by Ortega and his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo.
The declaration of the Nicaraguan dictatorship was described as a “cynical expression”, by those who today subject the people of Nicaragua to the worst repression in memory, according to the former president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, on her twitter account.
The former Costa Rican president Carlos Alvarado Quesada also spoke, questioning the vote delivered by the authorities of his country in favor of Ortega’s candidate.
With Costa Rica’s vote, the representative of the Daniel Ortega dictatorship, which violates human rights, persecutes the media and journalists, and holds political prisoners in inhumane conditions, will “lead” SICA.
– Carlos Alvarado Quesada (@CarlosAlvQ) August 11, 2022
On June 23, the Central American foreign ministers accepted the Nicaraguan’s candidacy, after the impasse caused by Ortega, who nominated mostly political rather than technical profiles.
Costa Rican Foreign Minister Arnoldo André Tinoco stated in a statement published last August 10 in the website of your Ministry, that at least 153 million dollars are stranded —unable to be executed—because the organization is headless and the execution of the resources depends “on the signature of the secretary general.” He argued that his country’s decision does not mean support for Ortega.
Costa Rica denies that it supports the regime
“It is completely false to affirm that the election of candidate Werner Vargas is a boost for Daniel Ortega. Costa Rica maintains its condemnation of the violation of Human Rights that occurs in Nicaragua. We are concerned about the political prisoners and their families, the lack of freedom of the press and other aspects that have been resolved by the International Organizations, whose resolutions we have strongly supported”, said André Tinoco.
Last June, the Costa Rican foreign minister reported that he held two conversations with his Nicaraguan counterpart, Denis Moncada Colindresand announced that they were preparing for the regularization of the regional body, despite the fact that that same month eight former presidents rejected the official decision, because they considered it “incongruous” with Costa Rican values.
According to your LinkedIn professional profile, the new general secretary of SICA served as former executive director of the same organization between 2014 and 2020, when the president of that same organization was the Guatemalan Vinicio Cerezo. He is a specialist in human rights and public international law, two areas in which precisely the Nicaraguan dictatorship is questioned for the abuses against its citizens.
Ortega has governed the country since 2007. He was re-elected last year with his wife Rosario Murillo as vice president, after voting without democratic guarantees, marked by the imprisonment of seven presidential candidates and more than 40 political, social and economic leaders.
Before Vargas, Nicaragua’s previous candidate was former Nicaraguan Trade Minister Orlando Solórzano. According to diplomatic sources from CONFIDENCIAL, the first candidate was Cerezo himself. Ortega then proposed a shortlist made up of former guerrilla Orlando Tardencilla, architect Luz Marina Escobar and interior minister María Amelia Coronel Kinloch, which was rejected at that time by the region, which considered it made up of “people without much knowledge” and “ close to the regime.
Costa Rican professor: “It’s a mistake”
For his part, the professor Carlos Murillo Zamorafrom the School of Public Administration of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), said that he does not know Vargas, but said that “whoever pays for the music sends the dance” in reference to the fact that Ortega supported him and the official assumed commitments with him. Nicaraguan regime.
“Ortega is going to interpret it as support and in practice it is. From my perspective, what they are doing is a serious mistake, because SICA is based on three pillars, one of them is democracy, it is in the 1987 Guatemala agreement, and the presidents are violating a fundamental principle of the Central American integration system and they are doing it as the Government of Costa Rica said for money. That is the most serious thing. Democracy in Central America, the rule of law, is more relevant,” added Murillo Zamora.
The specialist explained that even the geographical rotation, for the appointment of the general secretary of SICA, is not a norm, but an agreement of presidents and, therefore, if they established it, they themselves can change it at any time.