The retired general commissioner Adolfo Marenco Corea, former director of investigation and intelligence of the Police and former member of the intimate circle of Rosario Murillo and the security adviser Néstor Moncada Lau, was arrested and sent to the El Chipote prison, in Managua, as confirmed a CONFIDENTIAL two sources linked to that institution.
The deputy director of the Police is the first senior police chief to fall from his post and be arrested, almost 50 days after the announcement of his departure from the sub-directorate of the Police. The arrest was carried out at the residence of a relative in Las Colinas, in Managua. According to a report from 100% News -which also confirmed the arrest- Adolfo Marenco was captured on Friday, when he was at the house of his current partner, where he was under de facto house arrest.
Marenco was house in jail, after allegedly falling out of favor due to allegations of corruption, and management of unauthorized private businesses, by a faction of the regime’s leadership.
In police circles, there are two versions that explain the action of the regime to imprison him. One is that it was to silence him because they accuse him of wanting to flee the country, with which Ortega’s circle would be giving a “kind of preventive coup”, the sources assured.
The other is that he refused to continue working for the Ortega-Murillos, further irritating the presidential couple. The order to retire him was signed by the ruler on November 25, 2022, after the surprise appointment as deputy director of the now General Commissioner Zhukov Serrano Pérez. He is a high official graduated in Russia, praised last year by the dictator, while attacking the Catholic Church.
Former deputy director Adolfo Marenco did not then accept a transfer on secondment to the Institute for Security and Human Development (ISSDHU), which administers the pensions of officers and also members of other institutions of the Ministry of the Interior, an administrative position very different from the conspiratorial work he carried out in his position, as director of investigation and police intelligence, and political secretary of the FSLN in the Police.
Marenco was promoted to general commissioner by Ortega, under the direction of the first commissioner Aminta Granera on September 13, 2011, when they also promoted Juan Ramón Grádiz, the director’s right-hand man; Ramón Avellán Medal, current deputy director general and designated as responsible for “Operation Cleaning”; Javier Antonio Dávila Rueda, then an official of the academy, and Glenda Zavala, head of criminalistics.
To position himself in the structure of an institution, Adolfo Marenco used his experience forged in the General Directorate of State Security and in the V region, and his relations with Néstor Moncada Lau and former police chiefs: former Inspector General Juan Báez, and the former head of Managua Róger Ramírez, with great power at the time and later moved to the Ministry of the Interior.
“I do not think that the fact that they have him imprisoned is going to have an impact because it is not a command that has permeated, for example, the bases. He and many have been promoted based on political favoritism. His rise has been fleeting, ”commented another source who has followed the career of the commanding officer imprisoned in the institution.
After four years as general commissioner, Marenco became the virtual number two of the Police and the first among the deputy directors and general commissioners, when he assumed the reins of police intelligence in 2015, and remained for seven years until the surprise change ordered by Ortega.
Adolfo Marenco: From the “good-natured” baseball player, to the repressive boss
Before operating in the shadows against opponents and characters whom the regime identified as enemies, Adolfo Marenco served as president of the Nicaraguan Federation of Associated Baseball (FENIBA) between 2009 and 2012. When he resigned from this position, he alleged that he was leaving for reasons from work and was replaced by baseball player Nemesio Porras.
The police chief was remembered as “good-natured” in appearance, since he used to give interviews to the media about baseball, which went against the grain of those who work in that area.
In 2018, when thousands of citizens demanded Ortega’s resignation in the streets with the peaceful protests that were brutally repressed by the Police, Marenco participated in the chain of command of the repression made up of the presidential couple, the adviser on security issues Nestor Moncada Lauthe first commissioner Francisco Díaz —in-law of the ruler and current police director—, the general commissioner Ramón Avellán (the executor) and Marenco, who supplied the intelligence information.
According to him Report of the Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), formed by the OAS to investigate the human rights violations committed between April 18 and May 30, 2018 in Nicaragua, an investigation should be considered of these police commanders, as well as of Commissioner General Justo Pastor Urbina, head of the Directorate of Special operations; those of department heads and those in charge of supervising the actions of the officers. The first of them, the inspector general.
“From the information available, it can be deduced that the State of Nicaragua has carried out conduct that, in accordance with international law, must be considered crimes against humanity,” the GIEI report stated.
The retiring commissioner-general was at the time, according to sources in a profile published in March 2020 on CONFIDENTIALa “sinister arm of El Carmen”, in reference to the presidential residence.
“The deputy director of the Police appears to be jovial, understanding and pleasant. Without his uniform, he can go unnoticed at a bus stop or in a mall and almost certainly no one will recognize him. Being the center of attention is not his priority, he doesn’t like being in the police command structure either. At least not before the eyes of the public”, relates the profile of Marenco.
His departure now occurs amid the restructuring of the counterintelligence area around Ortega to identify potential “internal enemies.” The changes include the promotion of figures such as the retired General Commissioner Horacio Rocha, former head of the Personal Security Directorate, whom the ruler appointed as an adviser with the “rank of minister.”
The sources indicated that Rocha’s choice was due to the search for loyalty, in the midst of mistrust in the circle of power after the defections of officials last year and who could become valuable sources of information abroad, given that they know how the system works inside.