On the morning of this Monday, August 15, Mario Hurtado, owner of the Prisa Pawn Shop, received an urgent call from Óscar Durán, his general manager in Nicaragua, informing him that police dressed as riot police had invaded the offices company headquarters, located in Managua, as well as the 38 branches located throughout the country.
Prisa is a pawn shop with a presence in all the departmental capitals of Nicaragua, and in several other municipalities, from where some 150 employees serve almost 22,000 clients (according to data provided by Hurtado, plus others available on its website). The company became news as soon as the week began, when photos of its branches invaded by the Police invaded social networks.
Hurtado told CONFIDENTIALthat the dispossession of his properties represents for him a loss of 4.6 million dollars, for which “I am looking for the Secretary [ministerio] of Foreign Affairs of Mexico to complain, because there is a free trade agreement between the two, which protects the investments of Mexican citizens.
The businessman explained that, although he was born in Nicaragua, he also has Mexican nationality because he is the son of a citizen of that country, where he has lived for two years, after traveling there to treat a medical ailment.
When detailing the losses, he explained that the company is valued at three million dollars (half of that amount, made up of the objects left in pledge), to which he adds the value of his seized house in Ticuantepe, in 600 square meters of construction with a swimming pool, tennis court, etc., in an area of 4 blocks, which costs an additional 1.6 million dollars.
Hurtado and his 150 employees are not the only ones losing. In the raid, the clients who had left their possessions as collateral for a loan were also affected, because “they took gold, silver, motorcycles, computers, items in pawn, even the cell phones of the workers, those of the managers, and that of the lawyer. Legally, what they took is not mine, but my clients’, he specified.
The businessman says that he does not understand the reasons for this attack, because, following the advice of his friends, he decided to withdraw from politics, stopped making comments on social networks, moved away from Diario La Prensa, and always took pains to comply with any tax obligation. or administrative that was in force.
“I am part of the [Unidad de Análisis Financiero] UAF”, as ‘Obligated Subject’, for which the company has a ‘compliance officer’. “My tax payment is up to date. I have no claim, nor has he informed me that there is any investigation against me, ”he asserted.
He remembers that “my friends told me: ‘retire from politics; one day they are going to stop you in the street, and they are going to put a kilo of coca in your car’. Knowing Ortega, it was better for me to withdraw from politics, even from El Azote Weekly, with which I collaborated for twelve years, where I signed as ‘Pocholo’. I also edited the Opinion section of La Prensa for a week, but I left all that behind”, he relates.
He says that he did not even participate in a chat group with opponents of Ortega; “I have never financed any political party, or any opposition politician,” he adds, recalling that in 2014, he was imprisoned for two years “for an alleged usury trial”, a sentence of which he only served six months, when friends of his pleaded before the upper echelons of the ruling party to secure his early release.
Although he has continued to try to communicate with Óscar, his general manager, or any of the other branch managers, or the staff who took care of his house, who also had their personal cell phones confiscated, he continues to be unsuccessful. For now, she only senses a little of what is happening, thanks to the social networks from which she had withdrawn, hoping that what finally happened to her would not happen to her.