The National Assembly, controlled by Ortega, canceled this Monday the legal personalities of three NGOs, two of them led by Sandinista businessman Leonardo Torres, and the other by economist and businessman Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, at the request of President Daniel Ortega’s Executive .
The outlawed NGOs are the private Universidad Hispanoamericana (Uhispam) and the Nicaraguan Council of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Conimipyme), both chaired by Torres; and the International Foundation for the Global Economic Challenge (Fideg), chaired by Martínez Cuenca.
With the outlawing of these three organizations, the first run by Sandinista businessmen until now allies of the Ortega regime, the number of local entities outlawed has risen to 52 since the socio-political crisis broke out in the country in April 2018.
The decree of cancellation of the legal personalities of the three NGOs was approved urgently with the vote of 82 deputies, none against, three abstained, and another six were present and did not vote, of the 91 legislators that make up Parliament.
University has graduated 6150 professionals
In a report, the Ministry of the Interior argued that in the case of Uhispam -registered as an NGO-, and Conimipyme, their boards of directors are headless and have not reported their financial statements for 2020 with their detailed breakdowns.
Nor have they presented the agreements (donors and NGOs) on their projects and activities that clearly define their source of funding, project portfolio, their social impact and if they are consistent with the aims and objectives.
Uhispam, whose rector is Torres, is a university founded in October 2000 and since then it has graduated 6,150 professionals, according to its authorities.
Meanwhile, Conimipyme, also chaired by Torres, was created in April 2002 and replaced the Superior Council of Private Companies (Cosep), the main employers’ association in Nicaragua, at the tripartite table in which the minimum wage for workers is discussed, after the anti-government demonstrations of April 2018.
Fideg measured poverty
In the case of Fideg, an NGO specialized in conducting socio-economic studies and surveys on the level of poverty in Nicaragua, the Government argued that it was not registered as a foreign agent “in breach” of the Law on regulation of foreign agents, “since it is Obliged subject because it receives donations from abroad ”.
In addition, he maintained, it has failed to comply with its legal and statutory obligations, did not present the 2020 financial statements with their detailed breakdowns, nor the report of previous donations from abroad, among others.
Fideg, created in March 1990, 26 days before Violeta Barrios de Chamorro assumed the presidency (1990-1997) who defeated the current president at the polls, is chaired by Martínez Cuenca, who in 2000 contested the presidential candidacy of the Sandinista Front Liberación Nacional (FSLN), together with former Vice Chancellor Víctor Hugo Tinoco, who is in prison accused of “treason against the fatherland”, and Ortega himself, who ultimately prevailed.
Martínez Cuenca resigned from the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Nicaragua in August 2018, a position he held since 2011, after the popular revolt against the Ortega government, which left 355 dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
52 NGOs outlawed
According to the official report, these three NGOs violated the general law on non-profit legal entities, and the law against money laundering, terrorist financing, and financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
In Nicaragua, the Ortega Executive, with the vote of the Sandinista deputies and their allies, have outlawed at least 52 Nicaraguan NGOs since December 2018.
The Interior Ministry has also canceled the registrations and perpetual numbers of three US and three European NGOs.
With information from EFE