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June 2, 2022
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Regime cancels 96 NGOs, including one directed by Zoilamérica Ortega Murillo

Regime cancels legal status for Upoli, Ucatse and centers linked to the Diocese of Estelí

The National Assembly canceled this Thursday, June 2, the legal status of another 96 organizations nonprofits, including the Center for International Studies Foundation (CEI) —directed by Zoilamérica Ortega Murillo, daughter of the ruling couple in Nicaragua—; the Nicaraguan Development Institute (INDE), which is considered the social arm of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep); and the Federation of Professional Associations of Nicaragua (Conapro), also from Cosep. The NGOs are pointed out for not registering as foreign agents and failing to comply with the General Law of Regulation and Control of Non-Profit Organizationswhich entered into force on May 6.

The cancellation —approved with 75 votes from the Sandinista National Liberation Front caucus, 14 abstentions and two present— supposes the disappearance of most of these NGOs; however, there are exceptions, since some of these organizations —such as INDE and Conapro— are also registered with the Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce (Mific), so the derogation of their legal status will not imply the closure .

A spokesman for INDE explained to the Efe agency that since 2014 the institution has not been registered as an NGO, and that it is regulated by the registry of Chambers, Federations, and Business Confederations of the Mific, not by the Ministry of the Interior (Migob), which It is the one that governs non-governmental organizations. For that reason, the cancellation of the legal personality “does not harm its current legal status and, therefore, it continues to operate normally,” he maintained.

INDE, which defines itself as “an organization that promotes and defends the economic and social importance of private enterprise,” was founded in 1963, and since then it has carried out community and family development programs by financing companies, supporting young entrepreneurs and networks of professionals who respond to the country’s demand.

The massive cancellation of legal entities did not generate any debate in Parliament. The members of the Board of Directors read the legislative decree presented by the Sandinista deputy Filiberto Rodríguez, at the request of the Migob —which alleges that the canceled entities “have transgressed and failed to comply with their obligations” and have “hindered the control and surveillance” carried out by those entities—and automatically the legislators proceeded to approve it.

The NGO led by Zoilamérica

In the new list of canceled organizations, the CEI stands out, of which she was vice president and executive director Zoilamerica Ortega MurilloOrtega’s stepdaughter and daughter of his wife, Deputy President Rosario Murillo.

Ortega’s stepdaughter —who in August 1998 accused the president of having raped her constantly since she was nine years old, a case that was shelved in 2001 by the courts on the grounds that it had prescribed— fled into exile in Costa Rica after considering herself persecuted by the Nicaraguan state.

The CEI was created on March 9, 1990 during the transition period of the first Sandinista regime (1979-1990), before the notarial documents of Luis Ezequiel Alvarado Ramírez, who was Nicaraguan ambassador to the OAS until October 27 of the year past.

On March 24, 1990, Parliament, then controlled by the Sandinistas, approved the decree that granted legal personality to the CEI, 31 days before Ortega handed over power to former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997).

That foundation began to operate legally on April 3, 1990 after the current president published the decree in the Official Gazette.

Other organizations dissolved by Parliament were the Nicaraguan Pediatric Society Association, the Internet Association of Nicaragua, the La Cuculmeca Education and Communication Association, and the Esquipulas Foundation, among others.

The crusade against NGOs

Currently, the Ortega-Murillo regime maintains a crusade against the social organizations that it has left 452 NGOs canceled since 2018of which 378 have been settled so far in 2022.

According to deputy Filiberto Rodríguez, promoter of the cancellations, it is an “ordinance” aimed at combating money laundering and punishing the organizations that were involved in the 2018 protests, which the regime defines as an attempted coup. .

Rodríguez cites a Migob report in which he argues that the NGOs have allegedly failed to register “in the registry of foreign agents, these being obligated subjects, in accordance with the Law Regulating Foreign Agents”, approved by the Sandinistas after the demonstrations. anti-government protests that broke out in April 2018.

In addition, according to the Government, these NGOs have violated the General Law for the Regulation and Control of Non-Profit Organizations, in force since May 6; as well as the Law Against Money Laundering.

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