Nicaragua 2018

Yearbook 2018

Nicaragua. Nicaragua was shaken by political violence for most of the year, and both the legal security and the transparency of public bodies in the country were questioned by both the opposition and international observers.

What began with demonstrations against a pension reform in April developed into a massive dissatisfaction against the government at all, and the FSLN (Sandinist Front for National Liberation Front) worst crisis since it took power in 2007. Up to the end of September had over 500 people killed in violent clashes with police. When the riots first broke out in April, Police Chief Aminta Granera resigned and was later replaced by hard-fought General and President Daniel Ortega’s son-in-law Francisco Díaz.

According to Countryaah.com, Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua, a country located in North America. President Ortega defended the police’s actions by pointing out that the protesters were guilty of vandalism and terrorism and even hinted that the Islamic State (IS) was behind the unrest. He also expelled a UN delegation tasked with overseeing civil and human rights in the country. In mid-July, the FSLN-dominated Congress passed a law that opened to convict terrorism protesters. Both the US and the US cooperative organization OAS and the EU protested.

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The opposition demanded a dialogue with the government on condition that police violence first ceased, which President Ortega said no. He announced that a dialogue with the protesters would be established through the mediation of the Catholic Church, but at the same time accused the church of disloyalty to the government.

In addition, in November, a local organization reported that 420 cases of various types of attacks against freedom of the press were registered in the country. In four cases out of ten members of the FSLN government party were behind the attacks, and 19% were responsible for the police. At the same time, the escape from the violent Nicaragua increased. More than 20,000 Nicaraguan people sought asylum in neighboring Costa Rica. In the wake of the political crisis, economic problems also followed. The credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Nicaragua and predicted stagnant growth for the economy in 2018.

While the political tension eased, the social situation remained difficult: in May 1995 the country was paralyzed for two weeks by a strike called against the recent fuel price increases by the hauliers’ organizations, which were joined by small agricultural producers. took to the streets to protest the failure of state-owned banks to grant credit. Serious riots also broke out between December 1995 and January 1996, after the approval of the budget for the year 1996, when university students and professors staged violent protests to ask for an increase in appropriations for higher education (in accordance with the provisions of the 1987 Constitution, which indicated 6 % of the budget to be allocated for this purpose).

In October 1996, after a heated electoral campaign, general elections took place: in the presidential elections A. Alemán Lacayo, former mayor of Managua and candidate of Alianza Liberal (AL), a coalition of conservative parties, won with over 51 % of the votes on D. Ortega of the FSLN (37, 7 % of the votes), while in the concurrent consultations for the renewal of the National Assembly AL obtained 42 seats out of 90, against 36 for the Sandinistas.

Alemán’s victory was favored by the difficulties in which the FSLN was struggling after numerous cases of misappropriation of agricultural estates, industrial activities and institutes had come to light, thanks also to the complaints made by some of its moderate militants who left the party. credit from senior bureaucrats, top trade unions and Sandinista senior executives in the confused transition period that preceded the handing over of power to the Chamorro administration. For its part, the Frente failed to maintain its traditional electoral base, disoriented by too many concessions made to the right in recent years and by the decision to run a wealthy landowner and businessman from outside the party for vice president.

Alemán confirmed the economic approach of the previous administration and undertook to support the claims of the approximately 5,000 owners who had suffered expropriations and confiscations under the Sandinista government, including the Somoza family (in power with dictatorial methods almost continuously from 1937 to 1979). Thanks to a painstaking agreement reached in September 1997 by AL and FSLN, in the following November the National Assembly was able to approve a law that provided for the restitution or payment of compensation within 15years, real estate and agricultural estates larger unfairly expropriated, and gave rights to new owners in regard to the properties that did not exceed 100 m ² in urban areas and farms of less than 35 hectares. In the following years the persistence of serious economic difficulties helped to keep the social tension high, which culminated in April 1999 in student protests and in the haulers’ strike severely repressed by the police. In May of the same year some members of the FSLN who left the party gave birth to a new political group, the Partido popular Nicaragüense, which was placed at the center of the political spectrum.

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