- BANCORP dissolves.
- OAS Electoral Experts Brief Alianza and Government Negotiators on Electoral Reform.
- Protests Staged at UCA
Five days after the US Treasury imposed sanctions on BANCORP, the financial entity announced its “voluntary dissolution”.
According to Treasury, BANCORP was a money laundering platform used by the Ortega-Murillo regime to hide money derived from ALBANISA, the joint venture owned by Venezuela’s PDVSA, who is the majority partner, and Nicaragua’s Petronic. BANCORP is also accused of maintaining business ties with Rosario Murillo, who was sanctioned in November for her leading role in the repression and for “engaging in acts of corruption”.
🔴Confirmada la disolución de Bancorp tras las sanciones impuestas por Estados Unidos. A los empleados del banco les avisaron el lunes que serían liquidados pic.twitter.com/Pclrr0gmEI
— Wilfredo Miranda (@PiruloAr) April 24, 2019
On March 7, Daniel Ortega ordered the state of Nicaragua to purchase BANCORP for $23 million, in an effort to shield the bank from US sanctions. The purchase was never published in La Gaceta — Nicaragua’s official newspaper — and was thus not made official.
OAS Electoral Experts Brief Alianza and Government Negotiators on Electoral Reform
Cristobal Fernández, of the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation of the OAS (DECO), arrived in Nicaragua to discuss electoral reform with the negotiating teams for the Alianza Cívica and the Ortega-Murillo administration.
Fernández leads DECO’s Electoral Technical Cooperation Section. He is scheduled to brief the negotiators this Wednesday morning. However, Foreign Minister Denis Moncada insists that the issue of early elections is not subject to negotiations.
El canciller del régimen Denis Moncada Colindres reiteró que "no está sobre la mesa el tema de adelanto de elecciones", las declaraciones las brindó minutos antes de reunirse con el representante de la @OEA_oficial, Cristobal Fernández y miembros de la Alianza Cívica.@hoynoticias pic.twitter.com/24DgYD5Xta
— LA PRENSA Nicaragua (@laprensa) April 24, 2019
On Tuesday, the Ortega-Murillo administration issued a statement confirming its delegates would attend the meeting with Fernández. The statement characterized the meeting as a “follow up on the Memorandum of Understanding” that the government signed with the OAS in 2017. The Memorandum established that the OAS would provide “technical support” to “strengthen the political-electoral institutions in Nicaragua.”
In response, the Alianza Cívica issued its own statement, claiming that their organization had requested the briefing in March. “We deny the malicious claims made by the government in its statement of April 23, which says that the OAS electoral reform project will involve only them.”
The Alianza also accused the Ortega-Murillo government of engaging in a “fallacious and ill-intentioned campaign to convince that international community that there is a negotiation going on in the country,” and pledge to return to the negotiations only when the government begins complying with the agreements.
OEA presentará proyecto de reformas electorales https://t.co/YJpEc0I19w
— Alianza Cívica Nicaragua (@AlianzaCivicaNi) April 24, 2019
To date, the Ortega-Murillo government has signed two agreements. The first deals with political prisoners and the mechanisms for their release, and the second deals with the restoration and ongoing respect for civil, political, and human rights. Neither agreement has led to any concrete actions by the government.
After the meeting, the Alianza’s José Pallais told a press gaggle that they supported the OAS’ support on electoral reform, and that the organization needed to consult all sectors of society to accomplish their task. Pallais also indicated that the OAS’ work on election reform could take around six months, a period of time the Alianza found acceptable.
Protest Staged on UCA Campus
For a second day in a row, a group of students at the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) staged a protest against Daniel Ortega on campus. Citizen video shows students surrounded by Nicaraguan flags, while singing “El Pueblo Unido, Jamás Será Vencido” (the people, united, will never be defeated), and Nicaragua, Nicaragüita.
Por segundo día consecutivo y pese al asedio policial, estudiantes protestan en las instalaciones de la UCA. ¡Viva Nicaragua Libre!🇳🇮 pic.twitter.com/xyZLYVxVCa
— Jhonatan Martínez🇳🇮 (@Jhon_Martinez14) April 24, 2019
Tomados de las manos, estudiantes de la UCA cantan "Nicaragua, Nicaragüita" en señal de resistencia y para pedir libertad, justicia y democracia para Nicaragua.
¡Qué vivan los estudiantes! ✊🇳🇮 pic.twitter.com/GhWMJ4dQ6G
— Leslie Ramos (@leslieramosc) April 24, 2019