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Hurricane Iotta leaves 21 dead and three missing in Nicaragua

Today's news report: two landslides in the same department, government abandons opposition municipalities; IMF provides millions in aid to Nicaragua

Last Wednesday, November 18, three people died in a landslide that occurred in the El Puyú community, located between the municipalities of Mulukukú and Waslala, in the North Caribbean Autonomous Region, as a result of the accumulation of water caused by the rains of Hurricane Iota, the Government of Daniel Ortega informed.

A day earlier, in the same department, another landslide occurred that buried members of six families, among whom a dozen deaths have been confirmed. With these deaths, there are 21 deaths from the destructive natural phenomenon, although the figure could increase because the search for three missing persons continues.

Read the full report about the aftermath of Hurricane Iota (in Spanish).

2. Government abandons opposition mayors

Liberal mayors denounced the neglect of the Daniel Ortega regime to properly address the emergency in opposition municipalities that have been affected by Hurricane Iota, while regretting not having the necessary resources to respond to hundreds of damages to roads, flooded crops, and destroyed or semi-destroyed houses.

In an interview given to the Esta Noche program, Ninoska Cruz, the deputy mayor of the Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL), an opposition political party, in Murra, sent “an S.O.S.” to the governments of the world and to national and international organizations in the name of the opposition municipalities, detailing how they have worked “alone” and “without the support of State institutions.”

“A lot of people have been affected. It’s sad, that’s why I’m sending an SOS to help us with this emergency. Here, we are alone, alone, alone, alone, ” Cruz denounced.

Read the full report (in Spanish).

3. IMF provides millions in financial assistance to Daniel Ortega’s government

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the delivery of 185.3 million dollars as “emergency financial assistance” to the Government of Daniel Ortega, which will help balance the accounts of the regime, affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

Half of the funds must be managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services and the World Food Program, “which will help the transparent execution of specific expenditures,” the IMF detailed in a statement.

This is the first time that Daniel Ortega’s Administration has received the support of this magnitude to face the expenses derived from the pandemic. While in April his government requested resources from various multilateral organizations, neighboring countries counted loans in the hundreds of millions.

Read the full report (in Spanish).

4. Sandinista judge frees man accused of murdering opposition member

Sandinista militant Abner Pineda, accused of murdering the opposition member Jorge Luis Rugama, 41, on July 19 in La Trinidad, Estelí, will be released after a judge sentenced him to one year in prison for the crime of “ reckless homicide ”, but the same sentence ordered it’s suspension and his immediate release.

According to the testimonies of the victim’s relatives, the murder occurred when Abner Pineda was aboard a caravan of Sandinista sympathizers and Rugama yelled at them: Long live Free Nicaragua!

Pineda reportedly pulled out a gun and shot him in the neck.

Read the full report (in English).

5. MEPs call for the application of firm sanctions to the Ortega-Murillo regime

A group of MEPs condemned the “constant” violation of Human Rights in Nicaragua and urged the European Union (EU) to apply “firm sanctions” against the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo until it guarantees free and transparent elections.

Soraya Rodríguez, MEP, insisted that the European Union needs firm actions that go through the implementation of individual sanctions and a clear roadmap that includes the release of political prisoners.

6. EIU: Ortega will remain in power in 2021, without free elections

In its report for November, The Economist Analysis Unit predicts that Daniel Ortega will remain in power in 2021. However, it warns of serious economic risks such as the fall in international reserves and possible imposition of capital controls, an increase in inflation due to the lack of financing of the fiscal deficit, and greater state control over the country’s economy.

The Economist indicates that despite the loss of popular sympathy for the Sandinista Front, the party will remain in power, which it has maintained due to its growing turn to authoritarianism because free elections will not be held.

Read the full report (in Spanish).

7. CONFIDENCIAL wins third place in Latin American Research Award

The investigation “Executions in the field: The massacre against peasants in Nicaragua”, by journalist Juan Carlos Bow, from CONFIDENCIAL, in alliance with the Connectas platform, was awarded third place in the “Javier Valdez” Latin American Prize for Investigative Journalism, announced by the Press and Society Institute (Ipys).

The report, published in three installments, reveals that thirty peasants and opponents of Daniel Ortega’s government were murdered between October 2018 and December 2019. The investigation was the only finalist in Nicaragua and Central America among the best investigations in the Latin American region.

Read the full report (in Spanish).

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This article has been translated by Ana Maria Sampson, a Communication Science student at the University of Amsterdam and member of our staff*

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