The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo dismissed the head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), Edward Francisco Centeno Gadea, and the general secretary, Ana Marcia Zeledón Avilés, daughter of the mayor of Matagalpa, Sadrach Zeledón, and left Vice Minister Isidro Rivera as the interim head of the institution. However, sources close to the Sandinista Front indicated that Rivera “could be next on the list”.
The dismissals are in response to investigations into acts of corruption. “The economic police is on the hunt investigating acts of corruption in mayors’ offices and ministries”, a source linked to the FSLN confirmed to CONFIDENCIAL.
Centeno Gadea was mayor of Ocotal, and political secretary in that area. He served as head of MAG for eight years, where he arrived after the departure of Ariel Bucardo, in February 2014.
His appointment was made official through presidential agreement 34-2014, and at that time, government sources assured CONFIDENCIAL that Centeno was a “loyalist of the compañera” referring to Rosario Murillo. Centeno participated in the government delegation headed by Foreign Minister Denis Moncada, which participated in the second national dialogue between February and June 2019.
The last time that the media supporting the pro-Ortega regime quoted Centeno as minister of MAG was in a publication on June 10. On that occasion, the now ex-minister had returned from an official visit to Belarus, focused on paving a path for cooperation between both countries and the technical training of specialists in animal production and soil use.
Ortega has yet to make his dismissal official through the publication of a decree in the official newspaper, La Gaceta, almost a week after the fall of Centeno.
This Monday it was also made known that the Sandinista mayor of Rivas, Wilfredo López Hernández, is being held in Managua, where he was taken last Saturday, after the Police raided his house located in the residential area of Los Robles, in the city of Rivas, according to sources linked to the mayor's office.
The sources indicated that last Saturday night, June 25, the Police returned to the mayor's house and seized two pick-up trucks and a Honda car, as well as a large amount of money, which allegedly exceeds US$30,000 (more than one million cordobas).
López, a local FSLN leader, is being investigated for the second time for alleged acts of corruption, including an alleged overvaluation of the “Casas para el Pueblo Bismarck Martínez” project, which has not yet been inaugurated, and the registration of properties in the name of third parties.
However, FSLN sources in Rivas assure that López is not under arrest and will continue as mayor, although the municipal government is intervened by the presidency through the Instituto de Fomento Municipal (Inifom).
This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff