More than 10 million dollars have been invested by Daniel Ortega’s regime in 19 state procurement contracts to tend to the covid-19 pandemic, between June 15 and September 22, 2020, according to part of the documents published by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, as a requirement established by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to access emergency financing of 185.3 million dollars.
Purchases were divided into four items. The most expensive purchase was that of medical equipment, which included the acquisition of ventilators, hospital beds, portable ultrasounds, vital signs monitors, and other supplies, valued at more than 47 million dollars. Likewise, a large number of medicines were purchased for an amount greater than 3.44 million dollars.
Among the companies that received tenders, there are five that were awarded contracts for more than one million dollars: Bühler Pharma SA: three contracts for 2.8 million; Generic Pharma GP SA: two contracts for 1.5 million; Refanic: a contract for 1.1 million; Yale Healthcare: a contract for 1.1 million, and Cam International Nicaragua: a contract for a million dollars.
2. Slight upturn in Covid-19 cases
Independent doctors have warned of a slight upturn in Covid-19 cases in some national public hospitals, and have called for strengthening measures to prevent a re-outbreak of the coronavirus.
The increase has been observed in the cities of Managua, Chontales, Madriz, Rivas, León, and the southern Caribbean of the country.
In the specific case of the Juan Antonio Brenes de Somoto hospital, medical sources have reported fourteen positive cases and five suspicious cases in the last two weeks; among those infected are a policeman and two nurses.
3. Villagers in Bilwi denounce the politicization of emergency
The Daniel Ortega regime estimates that the economic impact of hurricanes Iota and Eta in Nicaragua is 742 million dollars, according to a report presented by the head of the Ministry of Finance, Iván Acosta.
Due to the two natural phenomena, 5,800 homes were destroyed and another 38,000 were partially damaged, and as a consequence, 32,117 families had to be taken to shelters. As of November 24, 1,365 families still remained in shelters in the municipalities of Waspán, Bilwi, and Prinzapolka.
In Bilwi, the villagers demanded that the government stop politicizing emergency aid so that they can receive food and support for the reconstruction of their homes without any political discrimination. They also demanded better conditions during their stay in the shelters.
3. Millionaire losses in bean production
The Union of Agricultural Producers of Nicaragua alerted the loss of between 35% and 45% of almost two million quintals of beans that were expected for the second season and warned of the possibility of speculation with the price of beans.
The price for a quintal of beans was 1,200 córdobas before the impact of Hurricane Iota, and during the week of November 7, it increased to 1,700 córdobas.
4. Deputy María Fernanda Flores impeached
The president of the PLC, María Haydeé Osuna, promoted the impeachment, loss of immunity and deputy status of María Fernanda Flores, wife of former president Arnoldo Alemán, with the support of the Ortega bulldozer.
Flores was impeached with 80 votes, including 70 from the Sandinista caucus and 10 from Liberals. According to Osuna, the petition was made because the former deputy blocked the highest authority of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party and violated a mandate of the Liberal Convention that ordered the holding of assemblies throughout the country.
Flores de Alemán defended herself by claiming that Osuna made a pact with the FSLN to commit what she considered to be an illegal impeachment and that there was a conspiracy between the liberal faction led by Osuna and the ruling party.
3. Government's channels owe millions of dollars in taxes
A journalistic investigation by the Reuters agency revealed that Channel 8, which is now registered under the name of Yadira Leets, wife of Rafael Ortega, owes four million dollars in taxes to the General Directorate of Revenues.
Channel 4, managed by Daniel Edmundo Ortega, owes another $ 380,000 in taxes. Meanwhile, the DGI has imposed an embargo against Channel 12 for alleged tax debts and maintains the confiscation of properties and vehicles of the Valle family, who owns Channel 12.
The DGI is charging the Valles for two tax reliefs for a total of 28 million córdobas, and lawyer Tony López said they fear that the confiscated assets will soon be auctioned since the judge who is handling the case dismissed the evidence presented by the solvency of the communication medium.
4. Ortega justice sends a journalist to trial
The Ortega justice system sent journalist David Quintana to an oral and public trial. Quintana was accused of the alleged crime of insults and slander by Nelson Vásquez, a former cameraman for a government channel, and his wife Junieth Dávila,
The fifth local criminal court imposed the immigration restriction on Quintana, and he must present himself to the Managua Courts every 15 days to sign in, which was classified as disproportionate measures by human rights defenders and journalists.
5. US Embassy warns of false information
The United States Embassy released a statement in which it warned that in Nicaraguan media associated with official propaganda, false information is circulating relating to alleged financing of local organizations by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The falsified documents speak of alleged economic support of 11 million dollars to civil society organizations, which the government has criminalized for their support of civic protests which the regime describes as an attempted coup.
The Embassy invited citizens to visit the International Aid Explorer website, to find out how cooperation funds and assistance programs are administered.
This article has been translated by Ana Maria Sampson, a Communication Science student at the University of Amsterdam and member of our staff*