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Nicaraguan Finance Minister and Key Economic Operator of Daniel Ortega's Regime Dismissed

The Presidential Agreement says that Acosta "resigned." Vice Minister Bruno Gallardo, union leader with no expertise in public finance, replaced him

Bruno Gallardo, newly named Minister of Finance and Public Credit, with the former Minister, Iván Acosta, and the son of the presidential couple, Laureano Ortega Murillo // Photo: CCC

Redacción Confidencial

25 de junio 2024

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The Daniel Ortega-Rosario Murillo dictatorship confirmed the departure of Iván Acosta Montalván as Nicaragua's Minister of Finance and Public Credit. The news of Acosta's departure was known more than 24 hours earlier, according to three sources linked to the now ex-official who confirmed his dismissal to CONFIDENCIAL. The dictatorship claims that Acosta "resigned," according to the Presidential Agreement published on June 20 in the official register, La Gaceta. The agreement mentions that Acosta is being "transferred to other tasks and functions" which are not specified.

In the same edition of La Gaceta, Bruno Gallardo, a union leader who served as Vice Minister of Finance and has no specialization in Public Finance, is named as Acosta's successor.


Acosta had served as Minister of Finance since February 2012. Along with Ovidio Reyes, President of the Central Bank, Acosta was the regime's main economic operator. 

On Tuesday, June 18, National Police agents, working for the Judicial Assistance Directorate, raided Acosta's office and later his home, located in a residential neighborhood in Veracruz. However, Acosta was not detained by the police and is free. The dictatorship has not made any public statements about the raids.

The now former minister was absent from the weekly virtual meeting in which political secretaries, mayors and ministers of the dictatorship regularly participate. According to 100% Noticias, Ministry of Finance staff was notified via telephone that Acosta was no longer head of the institution. 

The dismissal of Iván Acosta is likely linked to an investigation for alleged acts of corruption which involves other officials and former officials of the Finance and Public Credit Ministry. The dictatorship has not made any public statements about the investigation. 

Ministry employees fear a new wave of firings by the dictatorship, as has occurred after the departure of the heads of other public entities, such as the Supreme Court of Justice, which was intervened in October 2023 by orders of Vice President Rosario Murillo, resulting in the dismissal of more than one thousand state workers.

Iván Acosta
Iván Acosta (right) next to Daniel Ortega in a public event in February 2023. // Photo: CCC Archive

Iván Acosta joined the Finance Ministry in 2007

As Finance Minister, Iván Acosta was in charge of the dictatorship's public finances and a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Nicaragua. The now former minister, an economist and lawyer from the Caribbean coast, joined the government in 2007, after Daniel Ortega's return to power. He was Secretary General and Vice Minister of Finance, and became Minister in February 2012, after the departure of his predecessor, Alberto Guevara.

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Acosta had also served as the Nicaraguan dictatorship's representative to the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, and the alternate representative to the Central American Bank for Economic Integration. 

Iván Acosta
Iván Acosta, during a conference as Minister of Finance and Public Credit // Photo: Archivo | CCC

Sanctioned by the United States

In May 2020, Iván Acosta was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department, along with the head of the Army, Julio César Avilés, "for supporting the corrupt regime" of Daniel Ortega.

The United States argued that, following the dictatorship's massacre of citizens who engaged in protests in 2018, Ivan Acosta "has continued to organize significant financial support for the Ortega regime."

U.S. authorities also stated that "Acosta personally threatened banks to not participate in a strike organized by opposition leaders in March 2019, the purpose of which was to push for the freeing of political prisoners."

"As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC," the official U.S. Treasuray communication specified.

Days after the sanctions were published, the dictatorship announced that Iván Acosta would continue as head of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. Because the sanctions invalidated Acosta's signature for the U.S., a vice-minister was appointed to "lend" his signature according to a Presidential Agreement, published in the official register, La Gaceta.

In addition to the dismissal, the regime also removed Iván Acosta from his position as representative of the capital shares of the semi-state-owned electricity distribution company, Disnorte-Dissur.

This article was published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff. To get the most relevant news from our English coverage delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to The Dispatch.

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Redacción Confidencial

Redacción Confidencial

Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.

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