Thousands of Nicaraguan public employees returned to work at the State institutions on Monday, January 8th. They begin the new year the same way they ended 2023 – under ever greater surveillance and political pressure from the Ortega regime. Now the dictatorship is demanding information about even their deceased family members.
Several public employees reported to Confidencial that they were required to file an application for their “Sandinista Party Militant’s card.”
“The workers at all the State institutions will be obligated to fill out registration cards as party militants, and to read a memo from Rosario Murillo giving the parameters, both institutional and political, that will be in effect in these institutions. The activity will be subject to follow-up by the political secretaries in each institution, and by those on the departmental level,” one of the employees wrote.
Other information received indicates that the doctors and staff of the Bertha Calderon Hospital were among the first ones forced to fill out this political registration card, early in the morning of January 8th.
“It’s a card for new affiliates and for the government’s internal census. The problem with filling it out is that you have to give all your information, and to confirm whether you are or aren’t part of the Sandinista Front,” denounced another public employee.
“Single registry form”
In mid-November, 2023, independent sources and social media posts reported that the dictatorship was obligating all their workers, in addition to those who were party militants, to fill out a “single registry form” applying for party militancy. This is taking place within the framework of the 45th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, which will be celebrated next July 19th.
The six-page form entitled “single registry form” asks for personal data and data regarding information and contacts on social media, including Facebook, Twitter [now X], Instagram and TikTok, as well as information about the worker’s last five jobs and their educational background.
“We knew they were keeping tabs on us, but in the last few weeks they’ve begun to be more watchful of our social media. They want to control everything we do in our personal lives, and now in our virtual lives as well,” an employee in the Managua court system, with the assumed name of “Enrique”, told Confidencial in a report published in December 2023. He added that several people “have been fired for posting something on social media that annoyed them.”
The current registry form collects socioeconomic data: civil status, number of children, dependents; if they have a driver’s license and what category; how many own cars or motorcycles they own; income and type of housing.
It then asks for the person’s “Party and political history,” in which the public employees must give details of the “responsibilities” they’ve held in the FSLN, their experience in the elections from 1990 through the 2022 municipal elections.
Information about deceased family members
“It will serve as a filter, because every person who works for the government will be obligated to fill out the militants’ card, which contains a series of personal and family information,” one employee warned.
In the section “Data on the family nucleus,” the employee is specifically asked to provide information about all family members, even if deceased – the complete name, ID card number, and date of birth. For deceased family members, the application asks for the “cause” and the “number of years dead.”
In the case of living family members, employees are also asked to give cell phone numbers, addresses and to specify if they are FSLN party members, “soft or hard” government dissenters, or indifferent to politics. The form also collects information about the employee’s spouse, parents, children, and all their siblings, no matter how many.
One more violation of the rights of public employees
The obligation to fill out the registration form is just one more of the violations of the public employees’ rights and dignity that the Sandinista Front has been guilty of since it returned to power in 2007. These problems have intensified since the 2018 Civic Rebellion.
The public employees consider themselves “hostages” of the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship, which in the last five years has radically increased political surveillance and party control over the State employees.
The list of violations incudes drastic cuts to their severance pay, the obligation to “prove” they voted, arbitrary firings without benefits, self-censorship, and forced indoctrination.
This article was published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times. To get the most relevant news from our English coverage delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to The Dispatch.