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Ortega Accuses Bankers of Being "Accomplices" of Nicaraguans Whose Assets Were Confiscated

Ortega justified the illegal confiscations by calling them "seizures" after the Attorney General's Office said the properties now belong to the state

Rosario Murillo y Daniel Ortega en un acto por el 129 aniversario del natalicio de Augusto C. Sandino, en Managua. | Foto: El 19 Digital

Redacción Confidencial

21 de mayo 2024


Daniel Ortega reappeared on May 18 to "threaten" the national banking system which, in his opinion, "seems to be an accomplice" of the individuals, media outlets and organizations whom he described as "swindlers" and who have had their assets confiscated by his regime.

"Some banks are jumping up and down. They seem to be accomplices of the swindlers… [A]n investigation is underway to punish all those who are guilty," said Ortega at the end of an official ceremony for the 129th anniversary of the birth of Augusto C. Sandino.

At the same time, Ortega acknowledged that the confiscated properties represent "several million" dollars and justified the actions by saying that these "seized" assets were declared property of the State "for the benefit of the poor, to invest in social programs like housing, health, education, social security."

According to the dictator, all these confiscated properties "were involved in money laundering."

"But the important thing is that this ill-gotten wealth that was in the hands of criminals, this ill-gotten wealth is now in the hands of the State at the disposal of the people, at the disposal of the poor, at the disposal of the peasants, at the disposal of the youth," Ortega insisted in his speech.

Confiscations exceed $250 million

The attempt to justify the confiscations comes two days after the publication of an investigation by the Pro-Transparency and Anti-Corrupción Observatory, which calculated the value of the confiscated assets to be at least $250 million which, the report asserts, will have to be paid by the citizens, as it constitutes a public debt.

The investigation, dubbed "the New Ortega-Murillo Piñata," reveals that the seizures began in 2018, but intensified in February 2023, beginning with the banishment of a group of 222 political prisoners, and then the denationalization of 94 additional citizens that followed shortly thereafter.


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Over the past six years, the regime has confiscated companies, homes, properties, media outlets, NGOs, universities, chambers of commerce and churches.

The authors of the report admit that, given the lack of information available due to the opacity of the regime and the fear of those affected, the estimate of $250 million for these new confiscations is very preliminary. 

Attorney General's Office: Confiscated for crimes against "peace"

Like Ortega, the Attorney General's Office (PGR for its initials in Spanish) tried to justify the illegal confiscations in Nicaragua, arguing that the government has simply "recovered for the people of Nicaragua" hundreds of properties that it considers were "being unduly used" by private individuals.

In a press statement released on May 17, the PGR points out that the "transfer to the State of Nicaragua" of hundreds of properties is the result of a series of criminal proceedings related to "drug trafficking, money laundering and the commission of crimes against citizen security, sovereignty, peace and the well being of Nicaraguan families."

According to the regime's narrative, the Nicaraguan State, based on what it asserts was non-compliance with the legislation that regulates non-profit organizations, has "recovered properties" that belonged to those organizations. 

In these situations "what has prevailed is the restitution by the State of properties that private individuals have improperly used, through legal subterfuge," reads the PGR statement.

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.