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Rafael Solis: “What Ortega and Murillo Did to My Mother is Barbaric” 

Rafael Solis details that he and his family have had seven properties confiscated: “they went after me with a lot of hate and malice”

Former judge Rafael Solís, in an exclusive interview with Carlos F. Chamorro, in San José, Costa Rica. Photo: Confidencial

Redacción Confidencial

26 de mayo 2024


Former Supreme Court magistrate Rafael Solís Cerda, exiled in Costa Rica since January 2019, reported that the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo have confiscated seven properties in Managua and in the resort town of San Juan del Sur, Rivas, belonging to him and three family members. “They went after me with a lot of hate, with a lot of malice, with a strong offensive,” he told CONFIDENCIAL.

In addition to him, his 93-year-old mother Rafaela Cerda, his sister Ana Isabel Solís, and his nephew Aldo Rapacciolli Solís have all had properties confiscated. All the properties —homes and businesses— have been taken over by National Police agents.

“They had only filed the confiscations in the Property Registry, but on many properties, they hadn’t taken possession yet; now they have,” he pointed out.

Solis “did not expect” the dictatorship to go after his relatives. “I thought they would limit it to me. In Costa Rica, I have lived a life with a rather low political profile; I haven’t deeply involved myself in any (opposition) organizations,” commented the former top political operator for Ortega in the Judiciary.

“I have tried to maintain a profile that is not of hate, revenge, or confrontation; however, I was surprised that they went against my relatives,” he continued.

Solís defected from the regime’s ranks in January 2019, creating a political earthquake in the leadership of the Sandinista Front due to his closeness with Ortega, whose re-election he promoted in 2011 in a ruling by the Constitutional Chamber, which he was part of as a member of the FSLN on the Supreme Court. Upon deserting, he was declared a traitor to the homeland, denationalized, and his assets confiscated along with 93 other people on February 15, 2023.

Against Rafael Solis’ Mother

Ortega’s former main legal advisor decided to speak out about the confiscations of his family’s properties after the National Technological Institute (Inatec) announced the opening of a “hotel services school” in San Juan del Sur, on a property confiscated from his mother Rafaela Cerda. A condominium also taken by the dictatorship from the Chamorro Barrios family, in the same resort, will be used for the same purpose.

Rafaela Cerda’s property, where the “Casablanca” Hotel operated, was confiscated on January 29, 2024. The National Police took possession of the property under the argument that they “came on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office,” and evicted the guests and all staff.

“That confiscation was meant to affect me, because of the hate they have for me. They took over the hotel and took it from my mother, who was already retired due to her age (93 years),” he emphasized.

Then, at the end of February 2024, the regime’s police confiscated and evicted his mother from her home in Managua, who left her house only with the clothes she was wearing.

“My mother lives alone because all her children are in exile, and she cannot leave the country because her passport was left in the confiscated house. They haven’t allowed her to enter or returned her personal belongings,” he noted.


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“What they have done to my mother is barbaric,” he lamented.

Solis said the “Casablanca” Hotel was built on a property that belonged to his uncle Francisco Urcuyo Maliaños, the successor president of Anastasio Somoza Debayle in July 1979. [He held office for two days before the Sandinistas took power]. The property was confiscated in the 1980’s but returned in 1992 and later sold to the former magistrate.

Rafaela Cerda acquired the property over 20 years ago through a purchase from her son.

“False Statements” by Ortega

Daniel Ortega claimed on May 18 that the owners of the many properties being confiscated in the county were “involved in money laundering,” which is why they were “seized” and declared state property “for the benefit of the poor.”

The dictator admitted that the confiscated properties represent “several million” dollars. An investigation by the Observatory for Transparency and Anti-Corruption estimated that the confiscations thus far have a value of at least 250 million dollars, which someday the citizens of Nicaragua will have to repay as public debt.

“But the important thing is that this ill-gotten wealth, that was in the hands of criminals, is now in the hands of the state for the benefit of the people,” Ortega insisted in his speech.

Solís called his former political ally’s statements “completely false.” “I have never wanted to respond to them (Ortega and Murillo), but now I think it’s important. I must speak out for my mother’s honor,” he emphasized.

“The property’s registry history is completely clean. All of San Juan del Sur knows that the hotel was the result of my mother’s efforts for 25 years,” he added.

“What they did to my mother was a dispossession, a robbery, without a judicial process or anything,” he noted.

“Neither in the list of the 94 denationalized, nor in the list of the 222 political prisoners released, nor in the more than three thousand NGOs and universities (canceled and confiscated) is there anyone linked to drug trafficking or illegal activities,” he asserted.

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.


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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.