Police charge director of Miss Nicaragua pageant with running 'beauty queen coup' plot
Nicaraguan police say they want to arrest the director of the Miss Nicaragua pageant, accusing her of intentionally rigging contests so that anti-government beauty queens would win the pageants as part of a plot to overthrow the government.
Nicaragua’s exiled clergy and faithful in Miami keep up struggle for human rights at Mass
For the auxiliary bishop of Managua, fellow priests and many in the pews who have had to flee or were exiled from Nicaragua recently, the Sunday afternoon Mass at a Miami parish is not only a way to find solace in community.
Alumni grieve for Jesuit-run university seized by Nicaraguan government that transformed their lives
The government of President Daniel Ortega described the Jesuit-run University of Central America in Nicaragua as a “center of terrorism” and seized its property, buildings and bank accounts on August 16.
Nicaragua proposes suspending Vatican ties after comments
Nicaragua ’s government says it has proposed suspending relations with the Vatican days after Pope Francis compared President Daniel Ortega’s administration to a communist or Nazi dictatorship amid a crackdown on the Catholic Church in the country.
Pope worried about Nicaraguan bishop sentenced to 26 years
Pope Francis on Sunday expressed sadness and worry at the news that Roman Catholic Bishop Rolando Álvarez, an outspoken critic of the Nicaraguan government, had been sentenced to 26 years in prison in the latest move against the Catholic Church and government opponents.
Nicaraguan bishop who refused exile gets 26 years in prison
Roman Catholic Bishop Rolando Álvarez, an outspoken critic of Nicaragua’s government, has been sentenced to 26 years in prison and stripped of his Nicaraguan citizenship, the latest move by President Daniel Ortega against the Catholic church and his opponents.
Biden targets Nicaragua's gold in new move against Ortega
The Biden administration is ratcheting up pressure on President Daniel Ortega’s authoritarian rule in Nicaragua, banning Americans from doing business in the nation’s gold industry, threatening trade restrictions and stripping the U.S. visas of some 500 government insiders.
Pope: Vatican seeks talks on Nicaragua's Catholic crackdown
Pope Francis says the Vatican is in contact with the Nicaraguan government about its crackdown on the Catholic Church and hoped that “at the very least” nuns from Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity religious order would be allowed to return to the country.
Fleeing Nicaraguans strain Costa Rica's asylum system
Since the summer of 2021, when Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega locked up dozens of political opponents ahead of November’s presidential elections, Nicaraguans have been seeking asylum in Costa Rica at the highest levels since Nicaragua’s political crisis exploded in April 2018.
Nicaragua government laying waste to civil society
Nicaragua’s Sandinista-controlled congress has cancelled nearly 200 nongovernmental organizations this week, ranging from a local equestrian group to the 94-year-old Nicaraguan Academy of Letters, in what critics say is President Daniel Ortega’s attempt to eliminate the country’s civil society.
Nicaragua tightens grip on universities to stifle dissent
Four years after university students led protests against Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega’s government, his administration is minimizing the chance of a reoccurrence by seizing a dozen private universities and closing them or shifting control to the state.
Mexico overhauls handling of migrants to release pressure
Benjamín Villalta, a 39-year-old Nicaraguan, couldn’t believe that a Mexican immigration office would open in the middle of the night to give him and some 40 other migrants humanitarian visas that would allow them to move about Mexico and work.
Loved and decried, El Salvador's populist leader is defiant
In El Salvador, most are not bothered by President Nayib Bukele’s dictatorial maneuvers -- sending armed troops into congress to coerce a vote, or ousting independent judges from the country’s highest court, paving the way to control all branches of government.
Writer says opposition should sit out Nicaragua elections
Writer and former Nicaraguan Vice President Sergio Ramírez says that there is “zero possibility” of holding free elections in Nicaragua Nov. 7 and that opposition forces who participate would only be “legitimizing” President Daniel Ortega’s re-election.
US urging Central America to tackle poverty, corruption
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to entice Central American nations to tackle the corruption and poverty that have helped drive a surge of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border and presented an early challenge for the Biden administration.
Nicaragua creates Ministry of Extraterrestrial Space Affairs
FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2018 file photo, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo, lead a rally in Managua, Nicaragua. The Central American country has created a National Ministry for Extraterrestrial Space Affairs, The Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga, File)MANAGUA – Nicaragua has created a new National Ministry for Extraterrestrial Space Affairs, The Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, which is drawing amused reactions on social media in a nation that has been struggling since anti-government protests three years ago. The agency was approved by 76 legislators Wednesday in the country’s congress, which is dominated by President Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista Party. Critics said the country does not have the money to spare for dreams of space exploration.
Nicaragua approves Russian COVID-19 vaccine
A nurse shows to the press a vial of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 during a vaccination campaign inside River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)MANAGUA – Nicaragua’s government said Wednesday that it had approved Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. “Nicaragua is advancing in its negotiations with Russia to supply” the vaccine, said the government outlet El 19 Digital. It was the first vaccine approved in Nicaragua, which still awaits its first doses. Argentina, Bolivia and Venezuela are among other left-leaning governments in the hemisphere that have approved the vaccine.
Ex-foreign correspondent reflects on risks for US reporters
There is increasing concern for the safety of journalists covering protests at state capitals across the U.S., and in Washington. This week, now as a reporter in Oregon, I attended virtual training by the state police on what to do if there's a shooting rampage in the Oregon Capitol. The Legislature’s leadership, for the first time, included journalists in the training after several were assaulted by rioters outside the state Capitol in December. What has happened at the Oregon Capitol is a clear example of how those divisions have become sharper and more bitter. Until last year, protests at the marble-sheathed state Capitol had been relatively mild.
Nicaragua essentially bans opposition from 2021 elections
FILE - In this May 26, 2018 file photo, the Spanish word for "Murderer" covers a mural of Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega, as part of anti-government protests demanding his resignation in Managua, Nicaragua. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File)MANAGUA – Nicaragua’s ruling party-dominated Congress passed a law Monday that would essentially ban opposition candidates from running in the 2021 presidential elections. The elections are scheduled for Nov. 7, 2021, and despite term limits — which Ortega has already exceeded — the 75-year-old leader is expected to run again. Nicaragua’s two main opposition groups had announced earlier this year that they will form a coalition to compete in the 2021 race. The U.S. government says it is pressing Ortega to hold free and fair elections and respect basic rights.
Latin America's evangelical churches hard hit by pandemic
Throughout Latin America, a traditionally Catholic region with a surging evangelical presence in nearly every country, evangelical churches have kept spreading the Gospel despite government measures meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In at least two countries, evangelical pastors have died in alarming numbers during the pandemic. Some have attended evangelical services in the city of Atalaia do Norte and then brought the virus to our lands," he said. In Nicaragua, evangelical churches large and small stayed open too at least at first. Back in Nicaragua, many evangelical churches have reopened, some with health precautions, like Bethel where congregants are asked to bring their own hand sanitizer.
During pandemic, Nicaraguan doctors face political pressure
MANAGUA Inside Nicaragua's public hospitals, the walls are plastered with political propaganda, ruling-party activists ensure no information leaks out, and doctors were once forbidden from wearing masks. The government did not respond to a request for comment on the doctors' dismissals and the allegations of repression. Doctors have confirmed the relatives' suspicions, saying hospital administrators order virus deaths be categorized otherwise to keep official numbers low. The result has been dozens of sickened medical workers and more than 70 deaths, according to a count kept by the Medical Associations of Nicaragua. He had been voluntarily treating COVID-19 patients who were turned away from hospitals in Len and Chinandega, in western Nicaragua.
Edn Pastora, Nicarguan revolutionary, dead at 83
Pastora, one of the most mercurial, charismatic figures of Central Americas revolutionary upheavals, has died. His son Alvaro Pastora said Tuesday, June 16, 2020 that he died at Managuas Military Hospital of respiratory failure. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)MANAGUA One of the most mercurial, charismatic figures of Central America's revolutionary upheavals, Edn Pastora, died early Tuesday. Edn Atanacio Pastora Gmez was born Nov. 15, 1936, in Ciudad Daro, Nicaragua. After the protests, as rumors swirled about Ortegas health, Pastora told the press that he had recommended that the Sandinista National Liberation Front choose a successor.
Nicaraguan baseball manager fired after speaking about virus
During a May 16 game, manager Norman Cardoze Sr. and coach Carlos Aranda felt sick. Cardozes son Norman Jr., the teams star slugger, was so weak and achy he didnt play. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga)MANAGUA MANAGUA, NicaraguaA Nicaraguan Hall of Fame baseball manager was fired Tuesday, days after publicly speaking about being hospitalized with COVID-19 along with his son and coach. Norman Cardoze Sr., manager of the San Fernando Beasts, was not given a reason for his firing, but his wife Ftima Ruiz said the family suspects it was because they spoke out about being infected with the virus. Cardoze Sr. described the horror of watching people essentially suffocate before his eyes and seeing their bodies wrapped in plastic and removed.
A death in Nicaraguan baseball puts pandemic in public eye
A man watches a professional baseball game between Boer de Managua and Flecheros de Matagalpa at Dennis Martinez stadium in Managua, Nicaragua, Saturday, April 25, 2020. Then, during a May 16 game in the capital, Managua, manager Norman Cardoze Sr. and coach Carlos Aranda felt sick. Cardozes son Norman Jr., the teams star slugger, was so weak and achy he didnt play. The Cardoze father and son, who tested positive for the virus, spent a week in the hospital. Were like the circus clowns, while a ton of people without heart or conscience are risking the lives of the players and the fans, Carlos Aranda Sr. said.