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Central American University - UCA  
  Number 362 | Septiembre 2011
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Nicaragua

NICARAGUA BRIEFS

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ORTEGA – GHADDAFI
On September 2, after having delivered four speeches without mentioning what was happening in Libya, President Daniel Ortega finally referred to those events, stating that Nicaragua would not recognize the National Transitional Council, which he called a “NATO instrument,” and warning that he would continue recognizing Ghaddafi’s “legitimate government.” The next day Ortega again expressed solidarity with “brother Ghaddafi.” A month and a half before he was brought down, Ghaddafi had sent a congratulatory message to Ortega for the 32nd anniversary of the revolution, in which he expressed gratitude for the backing the Nicaraguan President had expressed repeatedly ever since the crisis in Libya began. “Dearest friend,” wrote Ghaddafi, “here beneath the bombing of the NATO Alliance Crusade’s planes, which your brothers and sons of the Libyan people are suffering to subject them, control their wealth and hinder their internationalist role, I renew our congratulations to you and your people and our appreciation of the noble and lofty positions of support to us by you and the revolutionary leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean. We trust in the continuition and duration of this support, which reinforced our determination and raised our morale.”

“LAST CHAPTER-GOODBYE NICARAGUA”
A documentary film by journalist Peter Torbiornson titled “Last Chapter-Goodbye Nicaragua” premiered in Managua on August 25, sponsored by the Center of Research for Communication (CINCO) and the Nicaraguan Human Rights Center (CENIDH). The 102-minute film deals with what happened in La Penca, Costa Rica, in May 1984, when a bomb went off during a press conference given by Edén Pastora, then leader of the counterrevolutionary military organization ARDE. The explosive killed seven people, two of them international journalists, and wounded another 22, several of them also journalists, including Torbiornson himself, who had inadvertently taken with him to the event the man who placed the bomb, an Argentine security agent of the FSLN government posing as a Danish journalist. The film’s excellent script relates the guilt that has tortured Torbiornson for the past 27 years, his search for the truth of what happened that day and his anxiety to find the sense in that terrorist operation. Torbiornson holds three people responsible: FSLN founder Tomás Borge, who headed the Interior Ministry; Lenín Cerna, in charge of the Sandinista government’s state security apparatus, which answered to the Interior Ministry; and a Cuban using the name “Renán Montero,” who worked with them. The film, which won best documentary in last year’s European Film Festival in Seville, was well received in commercial theaters and free presentations in universities in Managua and in Masaya, Chinandega, León and other outlying cities.

PRIEST’S MYSTERIOUS MURDER
The body of parish priest Marlon Pupiro from the Masaya municipality known as La Concha—officially La Concepción—was found with wounds and contusions in a garbage dump on the Managua-León highway on August 23 after being reported missing three days earlier. The case stunned the population not only of La Concha, but of the entire country. The very next day the National Police announced the results of its investigation and two days after that presented a waiter from a restaurant in a neighboring municipality who confessed to the crime for the purpose of stealing the priest’s double-cabin pick-up. He claimed he had slipped sleeping powders into beers he served the priest in the pre-dawn hours of the 20th, somehow lugged him into the vehicle where he beat him to death, then spent the next 12 hours driving to various places in Managua with the body before throwing it in the dump. Speaking for the Bishop’s Conference, Managua Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes and his auxiliary bishop Silvio Báez rejected the police version as plagued with inconsistencies, and asked that the case not be closed and that the authorities tell the whole truth, which the government seemed to want to hide in this atrocious crime, using the police to do so. The faithful of La Concha had given the police version no credit from the outset.

At the ninth-day Mass in La Concha, Bishops Brenes and Báez released a statement that says in part: “Justice is needed to ensure that our society is not built on impunity or the cowardly cover-up of possible intellectual actors. Law and justice have already been trampled too much in our country to allow Nicaragua to continue sinking due to irrationality and violence, in which what prevails is not the force of right but the right of force. We insist that the National Police and Prosecutor General’s Office clear up this atrocious crime. The motive, evidence and facts offered in the official case are inconsistent and improbable and convince neither us as bishops nor the people of God who are clamoring for justice. All is based almost exclusively on the declaration of a criminal who inexplicably left prints and evidence everywhere in a macabre novelesque journey.... We don’t want the National Police to keep out any information on the case or try to protect people or groups who could be implicated in this murder. We only ask for the truth.”

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