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Cablegate: Murder of Nicaraguan National Police Commissioner

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #1751 1992257
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 182257Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0836
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAGUA 001751

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL/LA AND WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/17/2017
TAGS: SNAR KCRM NU
SUBJECT: MURDER OF NICARAGUAN NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSIONER
OBANDO

1. (C) Summary: Comisionado Manuel Guillermo Obando, member
of the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP) Vetted Unit, an
anti-drug investigation unit supported by the US Embassy
Managua INL and the Drug Enforcement Administration was found
murdered July 12, 2007. Two of his neighbors are under
police custody as the principal suspects in the homicide, but
the case remains open. At this point the Embassy does not
believe that Comisionado Obando's murder resulted from his
involvement with the Vetted Unit. End Summary.

2. (C) The last reported contact with Comisionado Obando
occurred July 7, 2007, but because he was a recovering
alcoholic and his birthday was July 8, he was not reported
missing to DEA by head of the NNP Vetted Unit Comisionado
Mayor Miguel Garcia Duarte until July 12, 2007 when his
vehicle was discovered under suspicious circumstances in the
Reparto Schick neighborhood. Witnesses report that at least
two people left the car on the night of July 11, 2007. A
citizen called the police about the vehicle on the morning of
the 12th; responding police elements found the radio
faceplate, spare tire and hub caps of the car were all
missing. (Later, the license plates were found in the trunk.)
The car itself was unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

3. (SBU) That evening, a body believed to be Comisionado
Obando was discovered in Managua at Kilometer 8 1/2 of the
New Highway to Leon. The body was found by a passer-by in a
field approximately 75 yards from the road with hands and
feet bound and dressed only in shorts. Based on the
condition of the body, NNP believes time of death to be July
7, 2007, but besides the confirmation of identity no forensic
evidence has been released.

4. (C) To date, NNP have not provided DEA with an official
report; however, they did report to the press on July 15 that
they believed Comisionado Obando had been murdered in his
residence in Barrio Jose Dolores Estrada. Despite several
abdominal perforations, the ultimate cause of death was loss
of blood due to a stab wound to the jugular vein. Based on
the sheets from the house found with the body and blood
stains in the residence, police determined that the site of
the murder was the victim's bedroom. The Comisionado,s cell
phone, mattress, briefcase, tie, and NNP issued handgun were
all missing. The other residences of the house claimed to be
absent at the time of the attack.

5. (SBU) Two defendants, Hector Antonio Aragon-Roa, 22, and
Luis Miguel Ordonez Leiva, 19, identified as the victim,s
neighbors, were taken into police custody as suspects. Some
of the Comisionado's missing personal effects were found in
the home of defendant Hector Antonio Aragon Roa, and the
defendants' subsequent confession led to the discovery of the
mattress on the opposite side the highway from where
Comisionado Obando's body was recovered. Police are still
investigating others suspected of involvement, including
Comisionado Obando,s oldest son, Guillermo Manuel Obando,
with whom he had a troubled relationship. Most recently, NNP
have arrested Milton Leonardo Rayo Mirando, 31, and Cristian
Armando Rivas Morales, 25, who were also in possession of
some of the Commisionado,s personal effects, which they
claim to have received from suspects Ordonez and Aragon.

6. (C) The murderers' motives remain unclear and the case
remains open; however, all indications support the conclusion
that the homicide was not linked to Comisionado Obando's
position in the Vetted Unit. The most recent NNP theory is
the murder was financially and/or personally motivated. The
Comisionado had three separate life-insurance policies, one
for $50,000 US dollars, and two others totaling approximately
$27,000 US dollars. We will report on receipt of additional
information.
TRIVELLI

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