Search

 

Cablegate: Nicaragua: Attorney General Estrada Agrees to a Bilateral

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #1243/01 2841713
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101713Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3242
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS MANAGUA 001243

STATE FOR WHA/CEN, EB/IFD/OIA AND L/CID-KOBAR, LANDSIDLE
STATE FOR WHA/EPSC
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR
TREASURY FOR INL AND OWH

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINV ECON USTR KIDE NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: ATTORNEY GENERAL ESTRADA AGREES TO A BILATERAL
REVIEW IN DECEMBER

REF: A) MANAGUA 1120, B) 07 MANAGUA 2324, C) 07 MANAGUA 2442, D) 07
MANAGUA 2581, E) MANAGUA 1186


1. (U) This cable contains an Action Request in Paragraph 5.

SUMMARY
-------

2. (SBU) During the Ambassador's September 30 courtesy call on
Attorney General Hernan Estrada, Estrada agreed to conduct a
bilateral review of the treatment of claims subject to the Section
527 Foreign Relations Authorization Act of FY 1994 and 1995 on
December 4-5. The Ambassador urged Estrada to quicken the pace of
claim resolution and increase contact between our working-level
staffs. The Ambassador pressed Estrada to resolve U.S. claims that
attracted U.S. Congressional interest, as well as those properties
that remain under government control. Estrada was cordial, but
misrepresented basic facts about the GON's policies and procedures,
many of which we will want to raise in the bilateral review.


BILATERAL REVIEW IN DECEMBER
----------------------------

3. (U) On September 30, the Ambassador paid a courtesy call on
Attorney General Hernan Estrada. The occasion provided an
opportunity to survey the landscape of pending U.S. citizen claims
against the Government of Nicaragua (GON). The Ambassador obtained
agreement to hold a bilateral review, as outlined in the Secretary's
July 29 letter to Foreign Minister Samuel Santos (ref A). The DCM,
Economic Counselor, and Property Officer also participated. The
Attorney General was the only GON official.

4. (SBU) Estrada readily agreed to a bilateral review of the GON's
property claims policies and procedures during the first week of
December (ref A). The Ambassador said he will confirm specific
dates and the delegation members as soon as he could. The
Ambassador said there are many issues we have to discuss in the
bilateral review; The DCM flagged serious concerns about the GON's
dismissal of 146 U.S. citizen claims based on Decrees 3 and 38 and
for administrative reasons (lack of proof of ownership and/or
confiscation of the property in question). In addition, we have
questions about the transparency of the government's claims
resolution and compensation policies and procedures.
Estrada responded that all policies and guidelines were available on
the Office of Attorney General's website, www.pgr.gob.ni. He
asserted that the property claims resolution process was available
to the public, noting that he published the guidelines and policies
on the Attorney General's website in 2007.

5. Action Request: Please confirm that the review will take place
December 4-5 and the delegation will be led by WHA/CEN Office
Director Christopher Webster. We understand that the delegation
will include Heather Goethert of EEB/IFD/OIA, Office of Legal
Affairs Assistant Legal Advisor Jeff Kobar, and Jennifer Landsidle
of the Office of Legal Affairs' International Claims and Investment
Disputes division.

RESOLUTION OF MORE CLAIMS
-------------------------

6. (SBU) The Ambassador urged Estrada to quicken the pace of claim
resolution. Estrada responded that he and his staff were working
diligently, but that with a staff of just 11 people and a limited
budget, there was only so much that could be done. The Ambassador
suggested that more meetings and more frequent direct contact at the
working level would help. Estrada countered that contact at the
working-level staff was currently sufficient. He worried about the
possibility of corruption and favoritism should his staff become too
friendly with legal representatives of U.S. citizens, something that
he alleges took place during the Chamorro, Aleman, and Bolanos
governments (Refs B, C, D).

RESPONDING TO CONGRESSIONAL INQUIRIES AND PURSUING
CLAIMS UNDER GON CONTROL
--------------------------------------------- -----

7. (SBU) The Ambassador passed Estrada a list of claims recently
receiving U.S. congressional attention, namely citizens Domingo
Calero, Mary Ruth Silva, Fidelina Arauz and Uri Kollnesher. The
Ambassador then inquired about the status of properties of U.S.
claimants under government control. Estrada responded that
President Ortega had created an ad hoc committee to resolve such
claims (Ref E). He added that he had good personal relationships
with the police and affected ministries which he would call upon to
resolve these claims.

COMMENT
-------

8. (SBU) While cordial throughout the meeting, Estrada frequently
misrepresented basic facts about the GON's policies and procedures.
He exaggerated the extent of transparency surrounding the resolution
of and compensation for property claims. He misstated the legal
basis for the threshold he applies to claimants when it comes to
providing proof of ownership or of confiscation. He overstated the
level of cooperation between Embassy and GON working-level staff.
These are all issues that we will want to raise in the bilateral
review we plan to schedule for December 4-5.

CALLAHAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC