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Cablegate: Nicaragua: Zoilamerica Narvaez Vows to Continue

VZCZCXRO1891
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #2599/01 3332232
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 292232Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8301
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0029
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAGUA 002599

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CEN, WHA/OAS, G/IWI, S/WE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/28/2016
TAGS: KDEM KWMN NU PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: ZOILAMERICA NARVAEZ VOWS TO CONTINUE
FIGHT FOR JUSTICE


Classified By: Amb. Trivelli for reasons 1.4 (b and d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: Zoilamerica Narvaez, the stepdaughter of
Nicaragua's president-elect Daniel Ortega and daughter of
future first lady Rosario Murillo, remains committed in her
quest to bring justice to the case of alleged sexual abuse by
her stepfather during the 1980s, and of the failure of the
Nicaraguan government to provide due process. She is
exploring options for taking her case beyond the Inter-
American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), engaging with
women's non-governmental organizations, and is working on a
book with Fresno Pacific University in California. Narvaez
believes that the lack of justice in her case has emboldened
other sexual abusers and encouraged violence against women in
Nicaraguan society to proceed with impunity. She also holds
the view that Ortega, who lacks a clear mandate and will be
pressured to deliver on his myriad campaign promises, will
attempt to put on his best pro-democracy face to allay
jitters by foreign investors, extend his honeymoon with the
electorate, and deprive skeptics of ammunition to use against
him. She predicts, however, that his return to a position of
power will eventually lead him to abuse it. END SUMMARY

ELECTION RESULTS CAME AS NO SURPRISE
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2. (C) Polcouns and poloff met with Zoilamerica Narvaez and
her husband Alberto Araica on November 20 to discuss the
results of the Nicaraguan election and her plans to continue
her struggle to bring her case of years of sexual abuse by
stepfather/president-elect Daniel Ortega to justice. Given
the divisions among the anti-Ortega camp and the difficulties
with the issuance of national/voter (cedulas) that prevented
tens of thousands of people from going to the polls, Narvaez
said she was certain two
weeks before the November 5 election that Ortega would win
and had resigned herself to this outcome.

THE POWER BEHIND THE THRONE
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3. (C) Although proceeding with her case against the
Nicaraguan government will be further complicated under an
Ortega presidency, Narvaez asserted she is prepared to
persevere. Zoilamerica expects that her mother, Rosario
Murillo, will play an influential role in the Ortega
presidency, echoing a common perception that she was the
"real power" during the campaign and will continue to
dominate Ortega. Narvaez was uncertain, however, of
Murillo,s popularity among the pro-Ortega camp, noting that
Murillo "has serious issues" with Bayardo Arce, Lenin Cerna,
and vice president-elect Jaime Morales. She remarked that
Murillo represents the FSLN,s moderate, intellectual faction
and International Affairs Secretary Samuel Santos is within
her group.

BEST BEHAVIOR DURING HONEYMOON, BUT DRUNK WITH POWER
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4. (C) Based on Narvaez,s knowledge of Ortega's history and
past behavior, she opined that he will likely begin his term
playing by the rules and putting up a good front to silence
skeptics, while going through the motions of hewing to his
conciliatory peace and reconciliation rhetoric to maintain
the support of his FSLN followers. She does not believe he
will win over any converts. She thinks he may be able to
extend his honeymoon to a year, but once it becomes apparent
that he is unable to deliver on his unrealistic campaign
promises, whatever support or goodwill he enjoys now will
evaporate. Narvaez remarked that "power can act like a drug
and aphrodisiac" and that Ortega will be unable to resist the
temptation to abuse power for political and personal gain,
including preying on other young adolescent females.

NO RECONCILIATION WITHOUT REDEMPTION
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5. (SBU) Despite Narvaez,s previous setbacks in moving her
legal case forward in the Inter American Commission on Human
Rights (IACHR) -- now further complicated by Ortega's win and
the challenge of gaining sufficient financial backing for
legal expenses -- she intends to continue her pursuit of
justice on multiple fronts. Narvaez firmly believes that
backing down now would be tantamount to a victory for abusers
and would embolden others to continue the cycle of violence
against women. She still harbors hope that she will have a
day in court to hold her stepfather accountable for his
sexual crimes against her during her childhood and adolescent
years. She mentioned efforts to bring her case to the United
Nations, possibly the International Court of Justice or the
International Criminal Court in The Hague.

6. (C) Playing on Ortega's campaign slogan of peace and
reconciliation, Narvaez has challenged him to repent and face
justice, proclaiming there can be no reconciliation without
redemption or justice. She shared her plans to confront
Ortega on the subject at a Catholic mass. Narvaez also
recounted how in a meeting with the Nicaraguan women's NGO
Red de las Mujeres Contra la Violencia (Network of Women
against Violence) just prior to the November 5 election, "A
pardon should not be a condition to cover up
crimes committed against women." Narvaez added that the
Women,s Network has offered to represent her in her case
before the IAHCR.

A VOICE FOR OTHER VICTIMS OF ABUSE
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7. (C) Rather than remaining a silent victim, Narvaez is
seeking to step up the work of her foundation
"Sobrevivientes" (Survivors) to raise awareness of the
problem of sexual abuse and violence and lack of justice in
addressing it, as well as help others who are affected by
domestic and sexual violence. A Mennonite herself, she was
positive about her collaboration with the Mennonite-founded
Fresno Pacific University in California which is sponsoring
her to do research and write a book about her experiences.
She believes the publicity surrounding the publication will
help promote her cause. The book project will enable her to
be eligible for a student visa, and she plans to spend time
in California. She expressed gratitude toward the United
States for supporting her case, specifically the efforts of
Embassy Managua. Narvaez gave no indication that she has
been threatened, noting that although she has been harassed
in the past for speaking out against Ortega, she has not
recently received any threats from FSLN members.

COMMENT
- - - -

8. (C) Narvaez has come a long way in her efforts to heal
herself while continuing to seek justice for herself and
other abuse victims. We can best help her by linking her to
civil society groups and pro-bono lawyers who would be
willing to assist her in her search for justice. Now that
the opportunity to write a book has emerged, we believe she
will in a better position to influence public opinion both in
Nicaragua and abroad.

TRIVELLI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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