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Cablegate: Ortega's Judicial Coup - Fsln Like Their Eggs, Beaten

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DE RUEHMU #1049/01 2991649
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R 261649Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0019
INFO WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAGUA 001049

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DEPT PASS WHA/CEN KRAAIMOORE
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DEPT PASS INL/IAA ARCHULETA
PASS TO MILLENIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/10/26
TAGS: PHUM PGOV NU
SUBJECT: ORTEGA'S JUDICIAL COUP - FSLN LIKE THEIR EGGS, BEATEN

REF: MANAGUA 1041; MANAGUA 794

CLASSIFIED BY: Robert J. Callahan, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

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AUTHOR OF ORTEGA'S JUDICIAL COUP GETS EGGED

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1. (SBU) In the early morning of October 22, Supreme Court Justice
(CSJ) Magistrate Francisco Rosales was pelted with several dozen
eggs by a number of unidentified youth as he was exiting his
vehicle and entering the building of 100% Noticias, a Managua
television station for an interview. It is widely believed that
Rosales was attacked because of his role as President of the
Constitutional Chamber of the CSJ that issued a decision on Monday
evening, October 19, permitting Daniel Ortega's re-election (see
ref A). A very flustered and visibly incensed Rosales claimed that
the egg-throwers were the children of leftist politicians. On the
Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) radio station YA,
Rosales subsequently blamed the United States Embassy for the
attack. Rosales stated on October 23, that "the anti-social
(perpetrators) involved in the attack were paid directly by the
Embassy of the United States to do these acts of violence."

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RETALIATION?

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2. (SBU) On October 22, a group of Daniel Ortega supporters
assaulted Leonor Martinez, an activist in the Civil Coordinator
(CC), a left-of-center NGO. Martinez was walking in the street
after a CC press conference, when a black van with the FSLN flag
flying on it pulled up to her. Of the four men in the van, three
came out and put a gun to her head and a dagger to her side. Then,
the three men twisted her arm behind her back-breaking it-and threw
her to the ground. They proceeded to threaten her and her family
while insinuating that she should stop her work with the CC,
presumably because of its anti-Ortega stance.

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CONNECTION TO EARLIER CIVIL SOCIETY REPRESSION

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3. (SBU) The fourth man, who stayed in the van, identified himself
as Armando Arroliga (better known as "El Gato"). Arroliga works in
the Managua Mayor's Office and was a prominent leader of the
FSLN-led assault against a peaceful protest that took place at the
Managua Cathedral on August 8 (see ref B). Martinez, supported by
human rights defender Vilma Nunez, described her attack to the
press outside the hospital where she later received emergency
surgery to set the bone in her broken arm. Nunez claimed that
Rosales stated he "would send the Sandinista Youth" out to avenge
his egging.

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COMMENT

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4. (C) This most recent example of FSLN-sympathizers seeking to
silence and intimidate members of civil society is representative
of a larger trend toward the suppression of the public airing of
opposition viewpoints. Given that the recent Nicaraguan Supreme
Court (CSJ) ruling has further polarized and aggravated the
already-tense political climate (see reftel B), attacks against
opposition voices will very likely increase in number and severity.
While there is no evidence that the violent attack against Leonor
Martinez is tied directly to the egging of Rosales, it has become
clear that the FSLN officials and their minions are reacting very
aggressively to all forms of criticism of their party decisions.
CALLAHAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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