Friday, May 6, 2022

Nicaragua to shut down a further 50 NGOs (May 6, 2022)

Nicaragua’s Ortega-allied parliament voted on Wednesday to shut down 50 non-profit organizations due to alleged non-compliance with established regulations, reports BBC. One pro-government lawmaker claimed, “many of these NGOs, which also operate as microfinance companies and have lucrative activities, can perfectly continue to operate under the regulation of the Ministry of Commerce,” reports Reuters. In reality, however, these NGOs mainly focus on human rights, education, and medical care, and have routinely and publicly criticized the Ortega government. Furthermore, BBC notes that “representatives of some of the NGOs closed down under previous decrees said that they had tried to hand in the required documents but that the relevant authorities had refused to receive them.” 144 total organizations have been banned so far this year, most of which have criticized the regime at some point or another. 

Last August, the Nicaraguan legislature had ordered the closure of 15 NGOs, resulting in a total of 45 NGOs closed down by the government canceling their permits for operation in the month of August 2021 alone (AP). 55 total NGOs had been shut down at the time, with the other 10 coming after the outbreak of protests in 2018. Ortega won a highly criticized 4th term last November in an election which was widely viewed as neither free nor fair, with many of his top opponents either jailed or forced into exile. 

More Nicaragua

  • US sanctions on Russia and Venezuela have left Daniel Ortega and his inner circle without their usual sources for economic relief as they suffer under their own US-imposed sanctions. This has prompted Laureano Ortega, son of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo and expected eventual successor to the regime, to reach out to the US to resume diplomatic negotiations, reports the New York Times

News Briefs


  • Catherine Osborn covers the green wave and abortion rights victories in Latin America in Foreign Policy’s Latin America Brief. 

El Salvador

  • El Salvador’s National Police announced yesterday on Twitter that they received a large quantity of arms and equipment from the country’s Ministry of Security. The weaponry delivery is ostensibly to help the police as they crack down on gang members in urban areas.


  • Bolsonaro continues to attack Brazil’s Supreme Court, write Jordi Amaral and James Bosworth at the Latin America Risk Report, diving into their growing feud. “All indications are that Bolsonaro will continue to ramp up his attacks on institutions over the coming months, doing his best to muddy the waters prior to the upcoming October elections.” 

  • Bolsonaro announced yesterday that his party would hire a private company to run a private audit of the upcoming presidential elections, says Folha. This comes amid Bolsonaro’s misleading claims of the potential of election fraud and his attacks on the electoral court. 

  • More than 2 million 16- to 18-year olds registered to vote between January and April of this year, reports Estadão. This is an increase in comparison to the same period prior to the previous two presidential elections in 2018 and 2014. Youth voters are more likely to support Lula than Bolsonaro. 


  • Luis Enrique Ramirez becomes the 9th journalist killed in Mexico this year, amidst rising press-related violence in the country, says Reuters. 34 journalists have been killed during the AMLO administration, and the violence shows no signs of stopping.

  • Mexico has declined to publish a report by Norwegian firm DNV that analyzes the collapse of Line 12 of the Metro due to an alleged conflict of interest, according to local governor Claudia Sheinbaum. (Animal Politico)


  • Argentina’s central bank banned financial institutions from offering digital assets, forcing the two of the country’s largest banks to retract their recent statements about allowing clients to buy Bitcoin and other digital currencies. (Bloomberg)

  • A new Amazon series follows the story of an undercover spy who may have inadvertently aided in the 1992 and 1994 terrorist attacks against Jewish communities in Buenos Aires.

  • Climate change and urban development have caused capybaras (the world’s largest rodents) to take over private neighborhoods in Buenos Aires and elsewhere around the city, reports Time


  • Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries will not attend the upcoming Summit of the Americas, citing “disrespect [of] the Democratic Charter” by part of the US after not inviting Venezuela, Cuba, or Nicaragua to the meetings. (Ultimas Noticias)

  • Following the arrest of British Virgin Islands’ Premier Andrew Fahie on drug charges, the UK, which already controls the islands’ defense and foreign policies, is considering taking over the country’s domestic policy and budgets as well, reports The Guardian.

  • Global Americans has launched a research project to assess the political, economic, and social consequences of climate change in the Caribbean.


  • Only 40 families have governed Colombia in over 200 years of history, up until 2018, according to a report from left-wing senators. (BBC)


  • Cuban and Nicaraguan migrants stopped at the border will be taken in by Mexico who will then carry out deportation flights, according to the Washington Post. As both countries struggle with the influx of migrants, thousands of Cubans and Nicaraguans are expected to be sent back to their home countries.

  • Venezuelan migrants arriving in Peru find themselves unable to pay extremely high fines as they seek to regularize their residency and remain in the country legally, reports NTN24.


  • 600 days have passed since the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP), a Marxist rebel group, have kidnapped former vice President Óscar Denis. (BBC)


  • Chile’s Constitutional Convention voted on Wednesday to approve topics related to land restitution for indigenous tribes to be included in the new draft of the constitution, reports La Tercera


  • Despite negotiations and increased diplomatic forays under the Biden administration, “there are no serious signs so far that the administration intends to ease these sanctions in the slightest,” according to Daniel Larison at Responsible Statecraft. He argues that “the United States remains wedded to a failed Trump-era policy towards Venezuela, but it is no closer to achieving its regime change goals today than when it started more than three years ago.” 

  • Crónica Uno reports that members of the Civic Forum (Foro Cívico) met virtually yesterday with members of the Unitary Platform, highlighting the importance of dialogue and negotiation and inviting the Platform to build a social and rights agenda. 

Jordi Amaral is a freelance researcher and writer currently working as a Research Analyst at Hxagon and as an independent consultant with the Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative at the Migration Policy Institute

Arianna Kohan is a Research Analyst at Hxagon and a current M.A. student in International Relations at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She previously worked as a Program Coordinator with the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). 

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