Nicaragua: New Bill Grants Ortega Control over National Police

On Tuesday, June 10, the Nicaraguan Congress introduced legislation that will grant President Daniel Ortega control of the country’s National Police, according to claims by the opposition party.

Supported by congressmen loyal to the ruling party, the new law, if passed, will have the head of the National Police answer directly to the president. The newly proposed “Law of Organization, Functions, Career, and Special Regimen of Security of the National Police” would replace the National Police Law dating back to July 1996.

Opposition Congressman Luis Callejas criticized the law by saying, “There is change in hierarchy. [The president] will have powers that might be used to manipulate the police force.”

“In Nicaragua, there will exist a policy of Ortegaismo, not the for the Nicaraguean people, but specifically for Daniel Ortega,” added the congressman. He says once the law is approved, the president, and not the head of the National Police, will have the power to install or remove officers and high command officials.

Source: La Jornada, Diario de las Américas.

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