HomeNewsAnalysisState Department Cable Accuses Ortega of Receiving Drug Money
ANALYSIS

State Department Cable Accuses Ortega of Receiving Drug Money

NICARAGUA / 7 DEC 2010 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

A classified U.S. State Department cable released by the organization WikiLeaks alleges that Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista party have regularly received campaign finance money from known international drug traffickers.

According to a copy of the cable published by the Spanish newspaper El País, this money was usually given “in return for ordering Sandinista judges to allow traffickers caught by the police and military to go free.” The document, dated May 5 2006, specifically identifies former Director of State Security Lenin Cerna as the chief culprit, claiming that he worked with Sandinista Supreme Court judges such as Rafael Solis and Roger Camillo Arguello to broker deals with crime syndicates. The cable goes on to detail one incident in which Arguello allegedly developed a “complicated scheme” to distribute $609,000 from a Supreme Court account to upcoming FSLN electoral campaigns and the personal accounts of Sandinista judges.

In another case, Daniel Ortega himself stands accused of sheltering the infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar for several months in Nicaragua after the latter ordered the killing of the Colombian Minister of Justice. In exchange, Ortega and his party received “large cash payments” from Escobar, according to the cable. Although these allegations have already been publicly leveled against Ortega’s government by his political opposition, it remains to be seen what effect the released cable will have on his popularity.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 4 JUN 2021

With his leading opponent under house arrest for money laundering charges, Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega appears to be weaponizing the…

COCAINE / 15 JUL 2021

The murder of a prominent folk singer in Guatemala thrust a Nicaraguan nightclub owner into the spotlight and revealed an…

ELITES AND CRIME / 27 JAN 2021

Nicaragua's Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, on the southern border with Costa Rica, is under assault.

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…