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2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Nicaragua

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 5 August 2010
Cite as United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Nicaragua, 5 August 2010, available at: [accessed 22 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Nicaragua made no substantive progress towards establishing a Financial Intelligence Unit or passing the counterterrorism bill first proposed in 2004. Nicaragua's judiciary remained highly politicized, corrupt, and prone to manipulation by political elites and organized crime and therefore remained a vulnerability that could be exploited by international terrorist groups. President Daniel Ortega's 2007 decision to grant Iranian and Libyan nationals visa-free entry into Nicaragua remained in effect.

President Ortega maintained close relations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He also continued to provide safe haven to Doris Torres Bohórquez and Martha Perez Gutiérrez, two suspected FARC associates and survivors of the March 2008 Colombian military operation against the FARC. Both were granted asylum in Nicaragua and welcomed by President Ortega as survivors of "state-sponsored terrorism by Colombia." On October 12, Nicaragua refused Ecuador's request to extradite Torres and Perez on the grounds that doing so would violate their human rights. Senior FARC official Nubia Calderon de Trujillo continued to have humanitarian asylum in Nicaragua.[1]

There was no new information in the case of Alberto Bermudez (aka Rene Alberto Gutierrez Pastran, or "Cojo"), the FARC emissary granted a false Nicaraguan identity by Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council (CSE). However, in December, local media reported that the CSE provided official Nicaraguan identity documents for false identities to several suspected drug traffickers, including Amauri Paul (alias Alberto Ruiz Cano), a Colombian criminal who was involved in an attack against Nicaraguan counter-narcotics forces that killed two Nicaraguan Navy personnel.

No known terrorist groups operated openly in Nicaragua; however, both the FARC and the ETA (Basque Fatherland and Liberty) have retired or inactive members residing in Nicaragua.

During 2009, the U.S. Embassy had increasing difficulty obtaining information from or access to civilian officials of the government. In one instance, the government failed to comply with a routine evidence transfer request related to an arms-for-drugs case involving the FARC. Despite this, there were several U.S.-Nicaragua military-to-military counterterrorism-related exchanges during the year.

[1] In 2008, the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control designated Calderon de Trujillo, along with seven other FARC international representatives, as significant narco-traffickers under the Kingpin Act. During 2009, Calderon, Torres, and Perez did not appear publicly in Nicaragua.

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