The most pressing counterterrorism issue for the United States concerning Nicaragua is the stalled destruction of Nicaragua's stocks of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). While the Nicaraguan executive branch and armed forces recognized the danger from these weapons falling into the hands of terrorists and cooperated with the United States, the opposition-controlled legislature delayed the MANPADS destruction program. With U.S. assistance, Nicaragua's armed forces have upgraded security and accountability systems for these weapons, pending the program's resumption.
The Nicaraguan legislature has also failed to act on a comprehensive counterterrorism law that would create a national counterterrorism operations unit and address deficiencies in existing criminal and money laundering statutes. The latter, coupled with a cash-starved financial analysis unit, amounts to an ineffective anti-money laundering and terror financing regime.
Nicaragua's court system is politicized and mired in corruption that reaches the Nicaraguan Supreme Court.