Ortega-Murillo’s new Ministry of the Interior

The purpose of the Sandinista regime’s decision to bring back the Ministry of the Interior is to “impose” fear on the population and to operate in a more organized way under the direct leadership of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. This change provides a legal cover for what they have been doing, “oxygenates” the radicals of the regime who continue with the memory of the eighties and tries to “impose fear” on those who have memories of the ruthless ministry of that time

Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo in the act in which they made the Ministry of the Interior official. Divergentes | Taken from 19 Digital.

The dictatorship’s intention in changing the name of the Ministry of Government (Migob) to the Ministry of the Interior (MINT) has three fundamental purposes, according to three sources linked to the National Police and the now extinct Migob consulted by DIVERGENTES: the first is to impose fear, the second to unify its political structure and the third to legalize what until now they have been executing by de facto means.

According to one of the sources, the regime intends to impose fear on the population by projecting the memory of the “feared” Ministry of the Interior which was directed during the eighties by the founder of the Sandinista Front, Tomás Borge. Renaming this government entity also seeks to oxygenate the minds of the fanatics who continue with an intact memory of the eighties, he explains.

In order to change the name from Ministry of Governance to Ministry of the Interior, the National Assembly approved the “Law that establishes the functions and structure of the Ministry of the Interior“, which in summary, groups together the National Police, the General Directorate of Firefighters, the Penitentiary System, the General Directorate of Migration and Foreign Affairs, and the Nicaraguan Military, so that they work together in the elimination of alleged conspiracy plans against the Sandinista Government.

Police mentality imposed on the Ministry of the Interior

Ortega-Murillo's new Ministry of the Interior
Members of the police guard the seizure of the building that belonged to Editorial La Prensa. The officers who participate in these operations have to obey the orders of their superiors without the option of contradicting them | EFE

The second purpose, which has to do with the unification of the structures of the MINT, intends to impose a police mentality on all officials under this Ministry’s umbrella. 

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This will allow, according to a source linked to the National Police, the concentration of more sources of information under a single directorate, without the need for cooperation or coordination.

Although the new law details that the MINT will be structured by the Superior Direction of the Ministry of the Interior (integrated by the Minister, the General Director of the National Police and the Vice Minister), according to the sources consulted for this analysis, there will be no decision making among this group, but the same line of command will be kept, with Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo in charge.

Horacio Rocha, the main executor of Daniel Ortega’s decisions

Ortega-Murillo's new Ministry of the Interior
Commissioner Horacio Rocha is one of the most trusted men by the presidential couple | File

“There is no restructuring, reorganization or modernization process. The orders are issued by Daniel and Rosario and their main executor is Horacio Rocha”, says the source, who explains that what there will be is a more direct execution of the orders, which will allow greater control of each one of the agencies grouped in the MINT.

Another source linked to the former Ministry of the Interior (Migob), explains that through the control of all departments, the Ortega Murillo regime guarantees order, so it is not surprising that there will be other changes that have the same objective.

“They are giving legal cover to everything that they have executed by de facto means. It is not that as a result of this change they are starting to operate together, no, this has been going on for years. What happens is that now they want to legalize it and therefore control the little that they could not reach”, explained the source linked to Migob.

The memory of an old “tiger”

Prior to the approval of the “Law that establishes the functions and structure of the Ministry of the Interior“, the dictator Daniel Ortega referred to it in a public act at the end of last year. In his appearance, the President said that reviving the MINT was a historic step and that it would give them enormous strength.

“We once again have the great instruments with which we defeated the counterrevolution. Logically, this strengthens the correlation of forces in the Ministry of the Interior. We are all in better conditions to fulfill the tasks that do not allow the enemy to advance in their plans, because they are always conspiring, they are always with their plans”, said the dictator.

Regarding this, the source of the extinct Migob explained that this speech by the dictator, besides being addressed to his most fanatic bases, was intended to impose the aged skin “of a dead tiger” to a Ministry that is completely different from the one they controlled in the eighties.

“Ortega half accomplished his goal. He positioned the memory of that bloodthirsty MINT in the media. There was talk for some days of the return of a ferocious tiger. However, in reality, this is not entirely correct. Unlike in the 1980s, when Tomás Borge had power, in this new MINT there is no one who has more power than the dictators,” explains a security expert with extensive knowledge of political issues, who requested anonymity. 

“And that’s where it failed, because there is no independence. In reality they are still in charge and they are not going to hand over any power to anyone,” he adds. 

The strength of Sandinista espionage

Ortega-Murillo's new Ministry of the Interior
Experts say that the best territorial espionage network the Sandinista regime has are state workers, Sandinista fanatics and political secretaries who work to bring information to the party about any “suspicious” neighbors | EFE

The source linked to Migob, agrees with the security expert that power is only held by Ortega and Murillo. 

He adds that the strength of espionage, characteristic of the MINT in the eighties, is not currently in any ministry, but in the territorial networks, in the institutional networks that control the workers and in the “snitches, sapos (government supporters) and neighbors” who know and report everything they consider to be “important” to the Sandinista party. 

“This is complemented with electronic surveillance that invades the privacy of communications, interception of cell phones, mails, social media. None of that depends on some ministry called Migob, MINT, or Minint or whatever they want to call it,” the source says.

The experts consulted by DIVERGENTES agreed that, although it may seem unnecessary, the Sandinista regime will continue to implement changes to guarantee the control of its entire structure and above all, to control the population through fear, just as organized crime does.

The information we publish in DIVERGENTES comes from contrasted sources. Due to the situation in the region, many times, we are forced to protect them under pseudonymity or anonymity. Unfortunately, some governments in the region, including the Nicaraguan regime, do not provide information or censor independent media. For this reason, despite requesting it, we cannot rely on official, authorized versions. We resort to data analysis, anonymous internal sources, or limited information from the official media. These are the conditions under which we exercise a profession that, in many cases, costs us our safety and our lives. We will continue to report.