During the 44th anniversary of the founding of the National Police of Nicaragua, this Monday, September 11, Commander Daniel Ortega said that the secretary of state and deputy director of the federal troops of the Russian National Guard, Oleg Anatolyievich Plokhoi, is in Nicaragua “to better confront the coup plotters, the terrorists”, the nicknames used by the president to refer to opponents since the political crisis of 2018. “We are defending peace,” justified the dictator.
Ortega explained that in addition to helping to confront opponents, the Russian colonel is in the country to collaborate with the Russian Interior Ministry’s Specialized Police Training Center in Nicaragua, located in Managua, to train police officers from the Central American region, including Nicaraguan officers, “to better confront” drug trafficking and organized crime.
Minutes before, Ortega presented the Medal of Honor for Merit “Police Friendship” to Colonel Plokhoi. Rosario Murillo, co-president, justified this distinction because Plokhoi “has contributed to the strengthening of the institution (police) in the fight against international organized crime”.
The Nicaraguan president said that ” coup plotters and traitors are going to say that comrade (Plokhoi) was sent by President Vladimir Putin to build a few atomic bombs here in Nicaragua”. At that moment, Ortega took the opportunity to attack opponents, whom he accused of saying “any barbarity, any slander, trying to deceive the Nicaraguan people…every day they are making up stories”, he added.
Ortega articulated his speech, again, to refer to the April 2018 rebellion, when he crushed citizen protests with at least 355 deaths, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). According to Ortega, his government was the victim of a coup attempt, financed by “the imperialist community” of Latin America, the United States and Europe. “There were three months of blockade against the country (…) and the media shooting lies and slanders to justify the coup”, he pointed out.
Ortega’s words clash with what was stated on Monday by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Volker Türk, who warned that the human rights situation in Nicaragua has continued to “seriously deteriorate”. The organization emphasizes that in the past year, people considered to be opponents of the regime and their families have been “persecuted and subjected” to a wide range of “arbitrary measures that violate their human rights”.
In his speech, Ortega acknowledged that in 2018 he participated in “Operation Cleanup”, an operation with which he dismantled the tranques (roadblocks set up by protesters to demand his resignation) and caused the death of dozens of opponents. “There was a moment in which order had to be reestablished, peace had to be restored. It was the police and with volunteer policemen, we dismantled the famous roadblocks of death.”
Promotions of commissioners
The event served to promote 33 major commissioners to become general commissioners. Of the 33 commissioners, 19 are women. Ortega said that “the cowards, vendepatrias, machistas, are vociferating because we are (his government) complying” with a principle of gender equality. “It is a historical fact… The coup perpetrators have been shouting against the appointments of the women colleagues,” Ortega said, and threatened: “it will hurt even more (the opposition) when these women colleagues capture them and pull them by the hair, where they are sowing terror”.
The general director of the National Police and father-in-law of the presidential couple, Francisco Díaz Madriz, once again assured that Nicaragua is the “safest country in Central America and one of the safest in Latin America”. He also informed that this year the Police has opened 130 women’s police stations and 52 national safety units; they have also acquired 297 means of transportation.
The National Police is in charge of Ortega and Murillo’s personal security, and consists of three security rings formed by a group of elite police officers. In total, presidential security costs the State some US$6 million and is made up of more than 1,200 police officers. Since 2018, the presidential leaders have reinforced this institution in terms of economic resources and number of officers.