Police announce restructuring

(posted May 10, 8:15 a.m.)- Nicaragua’s National Police this week announced an institutional restructuring that includes the formation of five new police units: Counterintelligence, Border Security, Countryside Security, Tourism Police, and Embassy Protection.

“We have to strengthen this link between the people and the police,” President Daniel Ortega said Tuesday night. The president says the institutional restructuring is part of an effort to strengthen the model of “citizen security.”

Police Commissioner Aminta Granera also announced the retirement of Inspector General Juan Báez, Subdirector General Carlos Palacios, and Women’s Affairs Commissioner Mercedes Ampié.

Granera adamantly denies that Subdirector Palacios’ retirement is related to the recent scandal involving detained strip club owner and accused narco Henry Fariñas.

Fariñas’ family told the local press that the accused drug-trafficker and money-launderer had a close relationship with Palacios. Indeed, Palacios is the godfather of Fariñas’ son.

Granera, however, reacted snippily when pressed by journalists.

“Let me ask you, ‘Is it a crime to be a godfather to Henry Fariñas son? Look, your father could be a drug dealer and you are not,” the police commissioner said.

Palacio, for his part, denies any connection to Fariñas. He says he requested to retire after 32 years of service in the police.

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