Zoilamerica’s partner deported from Nicaragua

Bolivian-born rights activist Carlos Ariñez was nabbed in Managua and brought immediately to the Costa Rica border and expelled from the country

(posted June 25, 10:30 p.m.)- Banished to the Costa Rican border town of La Cruz after being ousted from Nicaragua by Sandinista officials, Bolivian citizen Carlos Ariñez says he has no doubt that his “illegal deportation” is part of President Daniel Ortega’s personal and political vendetta against estranged stepdaughter Zoilamérica Ortega Murillo.

“This was an illegal deportation—a method the Sandinista government uses to target foreign human rights workers,” Ariñez told The Nicaragua Dispatch in a Skype interview at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, shortly after being dumped on the other side of the Costa Rican border. Ariñez says he has Costa Rican residency.

Ariñez, who has lived in Nicaragua for four years with his partner, Zoilamérica Ortega Murillo, claims his detention and expulsion from Nicaragua tonight was an act of family vengeance. The rights worker rejects the argument made by Nicaraguan Immigration officials, who say Ariñez had overstayed his visa by 20 days.

Carlos Ariñez

“That’s a lie,” Ariñez says.“I went to the Immigration offices last Friday to pay the fine for overstaying my visa. I paid the fine at 10 a.m., even though they intentionally tried to slow the process.”

Ariñez says he plans to formally accuse the Nicaraguan state of abusing his rights and persecuting his partner, who on Tuesday night filed her own complaint before the Nicaraguan Commission on Human Rights (CENIDH) in Managua.

Ortega Murillo, who in 1998 accused her stepfather Daniel Ortega of repeatedly sexually abusing her since she was a little girl, told the press this evening that her parents’ government continues to persecute her and her family, most recently for expressing solidarity with senior citizens demanding the right to a partial pension. Ortega Murillo and Ariñez visited the protesting seniors last week and publically expressed their support for their cause. After that, the couple claims they were followed for several days by Sandinistas on motorcycles.

The two were finally approached today at noon in a bank parking lot by a group of four immigration officials, one of whom allegedly tried to force his way into their car, according to Ariñez. The ousted activist says one of the men was wearing his uniform unbuttoned, exposing a Sandinista Youth t-shirt underneath. The fourth man—the one who allegedly tried to force entry into the car—was dressed in civilian clothing, he said.

Ariñez was detained and quickly deported without any appeals process, prompting Ortega Murillo to blame her mother publically.

Zoilamérica Ortega Murillo expresses solidarity with senior citizens during last week’s protests in Managua (photo/ Twitter)

“Forty minutes ago I received a phone call from my mom telling me that this was a consequence for my actions; I blame her for this,” Ortega Murillo told reporter Wilfredo Miranda Aburto, of Confidencial.

Shortly after the accusation was published online, Ortega Murillo was forcibly removed from the property of the Immigration offices by Sandinista thugs, who reportedly broke her glasses in the process.

“This is a personal war,” Ortega Murillo told reporters after getting roughed up.

Sandinista officials defend deportation

Sandinista Immigration Director Martín Jarquín told Sandinista media outlets that Immigration officials picked up Ariñez during a “routine patrol” of Managua this afternoon. He said immigration authorities had invited Ariñez to renew his visa several weeks ago, but the Bolivian “did not comply.”

Jarquín said Ariñez was discovered by Immigration officials as they “routinely patrolled” the city this afternoon. But when the Bolivian was approached by the officers, he got into his car and offended the officials, Jarquín said.

“That is a violation; it is a crime in every country in the world and is punishable,” Jarquín said, adding that lots of Nicaraguans are deported each day from other countries.

Jarquín said Ariñez’ deportation was a routine matter. He said Immigration officials have deported 120 foreigners this year, including 16 this month.

For Ortega Murillo, 45, today’s deportation of her partner was just the latest insult. In April, Ortega Murillo accused her parents’ government of abusing its power to dissuade the Norwegian Embassy from financing the work of CEI, a Managua-based organization that promotes issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.


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  • Arnoldo Pacheco

    This will mark the fourth extra-judicial expulsion from Nicaragua. We so far have the journalist, two American fugitives, and now this Bolivian citizen. There is a place for deportation and it requires judicial review and appellate procedure. It concerns me where there is no due process, no ability to appeal, and an impossibility to acquire habeas corpus relief.

    However, while people are complaining about some of the expulsions, while cheering other ones because they involve alleged fugitives, the bottom line is that there must be a procedure, it must be respected, and everyone should be entitled to judicial review if they desire it. You can’t accomplish that after being expelled with no hearing.

    • Carlos Briones

      “[T]he bottom line is that there must be a procedure, it must be respected, and everyone should be entitled to judicial review if they desire it.”

      Even if you staple the “procedure” on each of these thugs’ forehead, it would be disregarded as the orders come either from Rosario Murillo or her husband, whatever his name is.

      It is naive to think that the rule of law can be applied in a country where members of the country’s highest court are pawns of by the tyrants above.

  • Alvan Dazbohrk

    I don’t understand this guy; why give’em an excuse to retaliate against you when you know they’re after you, waiting for you to make a wrong move so they can bust you. In any country, it’s plain stupid to let your visa expire and then twenty days later you show up to pay the fine for overstaying. There’s no such thing; you simply get detained and then deported in any country. Being in a banana republic doesn’t help much either.

    • Erik Nelson

      Absolutely. Nicaragua is a sovereign country with the right to determine who crosses its borders. The rules are well-known–90 days, or you apply to be a resident and eventually a citizen. Showing up late–because the “fine” is only a couple of bucks a day) indicates a cavalier attitude to the nation and the law. Let the gentleman ignore visa regulations in Costa Rica and see what happens.

      • Kelvin

        Erik and Alvan, you are both of course absolutely right but then Migracion has allowed tourists to pay fines amounting to $1,100, $1,300 and more at a fine rate of $2 a day over (50 Cordobas). Go figure!

      • Rico Suave

        Eric I am guilty of having “cavalier attitude”, over stayed my visa dozens of times. Once I even tried to make a break for it at the airport. Nothing doing, was instructed to report to the immigration desk and the nice officer lady just took my money as always. Haven’t been roughed up and thrown out the country for being late.

      • http://www.niggaornot.com Mark Gregas

        There is a per day fine. These fines are set by the law. Sometimes immigration will give a certain time to leave. However, the law in Nicaragua does not provide for unilateral expulsion. There is a right to have the matter reviewed by the courts. If Nicaragua desires to change its law, the method is to amend the legislation, not to break the law.

        It operates similarly in Costa Rica. There is a process. People have a right to petition the Sala IV court for habeas corpus. It’s not unilateral expulsion.

        Finally, you can’t be expelled to a third country. To deport, you are to be sent to your country unless you agree otherwise. This means that the only people they can drive to the border are Ticos.

        I am certainly not suggesting that people ignore Nicaragua’s immigration rules. However, Nicaragua wrote the rules. Rules require review by an official before deportation. It’s like saying that, since you ran a stop sign, it’s ok for the police to take your car. No, it’s ok for the police to give you a ticket that you can either pay or appeal under the law.

        • Barbara Larcom

          The article said that he has Costa Rican residency

  • Rosalía usulutan

    Tenia sus paperles en orden, lo que su made quiere es que Zoilamerica. Desaparezca, para que no le recuerde que su marido abusa ninas

  • Ken

    Someone needs to turn this into a televovela, really. The average person bores quickly of politics, which is the angle from which the saga of Ortega and Murillo is usually presented, but loves a family drama with political overtones. If the story were presented from within the family–and the facts even offer all the crucial ingredients–I suspect that people would follow it more attentively.

    • Név Hamis

      I like the idea of a telenovela. Edward James Omos can play Daniel, Russell Brand can play Chayo, and a talking pig can play Gustavo Porras

  • Mela Pellas

    Maybe Daniel was jealous of Zoila’s boyfriend . Why can this ilegal bolivian sleep with her while he has to sleep with Chayo? Creepy, ha?

  • Jefte Morazan

    This is totally ridiculous. A lot of other foreigners visiting overstay in the country for a couple more days, and they just pay and extra fee, and that’s it. This case is of course manipulated to some other purposes.

  • Brian Thompson

    Para mis amigos, todo! Para mis enemigos, la ley!

  • Guillermo

    Ortega and Murillo behave as if Nicaragua was their personal property, their finca. It follows they must think the people are their cattle, although I’ve seen ranchers treat their cattle better than Ortega and Murillo treat the people of Nicaragua.