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Nicaraguan school director resigns

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Less than a month after the controversial actions — or, according to some, dubious inaction —of embattled American Nicaraguan School (ANS) Director General Gloria Doll, the school’s board of directors announced her resignation today. “The Board of Directors of the American Nicaraguan School has received and accepted the resignation of Dr. Gloria Doll, as Director General of our school, effective next month,” reads a message emailed to parents today. “We are working closely with Dr. Doll to ensure a smooth transition. We thank her for the valuable contributions and efforts provided to our school and wish her all the success in her future endeavors and projects.”

Doll had come under fire for what many consider to be an egregious mishandling of the scandal involving accused pedophile professor William Vahey, who was fired on March 11 after seven months of teaching at ANS. Vahey, a U.S. citizen who committed suicide on March 21, was an accomplished pedophile, preying on an untold number of unsuspecting students in private American schools in nine different countries, according to an ongoing FBI investigation. Continue Reading →

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ANS: Vahey’s photos were taken prior to Nicaragua


(posted April 23, 6:15 pm) — The American Nicaraguan School (ANS) issued a statement this afternoon stating that its “employment relationship” with alleged U.S. pedophile William James Vahey was terminated on March 11, 2014, and that the pornographic evidence he was caught with predates his tenure in Managua. “Mr. Vahey worked for this institution since August 12, 2013 to March 11, 2014. He was fired immediately by ANS administration after having found inappropriate photographic material belonging to him. This photographic material was collected by Mr. Vahey in other countries prior to his arrival in Nicaragua,” the school said in a statement. Vahey is being investigated by the FBI, which claims it has one of the ex-teacher’s thumbdrives with pornographic photographs of at least 90 alleged victims, dating back to 2008. Continue Reading →

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FBI: alleged US pedophile taught at American Nicaraguan School


(posted April 22, 8:00 pm) — The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking the public’s assistance to identify alleged victims of a suspected U.S. child predator who reportedly taught at Managua’s American Nicaraguan School from 2013 until March 2014. William James Vahey, 64, was a suspect in an international sex crimes investigation who committed suicide on March 21, 2014, according to an FBI release. His alleged victims were American and international students enrolled in private schools abroad where Vahey taught, beginning in 1972. “A USB thumb drive belonging to Vahey and provided to the FBI revealed pornographic images of minor males, approximately 12 to 14 years old, who appeared to be asleep or unconscious,” according to an FBI release. “The images were captioned with locations and dates that referenced places Vahey had previously traveled with students. Continue Reading →

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Tourist’s tip led to arrest in Nicaragua

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(posted April 23, 2:00 p.m.)- A tourist visiting Nicaragua provided the FBI with the tip that led to this week’s arrest and deportation of U.S. citizen and accused pedophile Eric Justin Toth, one of the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted fugitives. An FBI source in Washington, D.C. told The Nicaragua Dispatch today that US authorities are currently evaluating the information provided from the tip to determine whether the unidentified tourist is now eligible to collect the $100,000 reward offered for Toth. “A recent tip led law enforcement to Nicaragua, where Toth was living under an alias,” the FBI said today in its release. “Law enforcement was able to trace his recent movements and, through a recent purchase, locate him in Estelí, Nicaragua, where he was taken into custody.”

The FBI said Toth’s arrest was “the result of an exhaustive and well-coordinated investigation by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the FBI Legal Attaché, and Special Agents of the Diplomatic Security Service assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Managua.”

The FBI also praised Nicaraguan Police for helping to collar the fugitive who, for nearly five years, “eluded law enforcement despite the work of dedicated agents, officers, and intelligence analysts who sought his capture,” according to Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. “I would also like to thank our partners with the Nicaraguan National Police Commissioner’s Office, the Nicaraguan National Police Trafficking in Persons Unit, and the Nicaraguan Immigration Service for their crucial work in apprehending this fugitive,” Parlave said. Continue Reading →

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Nicaragua deports FBI’s most wanted fugitive

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(posted April 22, 5:50 p.m.)- One of the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives in the world was handed over to U.S. officials Monday afternoon at Managua’s International Airport to be deported immediately back to the United States to face charges of producing and possessing child pornography in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Eric Justin Toth, a 31-year-old former school teacher charged with filming child pornography in 2008, had been living in Nicaragua off and on for the past six months under the stolen identity of Robert Shaw Walker, according to Nicaraguan police. Toth, whom the police claim is a computer expert, had allegedly counterfeited a U.S. passport, a fake U.S. driver’s license and three U.S. credit cards under his assumed identity. Toth’s ability to disappear from the radar and blend in wherever he landed perplexed U.S. officials for years. Toth eluded U.S authorities in six states before arriving in Nicaragua. His last known whereabouts were in Arizona in 2009, where he was reportedly living in a shelter and pretending to be homeless man, according to an FBI source. Continue Reading →

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Nicaragua nabs FBI’s top ten fugitive


(posted April 22, 2:45 p.m.)- Nicaragua’s National Police has captured one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, according to National Police spokesman Fernando Borge and confirmed by FBI authorities in Washington, D.C.
After more than three years on the run, U.S. citizen Eric Justin Toth, 31, is in police custody in Managua after being arrested by Nicaraguan Police. Borge told The Nicaragua Dispatch that Toth will be presented to the press this afternoon in Managua. He refrained from offering further comment on the arrest until then. According to the FBI, Toth, who may also go by the name David Bussone, is a former private-school teacher who is wanted on separate charges of producing child pornography in Maryland and possession of child pornography in Washington, D.C. The U.S. is requesting his immediate extradition. An FBI spokeswoman told The Nicaragua Dispatch that Toth is considered a threat to society because he is “a smart guy who fits well into society.” The FBI put him on their Most Wanted List in 2012 and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Continue Reading →

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Ex-cops found guilty of rape

(posted Jan. 24, 4:30 p.m.)-Three former police officers assigned to protect the grounds surrounding President Daniel Ortega’s presidential compound were found guilty in criminal court Wednesday night for raping and sexually abusing a 12-year-old disabled girl on Aug. 9, 2012. The rape victim, who reportedly has the mental capacity of a child half her age, was walking her dog near her house when she grabbed by the police officers and then raped in an abandoned lot inside the security perimeter of the presidential compound, 30 meters from Ortega’s house. The officers were dishonorably discharged after the rape charges were filed and made public in the press. Continue Reading →

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Young rape victim attempts suicide

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A young Nicaraguan girl who accused four policemen and a private security agent of gang raping her in an empty house 30 meters from the presidential compound has tried to commit suicide twice in the past week, according to the Nicaragua Center for Human Rights (CENIDH). “She cut one of her wrists and was taken to a hospital last week,” says CENIDH lawyer Andrea Rothschuh, who is following the case on behalf of the victim’s family. “The government is not giving her the psychological care she needs. She is at home, depressed and not going to school.” 

The 12-year-old victim, who suffers from a series of physical and mental disabilities and reportedly has the mental capacity of a girl half her age, was allegedly taken against her will by police and repeatedly raped and abused for nearly 12 hours. She finally escaped the house the following morning at 7:30 a.m. He father had already reported her missing. Continue Reading →

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3 officers accused of rape, sexual abuse

(posted Sept. 2, 1:53 p.m.)- Three Nicaraguan police officers who protected President Daniel Ortega’s family compound are facing criminal accusations for allegedly raping and sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl with physical disabilities. The three officers, ages 21, 24 and 26, were reportedly guarding the El Carmen Park next to the presidential compound when the young girl walked by with her dog at 6 p.m. on Aug. 9. The officers allegedly began making lewd comments at the girl, and then proceeded to rape her. Continue Reading →

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Nicaragua gets improved grades in trafficking report

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The U.S. government is giving Nicaragua good marks for “significantly improving its anti-trafficking law-enforcement efforts,” according to the State Department’s 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, released yesterday. “The Government of Nicaragua fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons,” reads the report, which bumps Nicaragua—for the first time ever—to a Tier 1 ranking in response to the country’s significant improvements in investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of traffickers. The report acknowledges Nicaragua’s efforts to strengthen its legislation against trafficking, as well as improve its capacities to detect, investigate and prosecute criminals. “Nicaragua criminalizes all forms of human trafficking through Article 182 of its penal code, which prohibits trafficking in persons for the purposes of slavery, sexual exploitation, and adoption, prescribing penalties of seven to 12 years’ imprisonment,” the report reads. “In January 2012, this article was amended, increasing penalties to 10 to 14 years’ imprisonment and broadening the scope of offenses that can be prosecuted as human trafficking.”

The report says the prescribed punishments for trafficking in Nicaragua are “sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.”

Nicaragua also received kudos for maintaining anti-trafficking police units in Managua and for decentralizing its enforcement efforts by designating an “anti-trafficking point person in each of the country’s 16 departments and each of the capital’s 10 districts.”

Still, the report says that Nicaraguan law enforcement needs to do a better job coordinating those efforts. Continue Reading →

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