© 2023 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Nicaraguan Supreme Court Justice Slams Ortega's 'State Of Terror'

Alfredo Zuniga
AP via Miami Herald
Nicaraguan police arrest anti-government protesters during a recent demonstration in Managua.

For the second time in a week, a Latin American Supreme Court justice has denounced a left-wing authoritarian president. This time the country is Nicaragua – and this time the judge is calling the regime "a state of terror."

Rafael Solís is, or was, a justice on the Supreme Court of Nicaragua – a court considered a lapdog of leftist President Daniel Ortega. It’s the same Supreme Court that critics say trashed Nicaragua’s Constitution to let Ortega run for re-election as many times as he wants.

But Ortega’s increasingly brutal authoritarian rule was too much for even Justice Solís. In a scorching resignation letter this week, Solís accused the president of turning Nicaragua into a “state of terror.” He said Ortega has used “bloodshed and fire” to crush protests demanding his resignation.

Human rights groups estimate Ortega’s security forces have killed more than 300 protesters in the past nine months, and journalists are being jailed. Solís said as a result Nicaragua is moving toward “total economic chaos” and “civil war.”

Earlier this week a justice of Venezuela’s Supreme Court – a bench considered a rubber stamp for socialist President Nicolás Maduro – defected to Miami. Christian Zerpa said he opposed Maduro’s unconstitutional re-election last year and his re-inauguration this week.

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
More On This Topic
Your generous support ensures that this trusted public news service is accessible to all, no matter what.
Please donate today.