Nicaragua's legislature votes today on three proposed laws that, critics say, would give President Daniel Ortega sweeping new authority to create a domestic spy network and censor the media.
Elmer Martinez/AFP Photo/Newscom
A year-end blitz by President Daniel Ortega to reform Nicaragua’s national security and defense policies could be a dangerous step toward militarizing the country and subverting its troubled democracy to the boot of military authority, analysts warn.
Critics claim the proposed National Defense Law, the National Security Law, and the Border Law – a legislative package scheduled for a vote today – would give Mr. Ortega sweeping new authority to create a domestic spy network, censor the media, confiscate land, and repress the opposition.
Sandinista lawmakers defend the new laws as necessary to combat emerging national security threats such as narco-trafficking and organized crime. The legislation also feeds on growing nationalism amid disputes with Costa Rica to the south, Honduras to the north, and Colombia in the Caribbean.
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