Over the past few months, we, the people of Nicaragua, have watched with amazement and indignation the corruption scandals that reveal, one after the other, how people, during the last adminstration, protected by the powers that be, enriched themselves illegally. Because of the magnitutde of these acts, Nicaragua's internal debt as well as its fiscal defecit have today become an unacceptable burden.
The president Enrique Bolaños, elected by a significant majority of the Nicaraguan people, has insisted from the beginning on clarifying, through justice tribunals, the responsibility of those who have been signalled as the authors of this catastrophe. Many of the accused officials have fled the country, others are in jail under judges' orders, and others shield themselves with parliamentary immunity, in a pre-conceived plan to elude justice.
The international financial organisations and the countries that provide aid to Nicaragua must understand that no monetary adjustment plan will be viable, and that the country will not be able to march towards economic recovery as long as the government of president Bolaños cannot successfully finish the actions it has taken to fight corruption. These actions must inevitably go through the legal judgement of those who have an infinite number of fraud and embezzlement charges against them.
The current situation of political and economic instability in Nicaragua, is not due to a confrontation between two state powers, Executive and Legislative, but to the abusive hoarding of power by the President of the National Assembly, Arnoldo Alemán, who seeks to exert control through personal loyalties, over other powers and state institutions, and thus defy the legitimacy and authority of the Executive.
The fight for transparency and the independence of institutions is the same as the fight against corruption. Corruption does not consist only of the looting of goods and resources of the state, but also in the use of public institutions for purposes of personal power.
Various surveys demonstrate the overwhelming support that the Nicaraguan people give to the fight against corruption, and the defence of the institutions to stop being instruments at the service of personal authoritarian interests. Nicaragua cries out for its dignity and ethical values, determined to no longer let power serve to create fortunes at the expense of the poor and marginalized, and in detriment to the progress of our nation. The country cannot be anyone's hostage.
In the name of this feeling among the citizenry, we direct ourselves to the international community so that they may demonstrate their support in this fight upon which our future depends, and grant special emergency treatment to our country. While the government continues the legal/judicial trials of those that will respond for their illicit acts once they are stripped of their immunity, the external resources already promised, and those that are in process of being contracted, must flow without delay so that Nicaragua can emerge from its economic stagnation, provoked precisely by the bankruptcy in which the corrupt officials have left it.
Separating one thing from the other, and proposing that Nicaragua be submitted to the requirements and terms of a country under normal circumstances, would not be in any way fair, and would only serve the purposes of those who are responsible for the current situation, and who also wish to keep asserting themselves amidst the despair and chaos that they have planted. Nicaragua can become a successful model in the fight against corruption. However, not supporting us means encouraging the corrupt ones; and the failure in this fight, for a lack of international support, would create a terrible precedent not only in Nicaragua, but also in other countries of Latin America.
Ex Public Officials
Ex Members of Executive, Congress or Judiciary
Artists and Intellectuals
Civil Society Leaders
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