December 13, 2010 in News
U.S. diplomats accused Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government of taking bribes from drug traffickers in exchange for freeing suspects, in cables released by Wikileaks. The bribes formed a kind of “judicial ‘campaign finance’ machine” in return for not-guilty verdicts, according to a May 5, 2006, cable from the U.S. Embassy in Manangua, Nicaragua. It says the ruling Sandinista party regularly accepted cash from drug traffickers, “usually in return for ordering Sandinista judges to allow traffickers caught by the police and military to go free.” The scheme, the cable said, was run by the director of the state security service and overseen by Supreme Court judges, including Rafael Solis and Roger Camillo Arguello. The Nicaraguan Consulate in Washington declined to comment, deferring to the Foreign Ministry, which didn’t respond to a request for comment. Government representatives in Managua couldn’t be reached. The State Department didn’t respond to a request for comment on the cable.