The ex-magistrate of Nicaragua’s Supreme Court of Justice, Rafael Solis Cerda, entered Costa Rica one day before submitting his resignation his position and denouncing the existence of “a dictatorship” and “a state of terror” in his native country.
Solís, a man considered close to President Daniel Ortega, entered Costa Rica on Monday, January 7, according to the immigration service. To date there is no record of him leaving Costa Rica.
A day later, on January 8, in a letter addressed to Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, he announced his resignation to the Court and his militancy in the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).
The letter was also addressed to the president of the National Assembly, Gustavo Porras. In it, Solis denounces the establishment of “a dictatorship with characters of absolute monarchy” in Nicaragua.
“I present my immediate and irrevocable resignation from this moment on as magistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice, and all political positions including militancy in the FSLN. This resignation is independent of the decision taken by the National Assembly to accept it or not, even though there are only three months left to conclude my term. However, I prefer to do it now, to avoid having applied to me that article of the Constitution that establishes that public officials elected by the National Assembly must continue in office if new appointments aren’t made, including even the Magistrates when their terms expire, which is what I think will happen in April,” wrote Solis.
The Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – immigration service – would not confirm if Solis has requested or not refugee status, alleging Constitutional Court ruling N° 2017012926 that prevents the DMGE from giving out any such information.
The Nicaraguan online newspaper and a target of President Daniel Ortega’s crackdown on independent media describes Solis as a loyal political operator in the judicial system for Daniel Ortega and one of the most pragmatic voices within the circle of advisers surrounding Ortega.
In the letter, Solis explains that his decision is due to Ortega and Murillo’s handling of the political crisis in the country that, according to the OAS’ Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, has left at least 325 dead, more than 2000 wounded, 550 imprisoned and prosecuted, the dismissal of 300 doctors and other health professionals, and the expulsion of at least 144 students from the UNAN university.
Rafael Solis was one of the most eloquent political spokesmen of the FSLN and one of the executors of the constitutional reforms that allowed Ortega to perpetuate himself in power.
In January 2009, Solís was Ortega’s political operator in the Supreme Court that issued a ruling that freed former President Arnoldo Aleman from a 20-year sentence for fraud against the state, in exchange for the latter guaranteeing Ortega control of the National Assembly.
At the end of 2009, the Constitutional Court, of which Judge Solís was a member, issued a judicial ruling that guaranteed Ortega the possibility of re-election, despite the fact that the Constitution prohibited continuous re-election.
It remains to be seen how the Ortega will react to the resignation.
Solis, who Ortega very well, made clear in his letter he has no hope of a change in the authoritarian drift of the dictator.
Hopefully a miracle will happen and you will reflect, and resume the path of the National Dialogue and the true reconciliation of the country, but the history of Nicaragua has taught us something different and in this case history will be repeated, and if you continue to sow winds you will reap the whirlwind, until it reaches an end that by force will be inevitable,” wrote Solís, who accompanies the letter with a copy of his ID.