Nicaraguan diplomat, priest and intellectual Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann Dies at 84

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D’Escoto Brockmann was a leader within the Sandinista National Liberation Front, FSLN, and served as foreign minister of Nicaragua from 1979–1990.

Former Nicaraguan diplomat, priest and intellectual Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann died Thursday, months after suffering a stroke.

Besides having served as foreign minister, he was also the president of the United Nations General Assembly from 2008 to 2009.

Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo said in memory of D´Escoto that “he was a brother who was never sad,” and that “he was an unyielding brother, a brother who fought with the people, for the people, together with the people, for all of our just causes.”

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Oil Spill Spreads to Costa Rica, Threatening Biodiversity

The environmental disaster is now an international one almost a week after a fire started in a biodiversity-rich mangrove off Nicaragua’s Pacific coast.

Multinational oil company Puma Energy may be responsible of a major oil spill over the weekend in the tourist destination Puerto Sandino, on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, contaminating nearly a mile of mangroves and now the coasts of Honduras and Costa Rica.

Costa Rica University oceanographer Omar Lizano reported Monday that the oil had reached the Gulf of Fonseca, shared by the three Central American countries, and was now affecting the beaches and mangroves’ exceptional biodiversity.

The spill followed an explosion involving two of the company’s four tanks that stored oil-derived products, the local environment group Humboldt Center said at a press conference over the weekend. The center demanded immediate measures to least slow down what it described as ongoing environmental damages.

“There is an important oil spill, whose precise volume remains unknown, but one kilometer square of mangrove water is filled with oil, the fauna has been affected,” said Humboldt Center’ director Victor Campos.

Beside the mangroves, the oil was also swept into the ocean while the tide rose. Corpses of fish, turtles and crabs started accumulating everywhere, reported La Prensa.

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Nicaragua: Daniel Ortega for re-election in November

The Sandinista leader said he will not invite international observers to witness the vote because he considers that a form of intervention.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has been elected by the Sandinista National Liberation Front, or FSLN, as its candidate to run in the November 6 presidential elections.

The decision was announced last night at the party headquarters in the capital of Managua and was backed unanimously by the 1,910 delegates.

Delegates loudly applauded Ortega, who said he’s not interested in having international observers during the elections, as he consider them “interventionists ambassadors.”

“Scoundrel observers, observation is over here, you can go and observe your own countries,” Ortega said.

This is the seventh time that Ortega will be candidate of the FSLN. The first time was in 1984 when he was elected president. He ruled six years in his first term before losing in the 1990 election. He returned to power in 2007 and won again in 2011.
Ortega’s main opponent in this election is Luis Callejas, a doctor who supported the anti-Sandinista Contras during the U.S.-stoked civil war of the 1980s.

The socialist leader has broad popular support, with recent polls showing he has the support of 64 percent of voters. In the 2011 election the former Sandinista guerrilla was re-elected with 63 percent of the vote.

Under Ortega’s government, Nicaragua has become one of the safest countries in the Americas, with a murder rate lower than that of neighboring Costa Rica, with the president’s popularity buoyed by strong economic growth.