The New York Times this week profiled Nicaragua as the country approaches its November 7 general elections.
The prominent publication says Costa Rica’s northerly neighbor “veers to dictatorship” as several potential candidates to oppose President Daniel Ortega’s reelection bid have been arrested in recent months.
“One by one, they were dragged from their homes amid a nationwide crackdown on dissent by the president, Daniel Ortega, whose quest to secure a fourth term had plunged the Central American nation into a state of pervasive fear,” the Times story reads.
“Since June, the police have jailed or put under house arrest seven candidates for November’s presidential election and dozens of political activists and civil society leaders, leaving Mr. Ortega running on a ballot devoid of any credible challenger and turning Nicaragua into a police state.”
The repression and fears of violence have sparked a wave of Nicaraguan migration, both to the United States and to Costa Rica. The Times explains how even Nicaragua’s rich have “quietly left” the Central American nation due to “concerns over a looming economic crisis in a country heading steadily toward international isolation.”
More than 87,000 Nicaraguans have sought asylum in Costa Rica since 2018, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. Earlier this year, the same UN agency commended Costa Rica for its support of Nicaraguan migrants.
The entire New York Times story — featuring reporting from ex-Tico Times reporter Alex Villegas — is well worth your time. Click here to read the story in The New York Times.