Be Careful When Buying Property Here

January 4, 2008

Dear Nica Times:

We have been on an adventure with our investment property in Nicaragua.

After purchasing the property, we discovered we did not have correct documentation.

Through a long and costly ordeal we were able to obtain a clear title. The property is an eight and a half-acre parcel on the west coast of Nicaragua, with 520 feet of beachfront in a fishing village called El Astillero. Since then we have come to know the people in the village.

El Astillero is a village with 1,800 people in the Tola district.We donated a corner of our property to a missionary couple with a call to that country who built a home there.

I was beginning to market most of the property as we had planned to keep some beachfront footage to build a second home.

The investment was a joint venture with our 23-year-old son John.We were beginning to get excited about the possibilities.

In April one day before my wife, Cindy, arrived in Nicaragua with her friend and interpreter, a group of people, including a judge, came to the house and evicted our friends and have taken possession of the home.

Since then, the judge has been removed and has been replaced with a supervisory judge who is sympathetic to our cause.

This area is commonly known as “The Ring of Fire” because of the demand for beachfront developments along with the associated corruption.

As it turns out, a man by the name of Arnoldo Alemán, an attorney and former president of Nicaragua, has allegedly manipulated a way to gain possession of the property.

Mr. Alemán was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for extorting over $100 million in foreign aid while he was president.

Alemán has also forged a power-sharing pact with current President Daniel Ortega, facilitating his rise to power. One organization ranks Alemán as the ninth most corrupt man in the world.

We are not about to give up on this property, as we feel we are supposed to live there and be involved in the community, which we are.

Many have stayed with us over this time; our attorney in Nicaragua has been encouraging and trustworthy. Our friend has given us countless hours of interpretation.

We do feel it is time to make this act of thievery and the court’s inability to make a quick and correct decision a public issue.

Steve Spinnett

Damascus, Oregon, USA

 

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