Sandinista Judges Refuse to Step Down

April 16, 2010

A session in the Supreme Court April 12 unraveled into a shouting match between judges when opposition magistrate Gabriel Rivera read a declaration stating that the high court no longer recognizes the authority of Sandinista magistrates Rafael Solís and Armengol Cuadra, whose terms expired April 11.

After Rivera read a proclamation by opposition judges stating that the court no longer recognizes the authority of Solís and Cuadra, and that all decisions the two make from now on will be illegal, the head Sandinista magistrate responded furiously, telling Rivera to “shut up” and calling him a “killer.”

Solís, who is close to President Daniel Ortega, insisted that he would remain at his post until his successor is picked. To defend his position, Solís cited President Ortega’s controversial decree (calling for 25 top magistrates to remain at their posts) and an obscure law from the 1987, which legal analysts say expired 20 years ago (see separate story).

Solís said the Liberal judges’ attempt to declare him illegal is a case of political manipulation by the opposition.

“That’s our position; we are going to be here and we are going to sign all sentences and (resolutions),” Solís said.

Supreme Court president Manuel Martínez, meanwhile, said Solís and Cuadra are no longer recognized as magistrates.

Last week, during a visit to the Supreme Court by top military brass, Solís thanked the generals for their support of the government and warned of certain “hot heads” threatening the “institutionality” of the country. Solís was apparently alluding to those protesting Sandinista officials’ intention to remain in office beyond their terms.

Solís’ words were interpreted by the opposition as a call for military repression of any protests against the Sandinista government.

A military spokesman this week reiterated that the military will not get involved in domestic political disputes.

Meanwhile, Liberal Party magistrate Damiscis Sirias, whose term also ended April 11, packed his desk and left his post this week, saying he refused to adhere to Ortega’s questionable decree.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Five things I learned while watching the sun set over El Clásico
Soccer
830 views
Soccer
830 views

Five things I learned while watching the sun set over El Clásico

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 22, 2018

TIBÁS — It’s difficult to enjoy a spectacular sunset while the concrete grandstand of a 50-year-old stadium shakes haphazardly under…

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Oct. 22, 2018
Tico Times Weekly Digest
429 views
Tico Times Weekly Digest
429 views

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Oct. 22, 2018

Alexander Villegas - October 22, 2018

It's Monday everyone. That means it's time for another dose of The Tico Times Weekly Digest. This week's Digest is…

This week in the Peace Corps: Lessons from indigenous communities in Limón province
Changemakers
901 views
Changemakers
901 views

This week in the Peace Corps: Lessons from indigenous communities in Limón province

Crystal / Regional Peace Corps Leader - October 22, 2018

After four years with Peace Corps Costa Rica, I am reflective about living and working in indigenous communities throughout Limón…