Two stories about Nicaragua caught my eye today.
First, President Daniel Ortega rushed to congratulate the newly elected President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández. This surprised me since Orlando Hernández is from a conservative party and was running against Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, wife of former president Manuel Zelaya. When Zelaya was booted out of office by the military, Nicaragua was one of his most vigorous supporters at the time. And lastly, the results were relatively close and Zelaya is rejecting the vote, saying that they were robbed. Interesting that Ortega would rush to recognize the new president and promise to fortify ties between the two countries.
Second, and perhaps even more surprising, is the fact that Nicaragua has just been ranked by the UN as the second safest country in Latin America (when ranked by # of homicides and assaults). The fact that Chile was #1 wasn’t too surprising, but Nicaragua as #2? As one analyst points out, “Nicaragua’s ranking as the second safest country in the region has surprised analysts because the Central American nation shares a border with Honduras, which has been hit hard by drug-related violence.”