Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, along with 70 lawmakers, proposed new legislation Monday that would require individuals and organizations to register as “foreign agents” if they receive money from outside of Nicaragua.
Critics of the proposed law on regulation of foreign agents say that this is an attempt by Ortega to control the media and prevent foreign interference. In addition to the foreign agents legislation, Ortega has proposed a “cybercrimes law,” which would make sharing information that threatens national security a crime punishable with up to four years in prison.
This legislation will also grant powers to the Ministry of the Interior (Migob) to supervise foreign agents and ensure that they are unable to “intervene in internal issues or politics.”
If the proposed legislation is passed, Migob will create a “Foreign Agents Registration Department” where all individuals and organizations fitting the definition of a foreign agent will be required to register within 60 days. Registration will include presenting reports with details of the origins of funds, cooperators and how the resources are used. If an individual or organization fails to comply with the new law, their operations are “frozen,” and they are unable to move funds and goods until they comply.