Nicaragua’s top cop is asking INTERPOL to lift its international capture order for Sandinista government employee Edén “Comandante Cero” Pastora.
In a letter dated Dec. 26, Nicaraguan Police Commissioner Aminta Granera asked INTERPOL secretary general Ronald Noble to “immediately eliminate” Pastora’s name and record from its international wanted persons list. Pastora, 76, was put on the wanted list earlier this month at the request of Costa Rica, where the former guerrilla leader is accused of usurping public property and violating that country’s forestry law. Pastora allegedly committed those crimes while working as a dredge boat captain in the service of the Sandinista government.
Pastora responded to the capture order by calling INTERPOL’s directors “crazy.” He says the warrant is inapplicable because he was working as a government employee, and that Costa Rica’s request to include him on the international wanted list is a sad act of desperation by an unpopular government.
The Nicaraguan Police apparently agree with Pastora’s assessment of the situation. Granera’s letter to the INTERPOL director makes it clear that the Nicaraguan Police have no intention of upholding the international capture order.
Instead, the Nicaraguan police chief challenges the validity of the warrant by arguing that Costa Rica is in violation of INTERPOL’s statues, principles and objectives. Furthermore, Granera argues, the alleged crimes committed by Pastora occurred on border land that is subject to an ongoing international dispute before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The Nicaraguan police chief’s letter goes on to echo the Sandinista government’s argument that the capture order for Pastora is evidence that the INTERPOL office in Costa Rica is acting in “bad faith” and jeopardizing the neutrality of the global organization by attempting to “utilize it for political goals.”
At press time, Pastora had not been removed from INTERPOL’s wanted persons list.