Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's Net Worth, Uncovered

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Oct. 29 2021, Published 12:20 p.m. ET

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is the subject of global opposition amid claims that he's running the country like a dictator. Reports of Ortega jailing political opponents and whistleblowers have seeped beyond the North America country's borders.

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Ortega is undoubtedly wealthy, but how wealthy is he? Diving into his net worth, people can start to get a sense of what's really going on below the surface.

Daniel Ortega is the subject of upcoming "60 Minutes" episode.

Two wives of jailed Nicaraguan men took part in a 60 Minutes interview that's set to air on Oct. 31. Victoria Cardenas and Berta Valle will speak about how their spouses had plans to oppose the president.

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Juan Sebastian Chamorro (Cardenas' husband) and Felix Maradiaga (Valle's husband and former cabinet member) were planning to go against Ortega in the upcoming presidential election.

"He was on the floor with his hands up saying, 'I am here. Please don't do anything to my wife. We are unarmed.' …They took him violently," Cardenas says.

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Is Daniel Ortega a dictator?

In the 1980s, Ortega was the leader of the ruling multi-partisan party Junta of National Reconstruction. In 1984, he received more than 60 percent of the general election vote and became president. He was president for six years before Violeta Chamorror took his place.

Ortega returned to power in Nicaragua in 2006. A known Marxist and Leninist, his second administration has been markedly more anti-democratic than the first.

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By 2018, groups like Amnesty International said that Ortega had violently oppressed protesters in response to the anti-Ortega 2018–2020 Nicaraguan protests. Because of his violence, more than 30,000 Nicaraguans have sought asylum in neighboring countries like Costa Rica.

Ortega's dictatorial control of the nation is increasing and the violence is causing major global concern.

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With Nicaragua'a elections coming up, most of Ortega's opponents are jailed

Ortega has jailed other opponents in the Nov. 7 general election, including Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, daughter of former president Violeta Chamorro de Barrios. He has also sought to jail Hugo Torres Jiménez, who spearheaded an attack on the National Palace in 1978 and forced then-dictator Somoza Debayle to free political prisoners—Ortega included.

Many of the jailed individuals haven't been heard from and can't access family communication or legal counsel. Ortega has largely shut down non-governmental organizations.

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Daniel Ortega

President of Nicaragua

Net worth: $50 Million

  • Birth date: November 11, 1945
  • Birth name: José Daniel Ortega Saavedra
  • Wife: Rosario Murillo
  • Children: Zoilamérica, Camila Antonia, Carlos Enrique, Daniel Edmundo, Juan Carlos, Laureano Facundo, Luciana Catarina, Maurice Facundo, and Rafael Antonio
  • Education: University in Managua (didn't graduate due to political involvement)

Ortega's net worth doesn't reflect former beliefs

Ortega's first administration was based on initiatives like wealth distribution. Now, Ortega has an estimated $50 million net worth.

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The 75-year-old has developed a strong web of familial alliances that protect the family's wealth. Eight of Ortega's nine children hold roles as presidential advisers. The only one who doesn't is the eldest, Zoilamérica, who accused Ortega of sexual abuse and was exiled to Costa Rica years later.

Together, the Ortegas run an oil distribution business, most of the country's TV channels, ad companies with state contracts, and a media firm that alone rakes in nearly $1 million per year.

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