Rule of Law in Nicaragua: The Consequences of Governing by 'El Pacto'

16 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2009 Last revised: 16 Mar 2010

See all articles by Elise Bruntel

Elise Bruntel

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 1, 2009


This paper attempts to illuminate the current state of rule of law in Nicaragua through the lens of the recent corruption case against former Nicaraguan president Arnoldo Alemán. Part 1 provides a background of modern Nicaraguan politics as it relates to the infamous “El Pacto,” an alleged power-sharing agreement between Alemán and current Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. Part 2 details the factual and procedural background that lead up to the Nicaraguan Supreme Court’s dismissal of charges against Alemán in January 2009. Part 3 breaks down the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Alemán’s sentence. Part 4 concludes by setting out some of the current and expected future implications of “El Pacto” on Nicaraguan law and politics.

Keywords: law, Nicaragua, politics, international, Latin America

Suggested Citation

Bruntel, Elise, Rule of Law in Nicaragua: The Consequences of Governing by 'El Pacto' (April 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Elise Bruntel (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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