November 11, 2011

Election Results and Experiences

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Esteban Felix/Associated Press

Every day since the presidential elections, traffic in the city of Managua has been an issue. It just happens that the Supreme Court of Nicaragua is located on a calle principal (a primary street in the city) which connects to the primary rotonda (traffic circle) on the south side of the city. It appears as though the current and re-elected government of Daniel Ortega (FSLN) fears that those who oppose him may attempt to bomb or disrupt the supreme court of Nicaragua in order to stop the final step in these democratic elections which will conclude when the Supreme Court officially votes in accordance with the people of Nicaragua.

Cassie and I left Managua election weekend to visit our friend who lives in a nearby town. Because of the rural location we were actually able to go to the election site in La Concha with our friend and his family as they voted. Overall the elections went off without a hitch. However, the following day in La Concha the only road to Managua was blockaded (trees, rocks and people) by supporters of a presidential candidate (Fabio Mantilla) who lost the election. Because of the blockade we spent an extra restful day in La Concha working on our Spanish and spending time with friends.

On our last evening there, rumors of a fight between the two political parties were rampant in the streets. The fight was supposed to occur about twenty feet from where we were staying. We sat outside wondering and discussing what our role (if any) might be in bringing peace to the situation—this whole Mennonite thing is new to us. We tried to use humor with the people passing by in hopes to deescalate the situation. In the end the police came and put a stop to the brawl. The whole situation left us wondering and contemplating how we can assist in being peacemakers through our future interactions with the people of Nicaragua.

For further reading on the election and from a variety of viewpoints:


Star Tribune (hometown paper) -

Foreign Policy -

New York Times -


Unknown said...

Great summary of the elections! You guys had an interesting experience being out in La Concha for it.
Also, your blog isn't updating on my google reader for some reason? I hadn't seen any updates in my google reader since you guys got to Nicaragua...don't know if anyone else is having issues.

Cassie and Kevin Zonnefeld said...

Thanks for the comment! Bummmer about google reader. I have not heard of other issues...anyone???

Cassie and Kevin Zonnefeld said...

I believe that this has been fixed! Thanks for letting us know.