Natural resources, energy and environment
The mining industry is comprised of gold,
silver, salt, marble and other broken stones and sand.
Only gold and silver provide some major export revenue.
The mining sector was nationalized during the revolution
in 1979. After the Sandinists' election loss in 1990,
foreign companies were again allowed to exploit the
mines, which led to private investment and increased
Nicaragua is dependent on imported oil for its
electricity generation. Imported oil gets Nicaragua
through the oil partnership, Petrocaribe, which
Nicaragua has had with Venezuela since 2007. The
cooperation means that Nicaragua can buy Venezuelan oil
at favorable prices or in exchange for goods and
Major exports by Nicaragua with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Just over two-thirds of the electricity consumed by
the country is produced by oil. In 2010, approximately
14 percent of the electricity was produced in domestic
hydropower plants and 8 percent was extracted from
geothermal heat from the volcanoes. A new hydroelectric
plant is planned on the river Río Grande in eastern
About a quarter of the country's area is covered by
forest, a proportion that has gradually decreased due to
harvesting. There are at least 65 commercially viable
tree species, such as mahogany. In the 1990s, private
companies were granted permission to cut down forests.
The authorities have tried to prevent too much forest
harvesting, but illegal logging is occurring and,
according to media information, has increased due to
increased demand for timber from China. In 2012, the
government sent out an "ecological battalion" with close
to 600 soldiers to fight the illegal logging.
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FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
609 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
580 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
4 862 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.8 tonnes (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
48.2 percent (2015)
Demonstration against "pilgrimage"
Thousands of Nicaraguan people march in Managua in a protest against the
election they call a "father".
Ohotad Ortega wins big
President Ortega and Vice Presidential candidate Rosario Murillo, Ortega's
wife, receive support from 72.5 percent of voters in the presidential election,
while Maximino Rodríguez comes in a distant second place with 14 percent. The
opposition calls the election a father's and the United States expresses concern
over an election process with major democratic shortcomings. In the
parliamentary elections, FSLN receives 70 of the 90 seats, while PLC gets 13,
ALN and PLI receive 2 each and the remaining 3 seats go to small parties. The
two extra seats in the National Assembly (see Political system) go to Maximino
Rodríguez and to the outgoing Vice President Omar Halleslevens.
Opinion measurements give Ortega the lead
Measurements indicate that it will be an easy victory for Ortega and Murillo
as president and vice president. The social programs launched by the Sandini
government guarantee strong support among the country's poor.
OAS may send observers
In a reversal of previous decisions (see June 2016), Ortega
says that the US-based OAS may send representatives to Nicaragua in connection
with the election.
Asylum for Salvadoran ex-president
Mauricio Funes, who was El Salvador's president from 2009–2014, has spent
three months in Nicaragua and is now granted asylum when his life is deemed to
be threatened. Funes is accused of corruption and misappropriation of assets. He
has had his assets frozen in his home country.
Call for election boycott
The opposition alliance CND urges voters to boycott the elections in
November, alternatively to vote blank. CND accuses Ortega of trying to create a
Ortega's wife vice presidential candidate
The President announces that Rosario Murillo is his candidate for the Vice
Presidential post. She already has great influence as a leading government
spokesperson and often appears on TV where she advocates her own version of new
The CSE Election Authority orders that 16 regular members of the National
Assembly and 12 deputies, all members of the PLI, be suspended since they
refused to recognize Pedro Reyes as new party leader (see June 2016).
The National Assembly votes the following day according to CSE's order. Among
those being kicked are Reye's representative Montealegre. The dominance of the
FSLN is now almost total in the National Assembly.
Election boycott and protest movement
The opposition alliance CND decides to boycott the presidential election in
November and launches a protest movement, "Citizens for Freedom". The message
comes since HD in practice prevented PLI and PAC from participating and Ortega
announced that foreign observers will not be allowed. HD has also been shut down
by Callejas from the presidential election.
The US State Department states that three Americans on official assignment
have been forced to leave Nicaragua, saying that the "baseless" deportation
could harm bilateral relations.
PLC appoints presidential candidate
Maximino Rodríguez becomes the name of the Conservative party in the
HD re-furnishes in opposition party
The Supreme Court dismisses Eduardo Montealegre from the post of leader of
PLI, the dominant opposition party, and replaces him with Pedro Reyes Vallejos.
The court orders the PLI to hold a party convention as soon as possible.
Montealegre claims that the decision constitutes a "coup" and that President
Ortega is behind it. Reyes is a relatively unknown politician who is close to
Ortega. Montealegre took over the helm in PLI 2014 after the former party leader
was deposed via court. The legal battle within the party has since continued up
Ortega presidential candidate
The FSLN unanimously appoints President Ortega as its candidate in the
November elections. Opinion polls show leadership for Ortega, supported by 57
percent of voters, well ahead of PLI's Luis Callejas.
The opposition appoints presidential candidate
Opposition Alliance The National Democracy Coalition (CND) appoints Luis
Callejas as its candidate in the presidential election. Callejas is a member of
the National Assembly for PLI.
More than 8,000 prisoners have been released conditionally since 2014 to
reduce congestion in prisons, the government says. These are prisoners sentenced
to a maximum of five years in prison. It is not clear how many prisoners are now