Rosario Murillo

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Rosario Murillo
Daniel Ortega, Presidente de Nicaragua recibe a delegación del Ecuador (9571730174).jpg
Vice President of Nicaragua
Assumed office
January 10, 2017
President Daniel Ortega
Preceded by Omar Halleslevens
First Lady of Nicaragua
Assumed office
January 10, 2007
President Daniel Ortega
Preceded by Lila T. Abaunza
Personal details
Born (1951-06-22) June 22, 1951 (age 65)
Managua, Nicaragua
Nationality Nicaraguan
Spouse(s) Daniel Ortega (1979-present)
Children 8
Occupation Poet, Spokeswoman
Religion Roman Catholicism

Rosario Murillo (Spanish pronunciation: [roˈsaɾjo muˈɾiʝo]; born June 22, 1951) is a Nicaraguan poet and revolutionary who fought in the Sandinista revolution in 1979. She is married to the current President Daniel Ortega and is the First Lady of Nicaragua, a title she also held in 1985 when her husband became President 6 years after the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) overthrew the Somoza dynasty. Murillo serves as the Nicaraguan government's lead spokeswoman,[1] government minister,[2] head of the Sandinista Association of Cultural Workers and Communications Coordinator of the Council on Communication and Citizenry and was sworn in as Vice President of Nicaragua on January 10, 2017.[3][4] A polyglot, she speaks Spanish, English, Italian and French; she also has the ability to read German.[5][6]

Life and career[edit]

Murillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua. She married Daniel Ortega and had eight children. According to Nicaraguan historian Roberto Sánchez, Murillo is maternally related to Nicaragua's national hero, Augusto Sandino.[7]

Murillo attended high school at the Greenway Convent Collegiate School in Tiverton, Great Britain, and studied Art at the Institut Anglo-Suisse Le Manoir at La Neuveville in Switzerland.[7] Murillo possesses certificates in the English and French language, granted respectively by the University of Cambridge in Great Britain, and University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. She also attended the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in her hometown, where she later became a language professor at the Instituto de Ciencias Comerciales and the Colegio Teresiano during 1967-1969.[8]


Murillo joined the Sandinista National Liberation Front in 1969. She provided shelter in her house, which was located in the Barrio San José Oriental in Managua, to Sandinista guerrillas, among them Tomás Borge, one of the founders of the FSLN.[7]

Rosario Murillo

During the early 1970s Murillo worked for La Prensa as a secretary to two of Nicaragua's leading political and literary figures, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro and Pablo Antonio Cuadra. Murillo was arrested in Estelí in 1976 for her activities in politics. Soon after, she fled and lived for several months in Panama and Venezuela. She later moved to Costa Rica where she dedicated herself completely to her political work with the FSLN, helped start Radio Sandino, and met her future husband, Daniel Ortega.[9] When the Sandinistas overthrew Somoza in 1979, she returned to Nicaragua. Murillo and Ortega were married in 2005.[9]


Murillo started to gain power politically in 1998 after defending Ortega after he was accused by his stepdaughter, Murillo’s daughter, of sexually abusing her for many years.[10] Murillo stated that the accusations were “a total falsehood.”[10] The case was thrown out in 2001 by the Supreme Court because the statute of limitations had expired.[9] Murillo helped re-brand Ortega after three unsuccessful election bids in 1990, 1996, and 2001 as a less extreme candidate and won elections in 2006, 2011, and 2016. In the 2016 general election Murillo ran as Ortega's vice-presidential candidate. She is "widely seen as the power behind the presidency" according to Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman.[11] Murillo appointed herself as “communications chief,” a position which she uses to address the public regularly.[9]

Published works[edit]

  • Gualtayán (1975)
  • Sube a nacer conmigo (1977)
  • Un deber de cantar (1981)
  • Amar es combatir (antología) (1982)
  • En espléndidas ciudades (1985)
  • Las esperanzas misteriosas (1990)
  • Angel in the deluge (1992) translated from the Spanish by Alejandro Murguía. ISBN 0-87286-274-7

External links[edit]

  1. Murillo, Rosario. “Intellectuals and the Sovereignty of the People.” Contemporary Marxism, no. 6 (1983): 183–92.
  2. Manupelli, George. “Aid to the Arts of Nicaragua.” Leonardo 16, no. 2 (1983): 159–159. doi:10.2307/1574841.


  1. ^ "Iran and Nicaragua in barter deal". BBC News. 2007-08-05. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  2. ^ "Nicaragua-Venezuela Talk Cooperation". Prensa Latina. Retrieved 2008-01-15. ... informed Government minister and first lady, Rosario Murillo. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Goldman, Francisco (1987-03-29). "Poetry and Power in Nicaragua". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  5. ^ Salinas Maldonado, Carlos. "Su majestad Murillo; Culta y Ambiciosa". La Prensa (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  6. ^ Laguna, Xiomara. "Murillo la voz de Ortega". Canal 2 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  7. ^ a b c Laguna, Xiomara. "Etapas más importantes de Rosario Murillo". Canal 2 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  8. ^ Ramos, Helena. "Rosario Murillo: Una cadencia de fervores". Asociación Nicaragüense de Escritoras (in Spanish). Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Long silence from Nicaragua's president as first lady keeps press at arm's length - Committee to Protect Journalists". Retrieved 2016-11-22. 
  10. ^ a b cad (1998-01-01). "Nicaragua: Ortega charged with abusing stepdaughter". Off Our Backs. 28 (4): 7–7. 
  11. ^ "Nicaragua: President Ortega on course for third term". Retrieved 2016-11-22.