I know Phil through a friend and stumbled upon the blog (which I think is great, btw). I’m currently doing some research on the protests related to microfinance in northern Nicaragua and was hoping to ask you for more information.
Do you know anything about the recent conflict in Nicaragua, specifically why the protests have centered on MPCS and Fundenuse? From what I’ve gathered and read, Daniel Ortega’s speech pretty much blasted all ‘usury’-type microfinance institutions around Nuevo Segovia and Jalapa, so I’m curious why those two organizations specifically have been targeted. Is it just because they are the most obvious targets in terms of size, presence and/or high interest rates/stringent collection practices? Or is there something specific about these organizations that provoked the attacks? Any info you could provide would be really appreciated, and sorry about the random comment (and hope it’s not too stalkerish).
First off, thanks for reading. I’d love to help you out, although I really don’t know much about this issue. I recognize (obviously given some of my posts) that there are times when microfinance can be “done wrong.” For the most part, however, I believe microfinance is a really good thing. In these particular cases, I’m not sure. I wouldn’t trust Ortega to act responsibly though — he is a terrible leader that has replicated the same power structures that he fought against during the Somoza regime.
In sum, I don’t have any useful information for you. However I’ve sent out a couple of emails to try to find out. Hopefully something good will come back!