Persecution in Nicaragua: three other opposition leaders were sent to trial by the Ortega regime

An anti-government protester shouts slogans to riot police during a protest against the government of Daniel Ortega (Photo: Reuters)

The justice of Nicaragua decided this friday prosecute and keep on preventive prison three candidates for the presidency and others accused of undermining sovereignty and “Treason” 66 days before the general elections, reported the prosecution.

A court of justice ordered, on the second day of hearings against 34 imprisoned opponents, to send the presidential hopefuls to trial, Félix Maradiaga, Arturo Cruz and Juan Sebastián Chamorro, according to a statement from the Public Ministry (Prosecutor’s Office).

The decision to prosecute the three politicians came a day after the also candidate for the presidency, Cristiana Chamorro, was sent to trial, accused of money and property laundering through the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation (FVBCH).

The government of Daniel Ortega, in power since 2007 and seeks a fourth term, believes that the detained opponents seek to overthrow him.

Nicaraguan citizens exiled in Costa Rica protest against the Ortega regime (Photo: REUTERS)
Nicaraguan citizens exiled in Costa Rica protest against the Ortega regime (Photo: REUTERS)

Cruz was arrested on June 5, while Maradiaga and Chamorro on June 8, as part of a wave of arrests of critics of the government, social leaders, businessmen, students on charges of “undermining independence, sovereignty, self-determination and inciting foreign intervention.”

In addition to the three presidential candidates, seven detained opponents will also be prosecuted, including the business leader José Aguerri, the former guerrillas Hugo Torres Jiménez, Dora Téllez, Víctor Tinoco, as well as the leaders Suyen Barahona and Violeta Granera.

All of them were detained between June and July and the court admitted the accusation of “Conspiracy to undermine national integrity”, indicated the prosecution.

The hearing was held at the Police Judicial Aid jail, known as El Chipote, without access to the press or family, which according to the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), is a violation of the laws that establish that trials must be public and in the courtroom.

Trials whose starting date has not been established are announced in the middle of the electoral process, which is dated November 7 and whose main contender would be the current president Daniel Ortega.

The president of 75 years he was in government between 1979 and 1990, first at the head of a Governing Board and then as president. In 1990 he was defeated by former President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro and returned to power in 2007 where he remains to this day.

Arrest of opponents has led to increased sanctions and criticism from the international community to Ortega who refuses to release his rivals, claiming that they are “criminals“And that they conspired for a coup, with the support of the United States.

(With information from AFP)

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