Ortega’s allies threatened to flee Nicaragua because opponents were arrested | Political News

In two years, Carlos Fernando Chamorro, one of Nicaragua’s most influential journalists, a former ally of President Daniel Ortega, went into exile for the second time. Just before dozens of special forces police raided his home on Monday night, the head of the independent media agency Confidential managed to slip away.

Whether it’s his sister, Christian Chamorro, Not his cousin, Juan Chamorro, Equally lucky. They are two of the five presumptive presidential candidates arrested before the elections scheduled for November. The crackdown also included at least a dozen other high-profile opponents of President Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo, who is also the Vice President.

Most people are detained in Managua’s El Chipot prison — many are held in solitary confinement — under the new Peace Law for the Defense of People’s Independence, Sovereignty and Self-Determination. They can be kept for up to 90 days.Under presumption Presidential candidate, Which basically makes them ineligible to run.

“The strategy is to demoralize Nicaragua and legitimize the election process so that most people will abstain because there is no opposition. This is Ortega’s goal. This way he can win the election for the fourth time in a row without even having to Recourse to downright fraud, because he has cleared the way for all challengers,” Lester Alleman told Al Jazeera.

On June 2, 2021, in Managua, a row of riot police stood guard outside Cristiana Chamorro’s home, the former director of the Cristiana Chamorro Foundation and a presidential candidate. [Inti Ocon/AFP]

Aleman is a university student leader who helped instigate the uprising against President Ortega April 2018In the conflict that lasted for several weeks, hundreds of people were killed by police and paramilitary groups. Hundreds more were imprisoned.More than 107,000 Nicaraguans Fled this country, Most of them go to neighboring Costa Rica. Things seem to have calmed down and “returned to normal”.

But three weeks ago, the new crackdown Against opponents It started, and it has accelerated dramatically in the last few days.

Vice President Rosario Murillo called it “late justice” and accused the imprisoned opponents of conspiring with foreign forces to undermine national interests.

She did not provide any evidence.

Murillo said on radio and television earlier this week: “They have become vulgar traitors to the country, vulgar soldiers of wealth, paying to sow death, destruction and hatred.”

William Grisby is a close ally of Murillo, and Murillo is regarded as the unofficial spokesperson of the government.

“The operation has just begun. There will be more (arrests). The law applies to all those who betray the country. This is a crime,” Grisby said on his radio show “No Borders”, and there were two more on Monday. An Ortega opponent was arrested shortly before.

Civic Union opposition party Juan Sebastian Chamorro is the fifth opposition presidential candidate arrested by the government of President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua [Fiel: Inti Ocon/AFP]

even “Uncooperative” bankers And famous business leaders are being arrested.For those who still remember Sandinista Revolution In 1979, the former Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua was overthrown and Daniel Ortega was put in power for the first time. Some of the arrests were shocking.

Last weekend, the retired Sandinista General Hugo Torres was arrested. He rescued Ortega from prison in the 1970s and served under him until the 1990s.A few hours ago, the iconic Sandinista rebel commander Dora Maria Trez did the same, and Pre-sandino movement Vice Foreign Minister Victor Hugo Tinoco. They belonged to a group of Nicaraguan revolutionaries who broke with Ortega in the 1990s and formed the opposition party Unamos. They accused their former comrades of arms of becoming the new dictator of the country and blocked their movement, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

The detention is a message from Ortega: no one is forbidden to enter, regardless of their revolutionary qualifications.

Suppression has panic International society

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet A new report was published expressing “worrisome and accelerating deterioration of the human rights situation. This makes it unlikely that Nicaraguans will fully exercise their political rights in the November 7 elections.”

Bachelet said the laws used to defend the arrests were “used to persecute opponents.”

Earlier, Human Rights Watch released its own report detailing the so-called “serious violations of personal and political rights” against many opponents.

“Nicaragua’s increasing repression is reaching a level rarely seen in the recent history of Latin America. The international community and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres must act resolutely,” Human Rights Watch Americas Owner Se Miguel Vivanco told The Peninsula TV station.

Human Rights Watch asked the Secretary-General to invoke Article 99 of the United Nations Charter. This allowed him to draw the Security Council’s attention to anything that might threaten international peace and security. Under such circumstances, Vivanco believes that the new and larger immigration crisis from Nicaragua may destabilize Central America, which has already suffered massive undocumented immigration and organized crime violence.

A few hours later, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the “Enhancing Nicaragua’s Compliance with the Election Reform Conditions (RENACER) Act.”It tries to impose new Sanctions The Nicaraguan government coordinated with the European Union and Canada.

It is not clear what sanctions will be applied if the bill is passed by the US Congress. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America, and its economy is almost entirely dependent on trade with the United States.Nicaragua is part of the United StatesCentral American Free Trade AgreementSo far, Washington has been reluctant to take the same tough stance against Ortega’s government as it has taken against its allies, Cuba and Venezuela.

“It seems that the United States does not want to cause trouble in Nicaragua, at least it will not cause them trouble like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, no matter how bad our domestic situation is. They are afraid of exodus, etc. Unwelcome immigrants,” Carlos Fernando Chamorro told Al Jazeera.

But some people worry that if the peaceful, transparent and fair elections in November are blocked, a massacre may occur.

“People are not going to the streets now because Public demonstration Sentenced to imprisonment. The social explosion needs a detonator, and the next one may be the election on November 7. If there is fraud, I can’t imagine how much anger will be generated. We don’t want to see this situation,” Aleman chose his words carefully.

As if in response to this possible situation, Ortega’s ally William Grigsby issued this warning: “The Sandinista Front has never given up on armed struggle. Let this be very clear. We Revolution He decided to use weapons, blood and life to defend our freedom.”

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