Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, presidential candidate and who was shown as the main opponent for the presidential elections on November 7, in which the current president Daniel Ortega seeks a new re-election, was placed under house arrest and disqualified from participating in those elections under the argument of “not being in full enjoyment of their civil and political rights.”
Chamorro Barrios, daughter of former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, who ruled Nicaragua between 1990 and 1997, was issued an arrest warrant for a case of alleged money laundering, and was disqualified at the request of the Public Ministry.
“The Christian citizen María Chamorro Barrios is disqualified from exercising institutional and public positions for not being in full enjoyment of her civil and political rights, because she is in an investigative criminal process,” according to the court ruling.
The Fifth Court of the Managua Circumscription Criminal District Court, decided that Chamorro is accused of the crimes of abusive management and ideological falsehood, both in real competition with laundering of money, property and assets.
This decision comes after more than five hours of police raids on Cristiana Chamorro’s home, as reported by the brother of the opposition leader, the journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, through his Twitter account.
After more than five hours of police raids on the home of my sister Cristiana Chamorro @chamorrocris, a presidential candidate, at 5:15 PM the riot police leave her under “house arrest”, in isolation. His house is still occupied by the Police.
– Carlos F Chamorro (@cefeche) June 2, 2021
International reactions after the arrest of Chamorro
The Organization of American States (OAS) warned that Nicaragua is heading “for the worst possible elections”, describing the disqualification of Chamorro Barrios as a “new attack on democracy”, which makes it even more impossible to have free and fair elections. and transparent “.
Through a statement published on the Twitter account of the Secretary General of the Organization, Luis Almagro, he assured that “actions like these take away all political credibility to the Government and the organizers of the electoral process.”
For his part, the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, affirmed during his visit to Costa Rica that Nicaragua is going in the “opposite direction” to what can be a fair and free elections after learning about the events of the last hours about the arrest warrant against the opposition Christian Chamorro.
In addition, he assured that “the arbitrary ban on the opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro reflects Ortega’s fear of free and fair elections.”
Arbitrarily banning opposition leader @chamorrocris reflects Ortega’s fear of free and fair elections. Nicaraguans deserve real democracy.
– Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) June 2, 2021
The Government of Costa Rica condemned the actions against the Nicaraguan opposition and called for the end of any act that violates free and fair elections.
As Chamorro is a journalist, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) urged Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to “end the harassment and cornering of critical voices.”
According to a statement released by the IAPA, this is a new escalation of state violence against independent journalists and against Chamorro.
The process against Cristiana Chamorro “is clearly a way of restricting political freedom and expression in the face of the elections next November.”https://t.co/XPqVaTgraI
– SIP • IAPA (@sip_oficial) June 2, 2021
Nicaraguan opposition group asks to apply the “Democratic Charter”
The National Coalition asked the OAS to continue the process of applying the Inter-American Democratic Charter to the Central American country, a procedure that was initiated in January 2019 for “breaking the constitutional order” by Ortega.
Aspiring opponents to the Nicaraguan presidency agreed that Ortega fears free elections. According to Arturo Cruz, who was the Ortega government’s ambassador to the United States between 2007 and 2009, “the arrest warrant against Chamorro is an intimidating message against all Nicaraguans who want to get out of the dictatorship through electoral channels.”
For his part, the academic Félix Maradiaga, expressed his “most absolute rejection of the unjust political persecution against Chamorro, which arises from the fear that the dictatorship has of a free electoral process.”
With Reuters and EFE