Again another presidential hopeful in Nicaragua was arrested by the authorities, along with four other student leaders and the peasant movement, who have been accused of “undermining the sovereignty” of the country, among other charges, which increases to 26 opponents of the government of Daniel Ortega arrested four months before the elections.
According to a press release from the National Police, last night the presidential candidate, Medardo Mairena, as well as Freddy Navas and Pedro Mena, the three leaders of the so-called peasant movement, accused of the murder, kidnapping and injuries of agents during the protests of 2018 against the Ortega government.
On the Twitter account of Mairena was published a few moments ago an audio in which he himself, anticipating an arrest by the cops, asked the Nicaraguan people to maintain resistance.
“If you listen to this audio it is because I was kidnapped by the Sandinista police, maybe I am fine, maybe I am being tortured, but in the middle of what is possible I want to tell the people of Nicaragua that we remain in resistance, that it is worth suffering because there is (sic) justice and democracy in this country, and freedom, “says the publication.
In the same audio, Mairena vindicates the defense of Nicaraguan society, especially the peasants and political prisoners, whom “I always tried to do what was in my power for their freedom.”
“In spite of everything, I have a lot of faith in God, that God will perform the miracle of Nicaragua’s freedomIt will do the miracle of our freedoms and of course Nicaragua will be free soon “, adds the leader.
Mairena and Mena had already been arrested and sentenced to 200 years in prison for “terrorism” and other crimes for their participation in the protests against the Ortega government in 2018, holding them responsible for the death of police officers. But they had benefited from an amnesty law in June 2019.
The students Lester Alemán and Max Jérez, accused as “ringleaders” of the occupation of two universities during “the failed coup attempt” as the government describes the 2018 demonstrations.
Alemán, 23, made a name for himself in the 2018 protests, when he demanded the resignation of President Ortega.
The five are accused of the crime of “undermining independence and sovereignty”, “inciting foreign interference”, “requesting interventions and applauding” sanctions against Nicaragua, based on a law that the government applies to opponents, and that it was approved by the ruling Congress.
The string of arrests of opponents of Ortega
Four months before the elections, there are six presidential candidates in prison: Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, Miguel Moral, Juan Sebastián Chamorro -primo of Cristiana- and Medardo Mairena.
In addition, there are 21 other prisoners among critics, activists, businessmen, students and former comrades in arms of Ortega.
Amid calls from the international community to release the detainees, Ortega has said that the opponents imprisoned They are not “candidates” or “politicians”, but “criminals” who tried to organize a coup with funding from the United States.
The 75-year-old president, who had already ruled from 1979 to 1990, returned to power in 2007 with the leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) and remains there after two consecutive re-elections.
Have as vice president to his wife, Rosario Murillo. His opponents do not rule out that he will try a fourth consecutive term on November 7.
The opposition and the international community have accused him of ruling in an authoritarian manner after the brutal repression of demonstrations against his administration in April 2018, which left 328 dead and thousands of exiles, according to human rights organizations.