First modification: 07/26/2021 – 18:44
Conservative presidential candidate Noel José Vidaurre Argüello was arrested for alleged “treason against the fatherland,” a charge that six other opposition candidates also face. In addition, the presidential candidate María Asunción Moreno announced her march into exile due to fears of being arrested.
Nicaragua is experiencing a wave of arrests of candidates and relevant figures of the opposition to President Daniel Ortega. Just four months before the presidential elections, seven presidential candidates were arrested and two others have gone into exile. To this must be added the apprehension of several relevant opposition figures, student leaders, and even former Sandinista guerrillas critical of the government.
The last candidate to certify her exile was María Asunción Moreno due to “harassment, persecution and the threat of my imprisonment by the Ortega Murillo dictatorship.” The threat to the opposition was more than real since the Public Ministry requested the authority his “forced conduction”, a judicial term that refers to his immediate arrest.
Through the social network Twitter, the constitutional lawyer has assured that she believes “to contribute more to the cause from exile than isolated and isolated”, alluding to the situation suffered by other political prisoners.
He decided to take this step after his house was attacked by government security agents on Saturday night with “extreme violence,” he said. During the inspection, several of his relatives were attacked and the police did not bring any type of court order.
Faced with harassment, persecution and the threat of my imprisonment by the Ortega Murillo dictatorship, I have decided to leave the country, I believe that from the harsh exile, I will be able to contribute more than from the isolation and solitary confinement to which our prisoners are subjected / politicians
– Maria Asuncion Moreno (@marimorecas) July 25, 2021
The excuse alluded to by the ruling party to carry out the forced conduction was the failure to appear at the requirements of the Prosecutor’s Office. Along with her, the “forced leadership” of the opposition Daysi George West, belonging to the Civic Alliance party, was also announced.
The candidate Luis Fley was another of those who decided to go into exile before the arrest was made and decided to withdraw his candidacy so as not to suffer reprisals.
The list of opponents in the crosshairs increases
The list of those detained includes everything from heroes of the Sandinista revolution and former colleagues of Daniel Ortega to students, conservative opponents or journalists. The Nicaraguan president has the objective of achieving re-election for five more years and right now he is practically alone in the presidential race.
Of the 11 initial candidates presented for these elections, up to seven were arrested for “treason.” Their names are Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastián Chamorro, Miguel Mora, Medardo Mairena and Noel José Vidaurre.
Vidaurre was the last to be arrested on July 24. The person in charge of announcing the news was the Nicaraguan police chief Francisco Díaz, who in turn is Daniel Ortega’s father-in-law. Along with Vidaurre, the political journalist Jaime José Arellano Arana was arrested.
The two are investigated for attacking the “independence, sovereignty and self-determination of Nicaragua.” The two figures have been linked to contacts with foreign actors, especially the United States, and are accused of conspiracy and treason.
Both from within Nicaragua and from abroad, the absolute power exercised by Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista National Liberation Front is increasingly viewed with worse eyes. Numerous organizations such as Urnas Abiertas reported the progressive reduction in the number of polling stations and partisan control of Ortega.
The Supreme Electoral Council, totally controlled by supporters of Ortega, enabled 3,106 voting centers for the citizen verification process, a smaller number than the 4,329 voting centers enabled nationwide in the 2016 elections.
For its part, the United States described the political situation in this country as “despicable” through the Acting Undersecretary of State of the US Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Julie Chung.
Elections are scheduled for next November 7 in Nicaragua. Elections that could leave Daniel Ortega, 76, in power until 2026. Ortega was one of the Sandinista revolutionary leaders and president of the country between 1985 and 1990. In 2007 he returned to govern and since then they have fallen on him various criticisms from different political sectors and even former comrades of the revolution.
With EFE and Reuters