Joao maldonado, a leader of Nicaraguan exiles opposed to the government of Daniel Ortega, was shot in Costa Rica and his situation is delicate, family members and collaborators reported Sunday. Maldonado, 34, is one of the founders of the Nicaraguan Exiles Unit (UEN) and has been in Costa Rica since July 2018, where he went into exile along with thousands of his compatriots after participating in the April protests against the Government of Nicaragua.
«I had the opportunity to see him now (Sunday afternoon), but he’s sedated. He is stable but critical “, said his wife Nadia Robleto, in a virtual session of the UEN published on the social network Facebook.
The events occurred on Saturday in the town of Escazú, on the outskirts of San José, when Maldonado was working and was traveling with his boss in a car to deliver textile products, his relatives said. «They were approached by two subjects on a motorcycle. One of them got out, drew a gun and began to shoot at Joao Maldonado (…) four of those shots hit Joao, two of them in the left arm, another of them in the thorax and, if I remember correctly, on the side “, commented in the same conference Marlon Medina, member of the UEN.
Despite his situation, Maldonado managed to drive to a hospital to be treated. “It is incredible to see the fury with which (the shooter) shot him,” said Antonio Escalante, also a member of the UEN and who was traveling with Maldonado in the car. “The attack was direct for him, that’s for sure,” he added. As reported to the press by the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ), the authorities are on the trail of the two motorized, but the motive for the crime is still unclear.
In the last three months, more than 34 opponents have been arrested in Nicaragua, including seven presidential hopefuls for the November 7 elections, where Ortega will run for a fourth consecutive term with his party, the ex-guerrilla Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN, left).
Maldonado planned to participate this Sunday in a demonstration against the Ortega government in San José. The activity was carried out and, according to Jimmy Guevara, another member of the UEN, with more police custody than on previous occasions. “We will not give in to fear and inaction in the face of intellectual and material actors in this crime against the UEN and the exile based in Costa Rica,” the UEN said in a statement.
Joao is the son of the late Tomás Maldonado, a former major of the Sandinista Popular Army of Nicaragua, a political prisoner in 2018 and released through an amnesty.