Thursday, July 7

Nicaraguan police detain fifth presidential candidate

Nicaraguan journalist Miguel Mora has become the fifth candidate for the presidency by the opposition to be jailed in Nicaragua less than five months before the elections in which the country’s president, Sandinista Daniel Ortega, has been in power since 2007. , seeks a new reelection.

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Mora was arrested around midnight on Sunday by the National Police, led by Francisco Díaz, a brother-in-law of President Ortega, citing a law passed last December that classifies them as “traitors to the homeland” and disqualifies them from running for public office. .

Founder, owner and former director of the television channel 100% Noticias, closed by the Ortega government in the context of the socio-political crisis that the country has been experiencing since April 2018, had announced his intentions to aspire to the presidency with the opposition Democratic Restoration Party (PRD), to which the Supreme Electoral Council, made up of supporters of Ortega, stripped its legal personality a month ago.

Imprisoned for the second time

The communicator, who launched his presidential candidacy on March 6, was imprisoned for six months (between December 2018 and June 2019) accused of “promoting and inciting hatred and violence” and “provocation, proposition and conspiracy to commit acts terrorists “within the framework of the popular revolt, described as an attempted coup by the Government.

During the launch of his candidacy, Mora announced that he would break diplomatic relations with Cuba and Venezuela, open a permanent embassy in Israel and dismiss the Sandinistas from his eventual government, except those “who have not stained their hands with blood.”

The channel 100% Noticias, which is now broadcast through social networks, has denounced that the “police broke windows to enter Miguel Mora’s house, who was taken away chained (handcuffed), put on patrol and raided the house “. Mora’s wife, journalist Verónica Chávez, has reported that her husband’s arrest occurred when the couple put their disabled son to bed.

“I heard a noise (…) and it was kicking that was hitting the door, so I ran out of the room, I came and saw Miguel yelling at them, saying: Here I am, violence is not necessary! , and they (police) saying bad words, breaking glass, smashing everything, knocking down the door, “Chávez told the local media Article 66. Mora is the fifth candidate for the Presidency by the opposition arrested by the Nicaraguan Police.

The other four applicants arrested

The first detainee, on June 2, was also the journalist Cristiana Chamorro, daughter of the Nicaraguan hero Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal and the ex-president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997), and the opposition figure with the highest probability of winning the presidential elections next November.

Chamorro, 67, who is under house arrest, is accused of the crimes of abusive management and ideological falsehood, both in real competition with money, property and assets laundering.

His brother, the journalist Carlos Chamorro, denounced this Monday the search of his home in Managua by the police. In his Twitter account, Chamorro explained that around 8 pm on Monday “dozens of policemen” raided his house “on the orders of the Supreme Chief of Police” (President Daniel Ortega).

The second prisoner aspirant was Arturo Cruz, who was the Ortega government’s ambassador to the United States between 2007 and 2009, and the first to be charged under the “Law for the defense of the rights of the people to independence, sovereignty and self-determination for the peace “, approved urgently on December 21 last during an extraordinary session.

That controversial law, which disables the candidacies of those Nicaraguans who applaud the imposition of sanctions against the State and its citizens, who will also be considered “traitors to the homeland”, is the one that they are also applying to the other two detained opposition presidential candidates: the academic Félix Maradiaga and the economist Juan Sebastián Chamorro.

The presidential candidates have been detained amid a wave of arrests that includes two former vice chancellors, two former dissident Sandinista ex-guerrillas, a former business leader, a banker, four activists and two former NGO collaborators.

International concern

After these arrests, which have been condemned by the international community, Argentina and Mexico have called their ambassadors in Nicaragua for consultations on Monday about “the worrying political-legal actions” of the Ortega government, although without condemning their actions.

Argentina and Mexico have expressed “their concern”, but have refused to accompany a resolution approved on June 15 by 26 countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) to condemn the persecution of opponents, with the argument of “no intervention in internal affairs “.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the UN on Tuesday to play a more active role in the face of President Ortega’s “campaign of violence and repression.” The NGO believes there is a “government strategy” to eliminate political competition, stifle dissent and facilitate Ortega’s re-election for a fourth consecutive term.

Ortega, who is about to turn 76, who returned to power in 2007 and has been in power since 2017 with his wife and vice president Rosario Murillo, is running for the presidency for the eighth time. The Sandinista leader, branded as a “dictator” by the United States, is in his second stage as president of Nicaragua, after coordinating a Government Junta from 1979 to 1985 and presiding over the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990.