“Maradiaga is alive!” With those words, Berta Valle, wife of the candidate for the presidency of Nicaragua, Felix maradiagaShe announced on her Twitter account that she had finally heard from her husband. Hours earlier, Valle denounced in an interview with ABC that, since his arrest on June 8 accused of violating the ‘Sovereignty Law’, no family member or his own lawyer had had access to the candidate. A situation that extended to the rest of the opposition leaders arrested – more than thirty – since the beginning of June, in a wave of arrests unleashed by the Ortega regime to prevent any competition in the elections on November 7.
This had led Amnesty International to declare both Maradiaga and nine other opposition leaders arrested last Friday.
as forcibly disappeared.
The lack of news ended on Tuesday when the regime allowed Maradiaga and other candidates to visit the Evaristo Vásquez police complex, known as the ‘Nuevo Chipote’, for thirty minutes –Arturo Cruz and Juan Sebastián Chamorro-, as well as other opposition leaders –Dora María Téllez, Tamara Dávila, Violeta Granera …-, informs the ‘Confidential’.
According to some of the family members or people who have had access to the detainees, they would have lost between 10 and 12 kilos of weight during these three months of captivity. Maradiaga reported that although he had not been physically beaten or tortured after his initial arrest, he would have been “Psychologically tortured” and “subjected to frequent and harsh interrogations,” according to a statement issued by Valle. “During the first month of his disappearance, he was held in solitary confinement.” He also asked his family to transmit his message to the world: “I am strong, I have faith and I pray to God for Nicaragua.”
In recent days, before the end of the 90-day provisional prison dictated by the Prosecutor’s Office, the regime has formally indicted several of the opposition candidates and leaders, accusing them of “conspiracy.” The last ones have been the journalists Miguel Mora and Miguel Mendoza and the former first lady, Maria Fernanda Flores Lanza (The wife of former President Arnoldo Alemán, who once helped to bring Ortega to power).
Behind closed doors
In the statement issued by Berta Valle and Victoria Cardenas, wife of Juan Sebastián Chamorro, they denounced the intention of the regime, as they had been informed, to hold the preliminary hearing tomorrow on the charges of “undermining national integrity and conspiracy” behind closed doors, without the presence of the family, and ” not in a court of law but in the El Chipote prison ». According to the lawyer for both candidates, Jared Genser, they face “between 15 and 25 years in prison for having repeatedly criticized the Ortega regime and for having been outspoken defenders of freedom, democracy and human rights in Nicaragua.”