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Ortega attacks the relatives of political prisoners

By Judith Flores

The list of political prisoners in Nicaragua continues to rise.

New arrests and the imposition of long sentences against opponents and relatives of political prisoners is the scenario with which 2023 begins in a country where there is no space left for freedom.

The tyranny of Daniel Ortega has not given up the hunt against the opposition and his policy of terror.

political prisoners, Ortega attacks the relatives of political prisoners
There are no indications that Daniel Ortega intends to release the prisoners of conscience (Photo internet reproduction)

The list of political prisoners exceeds 240 with the latest arrests of Javier Espinoza, Thelma Vanegas, José Ricardo Muñoz and Martha del Socorro Ubilla.

The latter is a 60-year-old woman, mother of political prisoner Marvin Castellón, and former political prisoner Marlon Castellón, released in December 2021.

Both brothers were arrested in the context of the April 2018 protests.

Ubilla, a member of the committee for the release of political prisoners, was arrested in the middle of her demand for the release of her second son.

On the other hand, Ortega does not give in to his persecution against the Catholic Church.

The trials continue against the Bishop of Matagalpa, Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, and the parish priest of the Santa Martha Church in Managua, Father Enrique Martínez Gamboa, both without the right to defense and due process.

The organization of Political Prisoners of Nicaragua, affirmed that there are already 15 religious imprisoned by the Sandinista regime.

Added to religious persecution is the prohibition of religious pilgrimages.

At least six traditional processions have been vetoed by the regime in recent weeks, as revealed in a recent report by the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh).


The wave of repression now directly impacts relatives of opponents in exile and political prisoners, according to a report from the Mechanism for the recognition of political prisoners, an organization in charge of monitoring the situation of political prisoners, despite the fact that the The regime does not report on the conditions of prisoners of conscience.

The report indicates that the attacks on relatives of imprisoned opponents consist of, for example, the lack of access to information for long periods of time about their relatives.

The target of the dictatorship are the relatives who have denounced the subhuman conditions to which prisoners of conscience are subjected.

Families become “victims of constant acts of harassment, threats, and physical harassment and through social networks,” the document states.

The objective of the tyranny is to silence the complaints of the relatives who are also victims of psychological torture by not having access to timely information about their relatives and their prison conditions.

“This new repressive mechanism that becomes relevant in the regime’s control strategy in Nicaragua, has been expressed in arbitrary arrests and prosecution of relatives of political prisoners. As well as in the increase in attacks on family members during visits and in threats to political prisoners with attacking their families if they carry out any resistance action in the detention centers ”, reveals the agency’s report.

There are no indications that the Sandinista dictator intends to release the prisoners of conscience.

On the contrary, he recently said that they should be sentenced to life imprisonment and blames the opposition and the Church for the crimes committed by the State against peaceful protesters killed with high-caliber weapons used exclusively by the Army and the Police.

Ortega, with 27 years in power, -11 during the first Sandinista dictatorship (1979-1990) and 16 in the current one-, does not seem to conceive of leaving power and recently urged his supporters to sleep with one eye open and the other closed. “because the vermin are there”, alluding to the opposition.

Kristina Rosales Kostrukova, spokeswoman for the US State Department, said that the White House administration continues to use “all diplomatic and economic tools to guarantee the safe release of political prisoners in Nicaragua.”

At the same time, the official said that the United States remains open to dialogue with the Nicaraguan regime.

With information from LGI

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