Nicaragua phases unmatched roundup of opposition leaders

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Nicaragua stages unprecedented roundup of opposition leaders

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaraguan cops have actually apprehended another opposition political leader, giving 6 the number apprehended over the weekend.

Five were apprehended on Sunday, the most significant one-day roundup up until now in President Daniel Ortega’s project to prison anybody who may challenge his guideline.

The last arrest, which came late Sunday, was that of Victor Hugo Tinoco, the leader of the political motion Unamos. Another leader of that celebration, Suyen Barahona, was apprehended previously in the day. On Sunday, cops likewise apprehended popular ex-Sandinista dissidents Dora María Téllez and Hugo Torres and, another opposition leader, Ana Margarita Vijil. Arrested Saturday was Unamos activist Tamara Dávila.

Unamos was formed by previous Sandinistas outraged by Ortega’s autocratic methods, nepotism and continuous re-elections.

The weekend arrests recommend Ortega has actually moved beyond detaining prospective competing prospects in the Nov. 7 elections, and has actually started detaining any popular member of the opposition. The arrests give 13 the variety of challengers apprehended because June 2.

“It’s not just potential candidates any more, it’s political leaders,” previous basic and Sandinista dissident Hugo Torres informed The Associated Press prior to he himself was apprehended Sunday. “This is not a transition to dictatorship, it is a dictatorship in every way.”

Tellez was a leading Sandinista militant who led an attack on the National Palace in 1978, hijacking the congress of totalitarian Anastasio Somoza in exchange for the release of Sandinista detainees.

Following Somoza’s topple, Tellez acted as health minister in the very first Sandinista federal government which ruled from 1979 to 1990. Like lots of previous guerrillas, she later on divided with Ortega.

Police stated they apprehended the opposition leaders on charges connected to a just recently enacted law that categorizes as treason any assistance for sanctions versus authorities in the Ortega routine; the U.S. has actually slapped sanctions on lots of authorities.

Under a law passed in December, Ortega’s federal government has the power to unilaterally state people “terrorists” or coup-mongers, categorize them as “traitors to the homeland” and prohibit them from running as prospects.

The law penalizes those “who lead or finance a coup … encourage foreign interference, ask for military intervention … propose or plan economic blockades, applaud and champion the imposition of sanctions against Nicaragua or its citizens.”

Those implicated “will be traitors to the homeland, and for that reason may not run for public office.” Treason is punishable by jail terms of as much as 15 years.

Ortega has actually currently apprehended 4 prospective opposition prospects who may have challenged his quote for a 4th successive term.

Before his arrest, Torres stated he had actually seen drones flying around his house in current days, of the type utilized at Tellez’s home.

“This interview may be the last one I give,” Torres stated. “I am here, waiting for them to come for me.”

Hours later on, cops barged into Torres’ house and apprehended him.

Nicaragua’s National Police apprehended the 4 opposition pre-candidates previously this month.

On June 8, they apprehended pre-candidate Félix Maradiaga, a pre-candidate for the opposition union Blue and White National Unity, and Sebastián Chamorro, a previous director of the opposition union Civic Alliance.

The previous week authorities apprehended Cristiana Chamorro, a cousin of Juan Sebastián Chamorro, and Arturo Cruz Sequeira, a previous ambassador to the United States.

Ortega at first led Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990 following the Sandinista transformation that ousted Somoza. He went back to the presidency in 2007 after 3 stopped working election efforts, and he won reelection in 2011. He then avoided term limitations to get himself reelected in 2016, and loaded courts and federal government companies with allies. The Sandinista celebration manages the courts and the legislature, and has actually suppressed universities and the Roman Catholic church.

Torres stated Ortega has actually now set up a more suffocating dictatorship than Somoza, who dealt with opposition from the within the church, intellectual circles and universities.

“I think Ortega has outdone Somoza,” stated Torres. “He has subordinated all the power to himself as Somoza never could. He has a bigger repressive apparatus than Somoza ever had.”

Julie Chung, the U.S. State Department’s acting assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, stated through Twitter that Ortega’s “campaign of terror continues with more arbitrary arrests this weekend. OAS members must send a clear signal this week: enough repression. The region cannot stand by and wait to see who is next.”

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