New Wave of Protests in Nicaragua against Ortega

Members of the Civic Alliance at their press conference on Wednesday August 8th.  Photo: laprensa.com.ni

 

The opposition coalition demands “the release of political prisoners, a detailed list of missing persons and the disarmament and disbanding of the paramilitary groups, under the supervision of the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

 

HAVANA TIMES – The two main opposition coalitions in Nicaragua announced Wednesday a new wave of protests against the government of Daniel Ortega, now focusing their claims on “ending the repression and the release of political prisoners” captured since last April, reported dpa news.

In a press conference, the main leaders of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy said they will hold two large marches in Managua, on Saturday August 11 and Wednesday the 15th, and a walk on Sunday the 12th, to also demand “the cessation of criminalization of peaceful protests. ”

The opposition coalition demanded “the release of political prisoners, a detailed list of missing persons (and) the disarmament and disbanding of the paramilitary groups, under the supervision of the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS).”

They indicated that since April, 137 persons have been accused and prosecuted for serious crimes such as terrorism, organized crime and kidnapping, among them the rural leaders Medardo Mairena and Pedro Mena, and the urban community leaders Ireland Jerez, Christian Fajardo and Maria Adilia Peralta.

“We urgently call for a peaceful solution and a resumption of the dialogue with the Episcopal Conference as mediators and witnesses,” said the report read by Jose Adan Aguerri, president of the Higher Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep), which belongs to the alliance together with student organizations and civil society.

The national march of August 15 will coincide with the initial hearing in the trial of Mairena, representative of the Farm Movement in the national dialogue, who was arrested on July 13. The protesters will demand his release, the statement said.

Aguerri admitted that there is still no date to restart the dialogue with the Government and announced that they are preparing a letter addressed to Ortega, which will be backed by thousands of signatures, to raise the Alliance’s position on the process.

He said that the advance of the 2021 elections is still on the agenda of the opposition and blamed the Government for the instability and insecurity in the country. “As long as there is no political will of President Ortega to return to dialogue, Nicaragua will remain in a situation of abnormality,” he said.

The crisis of nearly four months has left well over 300 dead and more than 2,800 injured, mostly young people, according to human rights groups.

Meanwhile, the Articulacion de Movimientos Sociales (Social Movements coalition) confirmed its participation in the protests on August 11, 12 and 15, at the same time reiterated the damand that the Government provide the exact list of all those arrested and imprisoned.

“We demand the release of all political prisoners and others who have been kidnapped,” they said in a statement after recalling that many people were abducted by armed civilians acting with the support of the police.

In addition, the report accused the government of “inventing situations of guilt” of the detainees who, once in the courts, are accused “by the same people who apprehended them illegally or tortured them.” He warned that many inmates do not even appear as being held in prisons.

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