Confidencial, a popular Nicaraguan newspaper critical of the Ortega administration, reports that the number of political prisoners in Nicaragua has been steadily increasing since political repression began last year. Even civilians with as large a public profile as Carlos F. Chamorro [pictured], the founder of Confidencial, are not safe from persecution by the state, fleeing to neighboring countries in Central America or elsewhere as the Ortega administration tightens its grip on civil society.
The number of political prisoners of the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo has risen to 767 people, according to the Committee of Political Prisoners, which groups relatives of detainees as a result of the regime’s political persecution.
The data reveals that, contrary to the demand for freedom of political prisoners, the number of detainees, previously at 565, increased by more than two-hundred in December and January.
“They arrest people for demonstrating and hold trials that are flawed. We know that those orders [the charges and guilty verdicts] come from El Carmen [the Ortega-Murillo residence]. The words of (former Supreme Court magistrate Rafael) Solis confirm that all this is a set-up,” says Brenda Rodriguez, mother of Rodrigo Espinoza (a young man sentenced to 17 years in prison).
In an exclusive interview with journalist Carlos F. Chamorro, the former judge and member of the Ortega inner circle said that the trials against citizens are political orders dictated by the presidential couple from El Carmen.
“The magistrates of the appeals court, or in our case, the magistrates of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court can still overturn these decisions, but it is extremely difficult due to the state of terror imposed,” wrote Solis in his letter of resignation from his position of over 21 years on the Supreme Court and his militancy of more than four decades in the governing Sandinista Front.