The 7 presidential candidates arrested in Nicaragua

So far this year, seven presidential candidates have been arrested in Nicaragua, unable to participate in the elections to be held on November 7. The “Law for the Defense of the Rights of the People to Independence, Sovereignty, and Self-determination for Peace”, approved in December 2020, which seeks to persecute “traitors to the homeland” was applied to all of them. This year, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) demanded through a statement the repeal of the law. According to the agency “it is concerned that in the hypotheses of deprivation of the right to run for popularly elected positions provided for in the initiative, broad qualifications are found without the need for procedures or competent authorities for their determination.” A Flourish data visualization This is the list of the presidential detainees in June and July of this year. Cristina Chamorro is 67 years old, is a journalist and vice president of the newspaper La Prensa. Since June 2, he has been in house arrest for 90 days pending the accusation. The day before, on June 1, Chamorro had sent a letter to the political formation Alianza Ciudadanos por la Libertad expressing her interest in participating as a pre-candidate in the presidential candidate election process. She is the daughter of former Nicaraguan President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro who defeated Sandinismo at the polls in 1990. Her father, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, was assassinated for being an opponent of Somoza. According to the polls, she was the most valued candidate in public opinion. Juan Sebastián Chamorro is 52 years old and has been detained since June 8. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of San Francisco, an MA in Economics from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, all in the United States. He was Vice Minister of Finance and Public Credit and Secretary of Coordination and Strategy in the Government of Enrique Bolaños (2002-2007). After the protests of April 2018, he represented the business sector in the National Dialogue, as leader of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy (ACJD) He was one of the presidential candidates for the Citizens Alliance for Freedom. He is the cousin of Cristiana Chamorro, another of the presidential candidates. Arturo Cruz is 68 years old and was arrested on June 5. He holds a doctorate in history from the University of Oxford in England. He has a master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University at its headquarters in Washington DC, a city where he also completed his undergraduate studies in Political Science at the American University. In the 1980s, it supported the Sandinista revolution and later collaborated actively with the armed opposition groups called “Contras”. In the 2007-2009 period, he was appointed by the government of Daniel Ortega as Nicaraguan Ambassador to Washington. He was one of the candidates for the Presidency of Nicaragua by the Alianza Ciudadanos por la Libertad.Miguel Mora Barberena He is 56 years old and has been detained since June 20. He is the President of the 100% Noticias Television Channel. During the first years of the Revolution, he participated in the National Literacy Crusade and was also part of the voluntary brigades for the collection of coffee. In 1982 he enlisted in a reserve battalion, later in 1984 he entered the military service until 1986. In 2018, Miguel Mora was imprisoned for the first time accused of inciting hatred after the complaints on his channel against the Government for the repression of opponents. He spent six months in prison and was later released along with 105 political prisoners. He was going to participate as a candidate within the Citizen Alliance. Felix Maradiaga is 44 years old and has been detained since June 8. He is the presidential candidate of the Blue and White National Unity coalition. He is a political scientist and holds an MBA from Harvard University. During the government of the liberal president Arnoldo Aleman, he was Secretary General of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Defense. Since 2011, he has been the coordinator of the Civil Society Leadership Institute, an organization from which he has projected his public image. It is not the first time that Maradiaga has been detained by the government of Daniel Ortega. Following social protests in 2018, he testified before the UN Security Council about the government’s crackdown. Upon arriving in the country, he was arrested and charged with “organized crime and terrorist financing.” Upon his release, he was attacked and hospitalized due to an attack. He left the country and returned in September 2019 He is the presidential candidate of the Blue and White National Unity coalition. Medardo Mairena Sequeira He is 44 years old and has been detained since June 6. He is a candidate for the presidency for the Citizens for Freedom Alliance. He is the National Coordinator of the Council for the Defense of the Land, Lake and Sovereignty. This social organization is considered one of the largest and most important civil society movements that has emerged in the country in the last 15 years. In the framework of the 2018 protests, he was charged and sentenced to 216 years in prison, but served less than a year since in 2019 he was released under the Amnesty Law. On July 6, the Police arrested him again and announced that Mairena is being investigated for “carrying out acts that undermine independence, sovereignty, and self-determination, inciting foreign interference in internal affairs, requesting military interventions.” Noel Vidaurre is 66 years old and has been detained since July 24. Upon being detained, he was competing for the candidacy of the Citizens for Freedom Alliance (CxL), although he had initially launched his aspiration within the framework of the República Avanza party. Vidaurre became known in Nicaraguan politics when he ran for the Presidency for the Conservative Party in 1996 and 2001. He was a deputy for the Conservatives between 2002 and 2007, and tried unsuccessfully to be the presidential candidate of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC ) in 2006, in the elections that returned Ortega to power. He was summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office to testify and placed “under police custody” at his home accused of “alleged acts that undermine independence, sovereignty and self-determination, incite foreign interference in internal affairs, and request military interventions.” That made it possible to imprison them On December 21, 2020, the Nicaraguan National Assembly urgently approved a “Sovereignty Law” sent by the government with 70 votes in favor, 14 against and five abstentions. At the time of approval, the opposition and human rights defenders warned that the Law was the instrument that would guarantee that President Daniel Ortega would be in practice the only candidate for the Presidency in the elections, or that it would pave the way for the “stilt parties”, that is, political parties allies. The approved initiative seeks to persecute those people who “lead or finance a coup d’état, who alter the constitutional order, who promote or encourage acts terrorists, who undermine independence, sovereignty and self-determination, who incite foreign interference or ask for military interventions ”. It also includes those who “organize with financing from foreign powers to carry out acts of terrorism and destabilization, who propose and manage economic, commercial and financial blockades against the country and its institutions; that demand to exalt or applaud the imposition of sanctions against the State of Nicaragua and its citizens, and all those who harm the supreme interests of the nation. ”. .

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