(qCOSTARICA) – Upset and indignant is the reaction by former President Laura Chinchilla following reports of Costa Ricans being held detained and even imprisoned in the infamous El Chipote by the government Daniel Ortega, in Nicaragua.
The former president’s reaction refers to a publication in La Nacion Sunday, the story of Ed Jose Tiffer Campos, who recounted his experience in crossing into Nicaragua, on May 6 of this year, being detained and then tortured while being held prisoner at Nicaragua’s most notorious prison.
Tiffer told La Nacion that on this occasion he was visiting his dying aunt and carrying more than US$1,700 in cash, to help out with the funeral arrangements. Tiffer, an Alajuela businessman, said he was surprised at the action of Nicaraguan authorities, something he had never seen before in his previous border crossings.
In his account, he tells of how, at the Peñas Blancas immigration post, he was detained along with a group of tourists, including Cubans, Spaniards, Swiss, Mexicans and some Americans entering Nicaragua. Tiffer says he was questioned as to why he was consorting with the Americans. The man says he the reasons for his detainment kept changing, from bein accused to helping Cubans get to the U.S., to his paperwork not being order, to whatever they could thing of, but never giving him a real reason.
After 34 days of confinement, without any charges against him, Tiffer said he was held in a two by three metre cell, half-naked and inhumane conditions, Nicaraguan authorities dropped him off at the border without explanation.
On her Facebook page, doña Laura says “the background (in this case) is even more dramatic. It is of a country kidnapped by a corrupt and totalitarian regime, which violates not only the rights of foreigners, but the rights of the Nicaraguan people.”
“A regime that engages in illegal detentions, alteration of documents, persecution of opponents and prepare once again to organize rigged elections, without adequate international control. This is not only chronicles the kidnapping of a Tico. It is a kidnapping of an entire nation,” continues Laura Chinchilla.
Chinchilla, during her administration (2010 – 2014) had strong clashes with Ortega, including the Isla Calero “alleged” invasion by Ortega’s administration, a case that is currently before the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
The El Chipote prison dates back to the era of Anastasio Somoza Garcia, opening its doors in 1934. Despite the call from human rights organizations to shut it down, the Ortega government continues to operate, in fact, by all accounts, expanding it.
Another Tico, Daniel Gil, is still being held in Nicaragua. That case, however, is based on a different set of circumstances, the man wanted on an Interpol warrant issued by Mexico on tax fraud. But, it doesn’t deny the fact that the Tico is being mistreated while he awaits the process of Mexico’s extradition request.
In Tiffer’s story, he claims of Nicaraguan officials insulting him, telling him Costa Rica is a puppet of the United States and outward aggression of their political opinions of Laura Chinchilla.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 23 Ticos are currently being held in Nicarauga.
Source: La Nacion, Facebook