Friday 24 September 2021

Costa Rica condemns arrest of Nicaragua’s opposition leader

The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry calls "for the measures that move away the prospect of fair, free, credible and inclusive elections to stop."

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QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica deplored the arrest of opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro, on Wednesday in Nicaragua by the Daniel Ortega regime.

“Ortega did not have the courage to inhibit me through his Supreme Electoral Council,” said Cristiana Chamorro on Saturday, May 30, asserting that Daniel Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, have become a monstrous family dictatorship.

“Costa Rica condemns the actions taken in Nicaragua against the political opposition, and reiterates the importance of respecting political pluralism and freedom of expression. Costa Rica expresses its deep concern over the actions taken against doña. Cristiana Chamorro Barrios,” the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

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In the midst of a strong action, the Nicaraguan police raided Chamorro’s home, after the Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant for alleged money laundering by the Ortega regime.

Chamorro was placed under house arrest.

Heavily armed police guard the Chamorro home after the raid and house arrest

A Managua court affirmed that it ordered the raid and arrest of the political leader, accused of the crimes of abusive management, ideological falsehood in real competition with the crime of laundering of money, property and assets, to the detriment of the State of Nicaragua and Nicaraguan society.

In its communication, the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry calls for a stop to “forthe measures that not only compromise the civic and democratic process, but also move away from the prospect of fair, free, credible and inclusive elections”.

According to the report by Today Nicaragua, the police entered violently the residence of the presidential candidate, located in the southeast area of Managua.

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The police action took place before Chamorro, daughter of former Nicaraguan President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997), was preparing to give a press conference after the accusation presented by the Prosecutor’s Office, Arelia Barba, Cristiana’s assistant.

The Ortega regime accuses her of irregularities in the management of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, dedicated to promoting freedom of expression.

Chamorro, 67, has managed the Foundation that bears the same name as her mother since 1998.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the entity presented inconsistencies in its financial reports in the 2015-2019 period.

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Chamorro rejected those accusations and considered them a “farce” to eliminate her participation in the presidential elections in November since Nicaraguan law prevents people under criminal investigations or with open criminal proceedings from running for public office.

Read more: US assures that Ortega fears “free elections” in Nicaragua

Chamorro had scheduled a virtual press conference for Wednesday at noon, to respond to the accusation against her, but minutes before the officers entered her home and began the search.

Tuesday night, the Nicaraguan Prosecutor’s Office presented the accusation against the political leader before the Ninth Penal District in Managua, follow up to the investigation against Chamorro that began on May 20, at the request of the Nicaraguan Ministry of the Interior.

The process against the candidate provoked international condemnation.

The Organization of American States (OAS) referred to what happened as the “political disqualification” of Chamorro and described it as “an attack on democracy.”

Read more: In Costa Rica, Antony Blinken says ‘Nicaragua is going in the opposite direction’

In addition, the international body warned that Nicaragua is heading for the “worst possible elections.”

“Actions like this take away all political credibility from the government and the organizers of the electoral process,” said the OAS.

Chamorro, 67, has publicly stated her intention to represent the opposition as the sole candidate for the November 7 elections.

Nicaraguan journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, Cristiana’s brother, denounced the arrest on social media.

“Ortega police carried out an illegal raid on the house of my sister Cristiana Chamorro, a presidential candidate, subject to a criminal prosecution process,” the director of the independent digital newspaper Confidencial wrote on Twitter.

 

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