US calls on Nicaragua to release opponent Chamorro

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) – The US State Department on Friday called on Nicaragua to release opposition figure Cristiana Chamorro, who is being held incommunicado at her home after her laptops and cellphones were taken away.

Chamorro is a potential presidential candidate in the November 7 elections and the daughter of former President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. His detention is the latest in a series of measures taken by President Daniel Ortega that his critics say are aimed at preventing candidates from running against him in his bid for re-election.

On Tuesday, the government charged Chamorro with money laundering involving alleged financial irregularities linked to the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for Reconciliation and Democracy, which she headed. The non-governmental group is named after his mother. The State Department called for the release not only of Chamorro, but also of two employees of the foundation.

“Their detention on false charges is an abuse of their rights, and it represents an attack on democratic values ​​as well as a clear attempt to thwart free and fair elections,” the US statement said.


Ms. Chamorro’s arrest comes amid relentless attacks on pro-democracy presidential candidates and independent media. The Ortega regime has pledged to bar Ms. Chamorro from participating in the November elections and, in May, baselessly annulled the legal status of two opposition political parties.

Police raided the home on Wednesday and placed Chamorro under a form of house arrest, and a court upheld a request by prosecutors to bar Chamorro from running in the November 7 election or holding office. public, citing the charges against her.

She was expected to challenge Ortega for the presidency.

Chamorro said the allegations were fabricated to keep her out of the race.

In January, she resigned her post at the foundation. A month later, it closed its operations in Nicaragua after the passage of a “foreign agents” law designed to track foreign funding of organizations operating in the country.

Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council and Congress have reduced the country’s opposition room for maneuver. In May, the council overturned the legal status of the Democratic Restoration Party, which was potentially intended to be a vehicle for an opposition coalition bid against Ortega.

Cristiana Chamorro’s mother defeated Ortega to win the presidency in 1990 and served until 1997.

Her husband, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, ran her family newspaper La Prensa and has been imprisoned and forced into exile on several occasions by the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza. He was finally assassinated in 1978. Cristiana Chamorro is the vice-president of La Prensa.

About Myra R.

Myra R.

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