Defender of two pre-presidential candidates leaves Nicaragua over threats

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Nicaraguan lawyer Elton Ortega, defender of opposition pre-candidates Arturo Cruz and Juan Sebastián Chamorro, both detained nearly four months before parliamentary elections under a law that qualifies them as “Traitors to the fatherland”, left Nicaragua because of “threats”, informed Thursday the press team of one of the politicians.

“This lawyer was threatened and had to flee the country,” informed the press team of pre-candidate Chamorro in a statement, in which he explained that he had hired a new defense lawyer.

Elton Ortega. (Internet reproduction photo)

The source said the lawyer was threatened after filing a habeas corpus petition in the courts of Managua, which was dismissed.

Ortega, who is not linked to President Daniel Ortega, who is seeking re-election in elections scheduled for November 7, has been unable to meet with his client or provide him with legal assistance because the authorities have de facto banned visits to the prison, according to Chamorro’s report. press team.

JOURNALISTS ALSO LEFT THE COUNTRY

Ortega becomes the first lawyer of the 21 people detained in the last 33 days to leave Nicaragua.

Nicaraguan police, led by Francisco Díaz, a relative of Ortega, are holding opposition presidential candidates Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastián Chamorro and Miguel Mora, whom they accuses of “treason. “.

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Also a former first lady, three other politicians, a business leader, a banker, a journalist and six leaders of a political movement founded by dissidents of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), including two historical fighters. and former comrades in arms. Of the president.

In addition, three former employees of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation.

The lawyer joins at least three journalists who have left Nicaragua to protect their freedom amid the cascade of arrests against opposition leaders.

Journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, one of the most critical voices against the Ortega government and winner of the 38th Ortega y Gasset Journalism Awards, is one of the journalists who left Nicaragua in the current context.

NICARAGUA BECOMES “A GREAT PRISON”

According to various opponents, Ortega is transforming Nicaragua “into a big prison”, he is betting on the imposition of “total silence” and on Nicaraguans living “in fear” in view of the November 7 elections.

“The regime continues to move forward in this repressive escalation, which turns Nicaragua into a big prison,” opposition legal representative of Citizens’ Alliance for Freedom, Carmela Rogers, known as Kitty Monterrey, said last Monday. .

The arrests and searches of the homes of opponents come almost four months before the general elections in Nicaragua, which will be held on November 7. Ortega, in power since 2007, is seeking another re-election.

The president, a former guerrilla on the verge of turning 76 and returned to power in 2007 after coordinating a government junta from 1979 to 1984 and first presiding the country between 1985 and 1990, accused the leaders of the opposition to having tried to overthrow him. with the support of the United States and called them “criminals”.


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