US requires fast launch of Nicaraguan opposition determine | Crime Information
Cristiana Chamorro and two of her colleagues were arrested on “trumped-up charges”, according to the US State Department.
The US called on the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on Friday to immediately release the imprisoned opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro and two of her colleagues.
“Your detention on trumped-up charges is an abuse of your rights, an attack on democratic values and a clear attempt to thwart free and fair elections,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
Chamorro was placed under house arrest after her home was searched by Nicaraguan police on June 2 in an escalating political battle ahead of the November elections in which Ortega sought to maintain his power.
The 67-year-old journalist Chamorro is considered a possible challenger to Ortega, who is expected to run for re-election in November for a third consecutive term.
The police searched Chamorro’s apartment in the capital Managua and, after being there for more than five hours, put her “under house arrest, in isolation,” as her brother Carlos Fernando Chamorro announced on Twitter.
Nicaraguan presidential candidate Cristiana Chamorro, who wanted to challenge long-time President Daniel Ortega in the November parliamentary elections, was placed under house arrest [Carlos Herrera/Reuters]Chamorro is the third potential opposition candidate arrested in Nicaragua, where two opposition parties have already been declared illegal.
Chamorro’s detention was also condemned Friday by a leading Democratic member of the US Congress, California MP Eric Swalwell.
“Instead of wasting time tackling undemocratic disagreements, Ortega should work to lift his country out of the poverty and appalling violence that have led so many of his constituents to abandon the country,” said Swalwell.
I strongly condemn the unjustified house arrest of the popular opposition candidate Cristiana Chamorro by the President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega. My statement: pic.twitter.com/Fiw1g4IOls
– Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) June 4, 2021
Swalwell called on the Biden administration to work with allies in the region “to impose consequences on Ortega for his regime’s attacks on free democracy and human rights.”
A group representing Nicaraguan political prisoners and the mothers of people killed in protests against Ortega’s authoritarian government has called for a nationwide strike following Chamorro’s imprisonment.
“A national blow is better than a bullet,” said Grethel Gomez, who stood in front of Chamorro’s house, where families of political prisoners demonstrated their solidarity.
Earlier this week, the Nicaraguan attorney general – an ally of Ortega – requested Chamorro’s dismissal from office for the criminal investigation against her, and a judge immediately signed his approval.
She has been charged by prosecutors with money laundering and one lesser allegation of misrepresentation, allegations she has denied.
At a meeting with President Carlos Alvarado on June 1 in neighboring Costa Rica, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized the Ortega regime’s actions and reiterated the US economic sanctions against Nicaraguan officials.
“Sanctions have a purpose, namely to promote accountability for those who participate in human rights abuses, corruption or the undermining of democracy,” said Blinken.
In Costa Rica, Antony Blinken says: “Nicaragua is going in the opposite direction” | Q COSTA RICAhttps: //t.co/QWbd4ciQEH
– The Voice of Nicaragua (@vozdenicaragua) June 4, 2021
While Chamorro can appeal the disqualification, it is unlikely to be overturned due to Ortega’s influence in the courts.
Coming from a famous political line, Chamorro has recently emerged as a possible unity candidate who could attract fragmented opposition in the November vote to defeat Ortega.
Chamorro is the daughter of Violeta Chamorro, who was elected President of Nicaragua in 1990 and ousted Ortega after his first term, and her father, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, was murdered in 1978 after leading the pro-democratic opposition to the Somoza dictatorship for decades.