The following statement was issued by Nicaraguans living in the United States.
On the morning of October 14, 2018, Nicaraguan citizens in use of their constitution rights gathered to march peacefully and protest the Ortega regime and to demand the release of all political prisoners. Protestors were met with violent repression and an assault by the police.
Over 30 leaders and civilians were detained in an effort to silence the opposition. Among the people arrested are long-time feminist activists and human rights defenders Marlen Chow, Ana Lucia Alvarez, Tamara Davila, Alejandra Blandon, as well as Suyen Barahona, the President of the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), Ana Margarita Vijil, the former president of the MRS, and many members of civil society protesting the arbitrary measures of the Ortega regime.
The protestors were taken to the infamous “El Chipote,” a prison known for widespread violation of human rights. Haydee Castillo a long-time human rights activist and Dr. Lottie Cunningham attorney and founder of the Center for Justice and Human Rights of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua were removed from an American Airline flight out of Managua and arbitrarily arrested.
During the last 6 months, Nicaragua has faced the worst repression and violation of human rights of the last 40 years. Daniel Ortega’s regime strategy has been to kill, capture, torture and disappear protestors in hopes of silencing the opposition. Ortega has demonstrated no will to dialogue despite demands from the international community including the Organization of American States, the United Nations and the European Union.
Since April, one thousand three hundred citizens (1300) are missing, close to 500 dead, over 3,000 injured and 400 illegally prosecuted. Approximately 400,000 people have lost their jobs and over 30,000 have fled the country. While the Nicaraguan landscape of today paints a dramatic picture, the opposition is convinced that the only pathway forward is peaceful and non-violence protest. Ortega’s firepower is contrasted with the people’s conviction for a free and just Nicaragua. A national strike is being called for in the coming days.
NICARAGUA CALLS ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO DEMAND THAT ORTEGA STOP THE REPRESSION, RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS AND RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS.
Following is a preliminary list of those captured today: Alba Aragón, Alejandra Machado, Allan Cordero Ocón, Ana Lucía Álvarez, Ana Margarita Vijil, Andrés Reyes Monté, Ángel Miranda, Francisco Ortega, Freddy Ramírez, Geisel Solís, Gustavo Adolfo Vargas, Gustavo Argüello, Haydee Castillo, Irving Dávila García, José Antonio Peraza, José Dolores Blandino Arana, Lídice Sotomayor, Lottie Cunningham, Marcela Martínez, María de los Ángeles Gutiérrez, María Dolores Monge Aguilar, Marlen Chow, Marvin Reyes, Mauricio Ríos, Orlando Rafael, Ramiro Lacayo, Salvador Berríos, Sandra Cuadra, Suyen Barahona, Tamara Dávila.
Statement by Nicaraguans living in the United States
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