The United States designated nine other high-ranking officials of the government of President Daniel Ortega for sanctions on Wednesday, in relation to what it considers irregularities in the trials of opponents and “political prisoners” in Nicaragua.
“The United States government is deeply concerned about the injustice and lack of transparency shown in the trials of political prisoners in Nicaragua,” the State Department reported in a statement of press.
On the list are the majority of recently elected magistrates of the Supreme Electoral Council and who had already been sanctioned by the European Union, such as Brenda Rocha Chacón, current president of this state power; likewise Cairo Amador, Vice President of the CSE; and Lumberto Ignacio Campbell Hooker, member of the Board acting president of the Board from 2018 to May 2021.
The United States says the justices “conspired with the Ortega-Murillo regime to undermine Nicaragua’s political institutions and subvert the November 2021 national elections by disqualifying legitimate opposition parties and candidates on spurious grounds.”
In a past statement, Ortega defended Judge Brenda Rocha and said that “the empire” had again attacked her by sanctioning her, when in fact the measure had been imposed by the European Union.
“Today she was decorated by the Yankee empire once again, showing no mercy to her, who is a victim of the war that the Yankee empire put in Nicaragua in the 1980s,” Ortega said, referring to Rocha in a speech in January 2022. , upon learning of the EU sanction against the magistrate.
The new magistrates sanctioned by the EU and the United States were elected in 2021, after the previous ones expired. Roberto Rivas, who was as president of this State Branch, had also been sanctioned by Washington for corruption and undermining democracy.
Opponents and a judge, among those indicated
María Haydeé Osuna, president of the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) was also sanctioned. The United States accuses Osuna of conspiring with the ruling party to “subvert the elections” of November 2021, where Ortega managed to re-elect himself after annulling several parties and imprisoning opposition candidates.
“Osuna signed unfounded complaints that served as a pretext for the government to disqualify the last legitimate opposition party and take its leader into exile,” said the United States, clearly referring to the now-defunct Citizens for Freedom party and its leader, Kitty Monterrey. who is exiled in Costa Rica.
It was also included in the Engel List the pro-government deputy Wilfredo Navarro, who is part of the board of directors of the National Assembly.
Likewise, Gustavo Porras was added, who had already been sanctioned previously. Both legislators are accused of providing “tools to conduct their brazen assault on democracy by filling the Supreme Electoral Council with members of the Sandinista Front, loyal to Ortega.”
Karen Chavarría, current judge in Managua, was also included on the list under accusations of “abusing her authority and subverting legal processes to act against political opponents of the Ortega-Murilo regime.”
Chavarría has been one of the judges currently in charge of trials against opponents, but years ago she has been the executor of trials against critics of Ortega.
The judge ordered the search and arrest of presidential candidate Cristiana Chamorro in September 2021.
“The sanction of the first judicial operator Karen Chavarría is a clear message that shows that the ‘processes’ against opponents do not even enjoy the appearance of legality, because it is not usual for a democratic government to interfere in the discretion of a judge” , opined via Twitter the former employee of the Judiciary Yader Morazán.
The opponents have also celebrated the sanctions this Wednesday. The leader of the Unamos Party, Hector Mairena, told the FLY that the sanctions announced this Thursday are part of the pressure that the international community is developing “against the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship for the destruction of democracy, for human rights violations.”
“I want to emphasize that today, March 9, judicial authorities are also being sanctioned, acting as a firing squad for Ortega to decree civic death and the imprisonment of political prisoners, who are hostages of the dictatorship,” Mairena said. .
Officials and those close to Ortega were included in the list just at a time when political trials are being held against more than 40 opponents, including including Cristiana Chamorrothe most popular candidate in Nicaragua.
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