Nicaragua: Threatened Academic says “The Police Accusations are Irrational”
The National Police link the director of the organization Ieepp with a “dangerous criminal gang.” He replies that he has no weapons.
The director of the Institute of Economic Studies and Public Policies (Ieepp), Felix Maradiaga, rejected accusations by the Nicaraguan National Police that linked the academic to “a dangerous criminal gang that has dedicated itself to sowing terror, murders … and other crimes”, in Managua.
“I want to say bluntly that all the accusations are false, there is no evidence. I have never carried arms. Even before I gave myself up to the cause of civil society and entrepreneurship, I had dedicated ten years of my life to the issue of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control,” said Maradiaga through a video on his Facebook account, recorded from Washington, where he participates in several meetings with civil society, which coincided with the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS).
The accusation against Maradiaga was made public by the commissioner, Luis Alberto Perez Olivas, head of the Judicial Assistance Department (DAJ). According to the complaint, the criminal “superstructure” to which they associate the director of IEEPP, was made up of Cristian Josué Mendoza Fernández (Viper), indicated by the police institution to be a “blood thirsty delinquent” who was hiding in the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI).
“I have been persecuted … they have attempted against my life”
Maradiaga affirmed that he has never spoken with alias “Viper” and that the only contact he has had with this person has been through his grandmother, when he found her at the entrance to the Directorate of Judicial Assistance (DAJ), along with other mothers, who cried out to the authorities to give them their children.
“This crazy announcement would go unnoticed if it were not that I’ve been persecuted for days. There have been two attempts on my life from which I have managed to escape, and countless attacks by all means that seek to discredit this civic and nonviolent struggle,” he reaffirmed.
Maradiaga argues that the video used by the Police as evidence to accuse him (three seconds) and delegitimize his just cause and solidarity in the universities, is being manipulated at the convenience of the police institution.
“I entered the Upoli to leave humanitarian aid. A young man, Pio Arellano, came out to open the gate and showed me a gun and said he had taken it from someone. They have taken those two seconds, but in the complete video it is seen that I arrived with other citizens to deliver aid and be able to take out the injured youths,” he added.
Maradiaga said that he does not negotiate with the terrorists, and although he did not know if he would be able to speak in the coming days, he said that “they can kill me, but ideas and freedom are not killed. History shows that tyrants never leave through the big door but through the back door. I feel very strong because I am convinced that Nicaragua will be free, “he concluded.
The police signals
According to the indictment, Maradiaga hired assassins to carry out murders, drug trafficking, weapons and ammunition running. “They have been developing training, training for the execution of acts that threaten private and public activity, such as looting, damage, fire, all to generate terror and panic in our population,” said the head of Judicial Assistance.
Supposedly the criminal group led by “Viper” was made up of Javier Carrillo, Humberto Areas, Pio Arellano, who was in charge of logistics, and Antonio Gutiérrez, among other people.
On Friday, June 1, the National Police issued a statement saying that “on Thursday, May 31, at approximately 7:00 p.m., the subjects Christian Josué Mendoza Fernández, Andrew Salvador Ubeda Martinez, were captured.”
The relatives of Mendoza and Ubeda, denied any connection of their family members with any illicit activity.