Daniel Ortega’s National Police has named members of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy and figures from opposition groups as backing crimes of terrorism. This statement was presented in the government’s case against Christian Fajardo and his wife, Maria Adilia Peralta, members of the April 19th movement in Masaya.
The police presented their supposed investigation of Fajardo and Peralta on Monday, July 30. According to the government, the two dissenters “abducted the city of Masaya”.
Commissioner Farle Roa Trana, second in command of the Direccion de Auxilio Judicial (known as the El Chipote prison) stated that the couple from the April 19th movement had been “financed by a group of people organized and based in the United States.” But it also pointed to members of the Civic Alliance and opposition politicians as providing them with firearms, provisions and medicine.
“The terrorists are tied in with Jorge Solis, Victor Cuadra, Lesther Aleman, Kevin Rodrigo Espinoza,” read Roa Trana’s statement. Those mentioned are all members of the Civic Alliance.
It also named members of the Sandinista Renewal Movement (MRS): Dora Maria Tellez, Ana Margarita Vijil, Suyen Barahona, Hugo Torrez, Victor Hugo Tinoco and Loyda Valle, as well as Kitty Monterrey, president of the Ciudadanos por la Libertad [Citizens for Freedom] party.
“The evidence used includes the cell phones of Cristian Rodrigo Fajardo and Maria Adilia Peralta Cerrato, detective investigations, mandatory reports on foreign currency being sent to leaders of terrorist groups from national money transfer businesses,” the police expounded.
“With the money, the terrorists bought firearms, homemade mortars and paid the terrorist groups who were located at the roadblocks. The terrorists committed murder, robbery, kidnapping, torture, obstruction of the public roadways, blocking the right to free circulation,” alleged commissioner Roa Trana.
The couple are also accused of aggravated murder and profaning the body of deceased Lieutenant Gabriel de Jesus Vado Ruiz.
Ana Margarita Vijil of the MRS, publicly denounced the statement and asserted that it had to do with the criminalization of protest. Meanwhile, Gonzalo Carrion, legal director of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) assured that it was a maneuver intended to intimidate.
The Ortega regime’s incrimination of these members of the Civic Alliance and opposition parties is similar to what the National Police did to Felix Maradiaga, director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Public Policies (Ieepp). Maradiaga was named as being associated with the criminal structure of a subject known as “El Viper” and accused of the crimes of terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime. The accusations against Maradiaga didn’t prosper, at least in the courts, but the director of Ieepp was harassed by the paramilitaries and was the victim of a brutal beating by government mobs in Leon.
Monica Baltodano denounces harassment
This same Monday, July 30, Comandante Monica Lopez Baltodano complained publicly that she was the victim of “attempts to criminalize her political protest”. For several weeks, a campaign against her “has been orchestrated” from false profiles on social media, associating her with the detention of a woman in Diriamba, who supposedly participated in the roadblock of that city.
The publications on social media assure that the woman, who was captured by police and paramilitaries at the Laguna de Apoyo, was hiding at the home of the former Sandinista guerrilla located in that area.
The posts accompanied the accusation with a video of the woman entering a police station. The police are unloading some white boxes from the patrol vehicle which, it’s suggested, are firearms found at Baltodano’s house near the Lagoon.
“This has the goal of creating conditions that favor direct aggression against us, an attempt to ‘lay the groundwork’ for the criminalization of our legitimate and legal activities of civic protest against the dictatorial government of Daniel Ortega,” stated Baltodano, together with Julio Lopez Campos, who was also accused.
The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) warned that the Ortega regime has entered into a “third phase of repression”. “There’s been a process of transformation from the cruder, more explicit repression, towards a process of bureaucratic repression, utilizing the country’s institutions, the justice system, to detain people, and promote legal actions and processes against them,” stated Paulo Abrao, executive secretary of the IACHR.