Nicaragua: What Lies Ahead for Ortega’s Political Prisoners?


The political prisoners will be at the center of public debate in the coming months, along with the resulting sanctions.

During 2021, part of the Ortega-Murillo regime’s strategy for maintaining power was to imprison the opposition’s presidential hopefuls, along with other prominent figures from the opposing side. Put simply, we could say their strategy served them well: they survived the election. Today, though, it’s an unsustainable strategy, given the legal and political consequences it’s incurring.

One year ago, public interest was centered on the electoral process, while the demands for justice for the Ortega-Murillo regime’s grave human rights violations was relegated to second place. There was practically no discussion of the fate of the hundred or so political prisoners that the regime still held. Beginning in May, the detentions of the aspiring presidential candidates recalled the fact that there were more political prisoners. From that time on, the topic rose to new prominence on the national and international public agenda.

The regime is now on the eve of inaugurating a new, illegitimate, mandate. Unfortunately, the reaction of the international community with respect to the electoral farce hasn’t served as a determinant strong enough to put the regime in a vulnerable position and produce its fall, although it’s definitely contributed to their isolation. Hence, the public agenda isn’t dominated by the consequences of the sanctions from the international community; instead, its attention is centered on the political prisoners.

In the last few days, information has come out about the chronic ailments of octogenarian political prisoner Edgar Parrales. In addition, there are denunciations of the isolation inflicted on Ana Margarita Vijil; Felix Maradiaga’s weight loss; the health situation of attorney Maria Oviedo; the uncertainty over the whereabouts of Hugo Torres; the leg cramps being suffered by student leader Lesther Aleman; and lawyer Roger Reyes’ loss of cognitive and memory functions, among many others. These have captured the interest of national and international news.


Nicaraguense (@librepensadorni) / Twitter
Movimiento Cívico Guardabarranco's tweet - "🔴 La abogada y miembro de la  Comisión Permanente de Derechos Humanos de Nicaragua -CPDH, María Oviedo  Delgado ha sido secuestrada la tarde de hoy en el


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