Nicaragua condemns businessmen in latest phase of political crackdown

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega attends a two-day meeting with representatives of the ALBA group at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana, Cuba, December 14, 2021. Alberto Roque/Pool via REUTERS

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MANAGUA, April 29 (Reuters) – Two senior executives of Nicaragua’s largest business association have been found guilty of “undermining national integrity”, in the latest in a series of lawsuits against political opponents to President Daniel Ortega.

More than 40 of Ortega’s opponents have been convicted of crimes including treason and money laundering since leading up to November’s presidential elections that won him a fourth consecutive term. Read more

Friday’s convictions of Michael Healy, president of the Superior Council for Private Enterprise (COSEP) and its vice president, Alvaro Vargas, came on charges akin to treason under Nicaraguan law, a body said. defense of rights.

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“We reject and condemn this judicial pantomime,” the organization, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), said in a statement calling for their immediate release.

Healy faces up to 13 years in prison and Vargas up to 9 years, with sentencing expected next week, he added.

The Nicaraguan government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Healy and Vargas, arrested last October and charged with “laundering money, property and assets to the detriment of the Nicaraguan state and society”, were also members of the opposition group Civic Alliance. Read more

Ortega’s government has become increasingly isolated and condemned internationally for its crackdown on opponents of the president and critical media in the Central American country it has ruled since returning to power there. 15 years old.

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Reporting by Ismael Lopez in Managua; Written by Kylie Madry; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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