She was convicted for her work in defense of human rights, points out her family. In the record, she signed identifying herself as a political prisoner.
HAVANA TIMES – Political prisoner and former president of the Democratic Renewal Union (UNAMOS), Ana Margarita Vijil, is the third opposition member to be found guilty by the Ortega-Murillo regime’s justice system for allegedly “conspiring to undermine national integrity to the detriment of the State of Nicaragua and Nicaraguan society.”
This Tuesday, Yader Parajón and Yaser Vado were the first political prisoners with a guilty verdict for the same catch-all crime. Vado was also found guilty of “spreading fake news,” as results of trials that law experts have described as “illegal.”
María Josefina Gurdian, known as “Pinita,” in a live transmission, assured that this Wednesday, February 2, the regime condemned her daughter Ana Margarita for “crimes she did not commit and of which she was illegally accused.” “Today the Ortega-Murillo regime declared her guilty for her work defending human rights, for dreaming, and for working for a free and just Nicaragua,” she said after the end of the trial that lasted about eight hours and was held instead of court at the El Chipote prison complex.
She related that at the end of the bogus trial, Vijil declared herself “a human rights defender and affirmed that she will continue to do this work for the rest of her life.” When she signed the record of condemnation, she identified herself as a political prisoner.
Confidencial learned that the Prosecutor’s Office is requesting the maximum penalty of ten years for the opposition member Vijil.
Vijil’s hearing was described as “a new torture session” by the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), which denounced that the lawyers defending the opposition leader remained incommunicado, stripped of their telephones.
Contrary to what happened in the trial of Parajón and Vado, in which the Police prohibited the entry of their relatives, after the protest by Vijil’s family members, they allowed the entry of one person to the El Chipote. This is where all political trials are being held, which Daniel Ortega reactivated on January 24, after being “frozen” since October 2021, prior to the presidential elections, in which he reelected himself without political competition for a fourth consecutive term.
CENIDH also assured through its Twitter account that at noon this Wednesday, the Police only allowed the entry of food for the lawyers and rejected that of Vijil. The opposition leader has served 235 days of confinement, in which she has suffered weight loss, isolation and constant interrogation, which are described as psychological torture by lawyers and human rights defenders.
Vijil was violently detained together with former guerrilla, historian and UNAMOS leader, Dora María Tellez, on June 13, 2021, during the political manhunt against UNAMOS leaders, which included the arrest of retired brigadier general and guerrilla commander, Hugo Torres; former deputy foreign minister Victor Hugo Tinoco, and the president of UNAMOS, Suyen Barahona.
As of February 2, the Ortega regime has scheduled trials for some 16 of the more than thirty opponents imprisoned in the “new Chipote,” including three members of UNAMOS. The trial of Tellez took place on Thursday, February 3, and as expected she was found guilty without evidence. The fake trial of Barahona is set for next Monday, February 7.
Ana Margarita Vijil has dedicated 16 years of her 44 years of life to political activism. She is the youngest of six siblings and since 2018 accompanied the families of the victims of Ortega repression in their demand for justice. She was detained along with thirty other opponents, including Barahona and Tamara Davila, a member of the political council of the Blue and White National Unity (UNAB), on October 14, 2018, while participating in a peaceful demonstration, which was brutally repressed by riot police, in Managua. The detention lasted a few hours and afterwards, they were all released.
Justice without impunity
From her confinement, Vijil protested against the pretensions of Daniel Ortega, who after promising in the self-inauguration act, last January 10, that the country would return to the economic growth it had before the protests of 2018, assured that he would “wipe the slate clean,” in allusion to the massacre that occurred in the civic rebellion, which he bloodily repressed.
Upon leaving the “new Chipote” on her fifth visit, Vijil’s mother, María Josefina, also known as “Pinita” Gurdian, published the message from the opposition member, pointing out that in Nicaragua “there can be no ‘clean slate,’” that those killed will never be forgotten, and that “there will be a clean slate until there is justice without impunity.”
Pinita maintains the struggle for the freedom of Vijil and the rest of the political prisoners. In an open letter, published in December, she shared that her daughter was distressed by her health condition, due to two surgeries and an intubation to which she underwent to treat the cancer she suffers from. “I have metastasis caused by ovarian cancer and I will soon begin another round of chemotherapy. I don’t want to die and much less under these circumstances. I want to have Ana Margarita with me. I am doing everything possible to live and to free her,” expressed Pinita in the letter published in Confidencial.