Nicaraguan Attorney Monica Lopez Baltodano Goes into Exile

Monica Lopez Baltodano

HAVANA TIMES – Opposition activist and environmental lawyer Monica Lopez Baltodano left Nicaragua and went into exile in Costa Rica after receiving death threats from the government of Daniel Ortega, she announced today in a video broadcast through social networks, reported dpa news.

Lopez, 34, a legal adviser to the rural movement, reported that she recently received threats in which “I am explicitly informed that I am a political target of the dictatorship’s homicide network.”

“Considering the imminent risk, as a family we had to take urgent measures in the face of a ruthless and criminal regime, for which I have been forced to displace myself and leave Nicaragua,” she said.

“Because of all this and as a persecuted person for my political activism, I have taken refuge in Costa Rica,” said the executive director of the NGO Fundacion Popol Na, founded 25 years ago by her mother, the former guerrilla commander Monica Baltodano, to support rural development projects.

Both the former guerrilla and her husband, former Sandinista official Julio Lopez, escaped an attempt to abduct them weeks ago in Managua. Monica Lopez noted that her uncle, academic Ricardo Baltodano, has been in prison for 20 days.

She also indicated that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ordered precautionary measures in favor of her entire family, including her brother, Umanzor Lopez Baltodano.

The young activist said that going into exile was “the most difficult and painful decision” of her life, but she assured that she will not abandon “the civic struggle of the people and the consolidation of the Blue and White National Unity,” formed last week by some 43 social and political organizations and to which she also belongs.

In the video, apparently filmed in Costa Rica, Lopez Baltodano appears with the rural leader Francisca Ramírez and two other representatives of the same movement, which has protested for five years against a proposed interoceanic canal project and the law granting the concession to a Chinese billionaire.