Family members denounce a multitude of abuses. The political prisoners are denied medical attention; they’re confined in maximum security cells; and their visits are arbitrarily canceled.
By Cinthya Torrez (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – The Ortega regime continues its abusive treatment of its’ political prisoners. These persons are denied medical attention, and their family visits are frequently canceled. They’re confined in maximum security cells, and the packages from family members are often not delivered. These are the complaints raised by relatives of the prisoners of conscience.
Political prisoner Walter Antonio Montenegro Rivera has four bullets lodged in his body. These have taken a huge toll on his health, family members say. At 2:50 am on January 1, 2021, Montenegro was lying down when he felt pressure on his heart. He tried to get up, but couldn’t stand. He asked the other prisoners for aid.
The guards didn’t show until January 2nd. They removed him from his prison cell in Waswali, Matagalpa, for just a blood test. That’s all that was done, although he’s had other health problems.
No medical attention
His relatives say he’s been routinely denied adequate medical attention. The guards, they report, tell Montenegro that what he’s feeling “is psychological. That he doesn’t have any bullet,” they assert.
Four shots struck Walter Montenegro in 2018. He’s currently imprisoned in Matagalpa, and his family is concerned about his health.
This political prisoner is originally from the municipality of Wiwili. At times, half his face goes numb, his mouth goes dry, and his lips turn purple. The veins on his left hand stand out, and his heart begins to pound rapidly. He feels like he’s smothering. “The bullets lodged in him bother him. Twice, they’ve caused symptoms similar to a stroke,” declare his family, who are very concerned. They’ve asked not to be identified by name, for fear of reprisals.
Montenegro was wounded in 2018, during a confrontation with three people identified as Sandinistas. He’s been sentenced to five years for attempted murder, and he’s been in prison for 26 months now. Walter Montenegro has ties of friendship, although no blood ties, with the well-known Montenegro family of Jinotega. The latter family has been the object of extensive persecution by the Ortega regime.
In 2018, Montenegro’s relatives explain, a doctor told them Walter Antonio had been operated on, to stop an internal hemorrhage. However, they didn’t extract the bullets. Because of this, the family insists, they need to take him to a private clinic for a full clinical evaluation. They’ve explained this to the penal authorities, but they’ve refused to give permission.
Family members fear that Montenegro’s health could deteriorate further. In addition to the bullets in his body, he suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure. They leave medications for Walter, but he doesn’t receive them. The young man of 31 has lost weight and is depressed, his relatives say.
Renewed abuses began on the first day of the new year
On January 1st, Azahalea Solis, former member of the Civic Alliance, also denounced prison abuse. She wrote on her Twitter account that her nephew, political prisoner Kevin Solis, had been beaten. In addition, she reported that Kevin remains locked in a maximum-security cell. “Kevin exercised his fundamental rights, and now he’s been abducted, put on trial and tortured,” Azahalea Solis posted.
That same day, Karen Lacayo, sister of political prisoner Edward Lacayo, described how the police have surrounded their home. They’ve laid siege to the family residence in Monimbo, Masaya, both night and day. They allowed only Edward’s mother, Esthela Rodriguez, to leave the house and attend a special visit to the “La Modelo” prison. Karen, however, wasn’t allowed to leave and visit her brother. During her visit, Esthela discovered that Edward wasn’t receiving the food packages they bring him each week.
“Since (November 10), he hasn’t brushed his teeth, shaved or used deodorant. In other words, the officials in the prison system have stolen his packages,” Karen complained.
Skarleth Narvaez, wife of political prisoner Ernesto Antonio Ramirez, told Confidencial she’d been denied the special January 1st prison visit. On December 31, 2020, Ernesto had marked the word “freedom” on his leg.
More arbitrary detentions
On December 21, 2020, Sergio Beteta stood in front of Managua’s Central American University with the Nicaraguan flag in his hands. In a matter of seconds, the police appeared and detained him.
Those who sympathize with the governing Sandinista Front are free to manifest their party sympathies in different ways. In contrast, any attempt at protest by self-organized members of the opposition like Beteta is punished with jail.
Beteta’s been accused of drug trafficking, informed Julio Montenegro, lawyer for the organization “People’s Defenders”. He also denounced the fact that the youth’s family members haven’t been informed of his whereabouts.
The end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 were marked by the constant harassment of dissenters. Members of the opposition, released prisoners and family members of the current prisoners of conscience have suffered police sieges and persecution. Denunciations of this have come from Masaya, Managua, Somoto and the North Caribbean.