“They took me out many times at night for interrogations”

Maria Esperanza Sanchez was released and banished from Nicaragua on February 9. Photo. Mosaico CSI

This woman from Matagalpa was imprisoned for a little over three years by the dictatorship that now exiled her, but she hopes “not to die outside my country.”

By Mosaic (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Maria Esperanza Sanchez Garcia was imprisoned for three years and two weeks by the Ortega regime, until she, along with 221 other political prisoners, was exiled on February 9th to the United States. The woman from Matagalpa said the torture and all the suffering “for my country has been worth it.”

Until a day later, on Friday the 10th, Sanchez was able to communicate with her relatives in Nicaragua. “It has been difficult, but here I am, grateful for the support received,” she said from the United States.

File photo of Maria Esperanza Sanchez Garcia in one the many protests.

Sanchez is a well-known opponent of the Ortega regime and stood out for participating in marches and protests from 2018 until she was arrested on January 26, 2020. She was prosecuted together with Víctor Manuel Soza Herrera and both were sentenced to ten years in prison and a big fine, for the invented charge of drug trafficking.

Sanchez says that she did know Soza. But he was detained in Matagalpa and she was detained in a safe house in Managua. “They took some flags and some T-shirts from me, because I went to the mass and then we made a picket (in protest) when the image of the Virgin of Fatima arrived,” she recalls.

When they arrested her, they beat her so much that Sanchez still has back injuries.

“They interrogated me, they wanted me to give them the names of people, but since I didn’t tell them, they began to attack me, to beat me. They took me out many times at night for those interrogations and after that I suffered a lot of psychological abuse. But here I am. It has been worth it for my homeland, to see that my grandchildren can live in a free Nicaragua,” says Sánchez.

Her tormenters always asked her why she never covered her face, while she was in protests and she always gave the same answer: “I was only exercising my right, because supposedly we live in a free country.”

Santos Sanchez, known by the pseudonym “El Comarada” and father of Maria Espernza, was a well-known and tireless fighter against social injustices, such that the Somoza dictatorship. Likewise, that of the first period of Daniel Ortega in the 1980s They imprisoned him multiple times.

“I would protest again, of course I would… it is in my blood. My father was a fighter, and he gave his life for us. I would do it again,” said Sanchez.

The banishment

Sanchez says that they spent many days in a prison regime in which they were not allowed to go out into the patio to get some sun. Only once, for half an hour, separated (the political prisoners) and always with a guard.”

On February 9, she was asleep, around 10:30 p.m. when they came to wake her up. “I was the first,” she recalls.

She adds that they were taken from the cells first to the La Modelo prison and from there to the place where an airplane was.

“We knew nothing, not even where they were taking us. The fear was that they would transfer us to Cuba or Venezuela. It was ugly, traumatic ”, says Sanchez.

She is now in the United States, exiled and, according to the Ortega-Murillo regime, without nationality.

Sanchez thanked everyone who was aware of her. “I tell you that it was worth it. I don’t know how long it will take for me to return to my homeland, but I hope I don’t die before. One day that dictatorship will fall.”


Text first published by Mosaico CSI

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