By Geovanny Shiffman (La Prensa)
HAVANA TIMES – Feminist organizations from Latin America and other countries united to express their rejection of the Ortega regime’s current wave of attacks, violence, and arrests. June brought an onslaught of repression in Nicaragua, targeting human rights defenders, social activists, political leaders, presidential candidates and feminists.
Women from Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Spain and other countries, staged protests at the Nicaraguan embassies. They demanded that the Ortega regime release all political prisoners (140+) and stop the persecution of grassroots women leaders, as well as repeal the repressive laws passed late last year.
“We’re here raising a global feminist cry for freedom in Nicaragua. We demand the release of the political prisoners in Nicaragua, and an end to the repression and persecution of human rights advocates. We want a free Nicaragua: without Ortega, without that dictatorial regime that is oppressing people today, “stated Salvadoran Morena Herrera .
The coordinated civic action took place at a time when the Ortega regime has unleashed a fierce witch-hunt against leaders of the opposition. In June alone, police arrested 21 government opponents, including prominent women such as Cristiana Chamorro, Violeta Granera, Dora María Téllez, Tamara Dávila, Suyén Barahona and Ana Margarita Vijil. These recent prisoners joined others like María Esperanza Sánchez, who’s been a political prisoner since January 2020.
Feminists outside the Mexican Embassy declared: “Here we are – Nicaraguan women together with Mexican women from the feminist movement, in front of the Nicaraguan embassy in Mexico. We demand freedom for the more than 130 political prisoners of the genocidal Ortega-Murillo dictatorship! “
In Costa Rica, a group of Nicaraguans exiled in that country also took to the streets to protest. With banners and posters, they demanded the release of the prisoners of conscience. The demonstration was backed by feminist activist Ana Quiros.
The world is watching
The feminist demand was amplified on social media. Clara Murguialday, a writer, professor and researcher, posted a video on Facebook calling on the regime to free the political prisoners. She stressed that the international community is aware of what’s happening in Nicaragua.
“Many people around the world – more than what Ortega and Murillo would believe – are angry and sad about what we’re seeing in Nicaragua. It hurts those of us who lived in Nicaragua during the 80s to see how the Ortega dictatorship has betrayed the values of that revolution,” she said.
“It hurts women around the world to see how Ortega and Murillo are treating these women, who are denied their basic rights. It hurts us to see how they detain feminists, social activists, political leaders and human rights advocates, merely for clamoring for justice and freedom. Ortega and Murillo – Let all the prisoners go!” the writer concluded.
The Meso-American Initiative of Women Human Rights Advocates added their voices to the cry for Nicaragua. They, too, demanded an immediate end to the repression, persecution and different forms of violence being inflicted on women leaders, journalists, activists and human rights advocates “who have denounced sexual violence, torture, harassment, rape and sexual humiliation occurring in the detention centers.”
“Today [Wednesday, June 30], we, the feminist organizations from Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain, are holding a global action to demand that the Nicaraguan government stop repressing human rights advocates, feminist activists and women leaders,” their statement expressed.