HAVANA TIMES – Independent journalists and human rights activists in Nicaragua reported today that they have received death threats and attacks on their homes, following protests and clashes last week in the country, reports dpa news.
One of the complaints was filed by Aníbal Toruño, owner of Radio Dario radio station in the city of Leon, whose facilities were burned down on April 20th by alleged groups linked to the government, in the midst of a spree of vandalism.
“I am afraid and I assume it, I feel threatened, my movements continue,” said the journalist at the headquarters of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) in Managua, where he requested protection.
Toruno blamed the government for any attack on his person, members of his family or employees of the radio, two of whose workers died from burns after the attack.
Radio Dario is a station critical of the Ortega-Murillo government and this was the sixth time it has been attacked. Toruno said he has proof that it was a “terrorist attack” executed by “a commando led by the Sandinista mayor of Leon, Filiberto Rodriguez.”
Also filing complaints at Cenidh were Haydee Castillo and Sara Henriquez, feminist activists in the cities of Ocotal and León, respectively. Both reported that they received death threats and that their houses were stoned by unknown persons.
Attorney Vilma Nunez, president of Cenidh, took note of the three cases to be presented to the Office of the Prosecutor, who announced an investigation of the incidents. Nunez said that the filing of a complaint in Nicaragua is a requirement for any subsequent denunciation before international organizations.
Another threatened journalist is Luis Galeano, director of the talk show “Cafe con Voz” of channel 15 television, censored several days by the government during incidents of violence.
Galeano told dpa that he received a message while he was broadcasting live on Facebook, in which he was reminded of the death of radio personality Carlos Guadamuz, a Sandinista dissident who was murdered in 2004 by a supposed fanatic.
Meanwhile, the popular musician Carlos Mejia Godoy said that his son Augusto was threatened “for showing solidarity with the protests” of the students which began on April 16 ignited over a reform of Social Security, and extended after the violent reaction of the Police, which caused 63 deaths according to the non-governmental Permanent Human Rights Commission. The Government only reported 10 deaths.
The veteran author of revolutionary music on Friday released a statement, also signed by his musician brother Luis Enrique, in which they criticize “the brutal repression of the riot police, backing up shock forces of young paramilitaries of the Sandinista Youth.”
“They used tear gas, clubs and fired rubber and lead bullets against peaceful demonstrations of youth and population (…) All this has reminded our population of the darkest years of Somoza impunity,” said the Mejia Godoys in allusion to the military dictatorship overthrown by the Sandinistas in 1979.