Reporter’s home burned and student leader Amaya Coppen’s house stoned by Ortega fanatics
By Ana Cruz (La Prensa)
HAVANA TIMES – In two separate incidents on New Year’s Eve, persons allied with the Ortega regime set fire to the home of exiled journalist Winston Potosme and threw rocks at the house of political prisoner Amaya Coppens Zamora, breaking the windows.
Potosme’s father, Luis Potosme Sevilla, who currently occupies the house located in Niquinohomo, Masaya, wasn’t home at the time. The residence also served as his father’s air conditioner and refrigerator repair shop.
Potosme told La Prensa via telephone that he learned of the fire around 10 pm that night, as events were unfolding. He noted that beginning in 2018 his father has been accused by the Sandinistas of fabricating homemade bombs and mortars for the opposition. The reporter denied these accusations.
According to Potosme, the mobs had already tried once to burn the house down, but they hadn’t succeeded until now.
“They set fire to the house where my father lives, they burned his workshop and pick-up truck. Thank God, the fire didn’t spread any further. My father’s workshop is for repairing refrigeration and air conditioning apparatus and this is the second time they’ve attempted to destroy it. They set fire to the truck, knowing full well that there are oxygen and butane gas tanks there, there’s refrigerator gas that’s extremely inflammable. They knew full well what they’re doing. They thought that by destroying the workshop, the flames would spread to the three family houses there, where my aunts live,” explained the reporter in an audio clip.
Due to the threats from the Sandinistas, Potosme’s father had left the city for a time, returning fairly recently.
The house stands next to the refrigeration and air conditioning workshop that is family property and is next door to the house of another of Potosme’s relatives.
The reporter left the country last year, after being shot at in the final marches of 2018 and also being threatened for denouncing the paramilitary as the source of the aggression he suffered.
Windows broken in Amaya Coppen’s home
Hours previous to the arson attack on the reporter’s house, a mob in Esteli came to the home of political prisoner Amaya Coppens Zamora and threw rocks at it, shattering the windows.
The home’s security cameras captured on video the moment when the fanatics arrived by motorcycle with their helmets on and began to throw stones until the windows broke.
Coppens was released from prison to house arrest for the second time on Tuesday, December 30, together with 90 other political prisoners.
Independent Journalists’ Organization condemns the attack
On January 1, the organization known as Independent Journalists and Communicators of Nicaragua (PCIN) formally issued a repudiation and condemnation of the aggression suffered by the family of Winston Potosme who has been exiled in the United States since December 2018.
The members of PCIN issued a statement denouncing the fact that the Potosme home was set on fire with the clear objective of “harming the family and threatening their lives.”
The group noted that the attempt against the Potosme family contradicts the claim of the Ortega regime that they’re fomenting “peace and reconciliation”, when in fact they’re ordering their followers to attack, harass and threaten independent journalists.
The organization of independent journalists added that they have knowledge that “a neighbor managed to see a person leaping over the gate in the wall that surrounds the home and workshop of the Potosme family, seconds before the event,” and urging the authorities to investigate the occurrence and act in accordance with the law.
[Nonetheless, all violence against people who oppose the Ortega-Murillo regime is considered unworthy of investigation by the Police, totally under the orders of the rulers.]