Nicaraguan Journalism Student Arrested for Undisclosed “Crime”

Samantha Jiron Padilla

The Judicial Power’s electronic system contains notice that an accusation has been filed against young dissenter Samantha Jiron, but doesn’t specify the charges against her.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Nicaragua’s Public Prosecutor’s Office, controlled by the Ortega regime, has filed criminal charges against journalism student Samantha Jiron Padilla, a member of the National Blue and White Unity (UNAB). The young woman has been in jail since Tuesday, November 9, but the crime she’s accused of doesn’t appear in the Judicial Power’s electronic registry.

The accusation against Jiron was presented by prosecutor Georgina Reyes on Saturday, November 14, at 10:44 am, in the Office for the Reception and Distribution of Criminal Proceedings and Documents, part of Managua’s Judicial Complex. Her case is now in the Fifth District Criminal Court, under judge Nalia Ubeda Obando.

The only thing known about the crime the young dissenter is accused of, is that her supposed victims are the Nicaraguan State and Nicaraguan society. Because of this, her mother, Carolina Jiron believes that it’s a political case. The young journalism student supported the primary campaign of Felix Maradiaga in his initial bid for the presidency. Maradiaga has been in prison since June 2021, along with six other presidential hopefuls.

Samantha Jiron also formed part of the youth and student sector of the Blue and White Unity Movement, although she had temporarily stepped back from these activities, alleging that “she needed to take a break from [political] activism” for her “mental health”, according to information disclosed by the UNAB.

Arrested in Managua’s Third District

The young woman was detained by plain-clothed police officers on November 9, when she was leaving the Holiday Inn in Managua, after an interview with an independent media outlet. “As she left the hotel, the agents followed her and stopped the vehicle (she was leaving in). Only Samantha was taken,” the UNAB denounced.

The day after the arrest, Samantha’s mother confirmed to the internet news site Articulo 66, that the young woman was being held at the District III Police Station. There, “they received the food and some clothing I brought her,” states Carolina Jiron. Later, “they passed me some dirty clothes she had.”

Before being detained, Samantha Jiron had complained of threats and persecution. These caused her to remain in a safe house for a time, but she continued receiving phone calls from people who “told her they knew where she was, and were going to make her pay,” her mother told Articulo 66.

In 2018, Samantha Jiron fled to Costa Rica for her safety. However, in June of this year, she decided to return to Nicaragua to be with her family in the city of Masaya.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.