Ortega Holds Arturo Cruz Prisoner at Interrogation Jail

The presidential candidate was detained on Saturday June 5th

Arturo Cruz denouncing the disqualifying of candidates a few days before his sudden arrest on Saturday June 5. Photo: Artículo 66

HAVANA TIMES – The press team of Nicaraguan opposition presidential candidate, Arturo Cruz, reported Sunday that the academic is under arrest at the infamous “El Chipote” interrogation jail in Managua. The prison has been widely denounced for Police torturing of the government’s political prisoners. 

“His lawyers confirm that he is in “El Chipote” since yesterday morning,” Cruz’s press team said in a message to journalists reported by EFE.

On Saturday, Cruz became the second opposition presidential candidate to be arrested. Just four days before, candidate Cristiana Chamorro had her house raided, ransacked and she was placed incommunicado under house arrest. Daniel Ortega’s Police are stationed both inside and outside her home.

Cruz’s arrest occurred Saturday at the Managua International Airport when he was returning from a trip to the United States.

On his trip, Cruz stated his belief that Nicaragua will be suspended from the Organization of American States (OAS), that it will be removed from the Central American and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) with the United States, and that the United States Congress will pass the RENACER bill to further sanction Ortega’s close collaborators.

The Public Ministry and the National Police explained that Cruz, who said he had met in Washington with “members of the United States political society,” is being investigated for allegedly violating the “Law in Defense of the Rights of the People to Independence, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination for Peace.”

The candidate’s destination after his arrest, which was unknown until Sunday, is the prison known as “El Chipote,” which organizations including the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), The Permanent Commission on Human Rights (CPDH), and the Human Rights Collective Nicaragua Never More, denounce as “a Police torture center.”

Cruz was Daniel Ortega’s ambassador in Washington between 2007 and 2009. His press team said that his lawyers “are currently making efforts to provide him with food and medicines,” meanwhile “his relatives are extremely concerned” about his health.

The arrests of opponents who aspire to the Presidency occur five months before the general elections of November 7, in which Ortega seeks his four consecutive term and second with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president.

Two other opposition candidates for president have denounced that they are “under house arrest,” although they do not face legal charges. Several other dissident candidates have denounced being victims of “persecution and harassment” by the Ortega Police.

Ortega has held almost total dominance of politics in Nicaragua for 42 years. He is accused of crimes against humanity for the massacre following the 2018 civic rebellion which he called a “coup” against his rule.

With information from EFE.

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