Abducted after the confiscation of the Central American University in Managua
Gabriela Morales, Adela Espinoza and Mayela Campos are transferred to La Esperanza women’s prison, while Josseth Miranda is sent to La Modelo. No one has been charged
HAVANA TIMES – The kidnapping of four student leaders, after the confiscation of the Central American University (UCA), is part of a strategy by the regime to implant “fear” and dismantle any attempt to protest in the student community. Those who dare to protest “the theft of their university” risk being imprisoned, note leaders of student movements in exile.
Jhon Cerna, a member of the Student Defense Movement (MED-UCA), believes that the round up against university students “is a remnant of the 2018 rebellion” because the regime knows that the Jesuit university “did not expel the students who got involved in the civic protests”, as the state universities did.
Cerna said with the confiscation of the UCA and the imposition of the Casimiro Sotelo National University, the dictatorship is aware of the discontent among university students.
“This discontent could trigger acts of resistance, which Ortega tries to eliminate with exemplary messages, through the capture of the young people,” says Cerna.
After the confiscation of the UCA just over a week ago, the dictatorship kidnapped four young people:
• Adela Espinoza Tercero, graduate of the Social Communication career at UCA.
• Gabriela Morales, from the also closed Juan Pablo II University.
• Mayela Campos Silva, a third-year industrial engineering student at the National Engineering University (UNI).
• Josseth Miranda, veterinarian and partner of Campos Silva.
“What the regime wants is to scare half the world. He wants to eliminate all traces of symbolism and gag the entire country,” says Cerna.
“Young people are a threat to Ortega”
Valeska Valle, national president of the April 19 University Movement, said the persecution responds to the fact that “Ortega sees the youth as a threat to his power.”
According to Valle, an exile in Costa Rica, what bothers Ortega the most is that “thinking youth maintain their firm rejection of his dictatorship.”
“With hatred they have unjustly imprisoned us, assassinated our peers, curtailed our right to education, exiled and banished us. And even so, young people continue to tell him that we don’t want any more dictatorship. That is precisely the fear of the Sandinistas and that is why they persecute us,” she comments.
The regime confiscated the UCA on August 16, accusing it without evidence of being a “center of terrorism.” Two days later he installed the new university under the command of academic authorities loyal to the Government. The appropriation of the first private university in Central America affected more than 5,000 students and more than 500 teachers and administrative staff.
Former political prisoner Max Jerez said the regime “intends to keep under control any attempt at resistance, any act of rebellion by the students.”
The regime wants to eliminate leaders who, in the face of a more repression, promote protest actions, he pointed out.
Youth transferred to penitentiaries
The relatives of the kidnapped university students do not know the reasons for their detention, they do not know what they are accused of, and they have not been able to see them either.
The four were imprisoned, first, in the jail of Police District III in Managua. However, on Wednesday, August 23 —without knowing their legal case—, the three women were transferred to the “La Esperanza” women’s prison, and Miranda to the “La Modelo” men’s prison. Both prisons are located in Tipitapa.
Their relatives went to the prisons hoping to see their loved ones, but the La Esperanza authorities only photographed them and told them that the visit would take place on Wednesday, August 30. The three women university students were involved in the 2018 protests and were monitored in their neighborhoods by the Citizen Power Councils ever since. None of the young women were participating any longer in acts of civic resistance, a right criminalized by the regime.