HAVANA TIMES – Persecution of Nicaraguans who support the ongoing protests against the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo has become commonplace in the country. Ortega considers the violence of his paramilitary forces a legitimate defense against what he calls “coup” promoters and supporters trying to topple his legitimate government.
Hundreds of Nicaraguans, mostly students and other young people, are in prisons, captured on the streets or in house to house raids by the hooded paramilitaries and handed over to the Police, some after being brutally tortured. They are being charged in masse on organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism charges, and are denied contact with their families, attorneys or human rights organizations.
The result is that other thousands of people, feel under threat, themselves or their children, and are in hiding, while others have fled the country.
While students, farmers, business people and other civil society groups have been a chief target for repression, which has already left well over 300 dead, the independent media has also been a constant target, with numerous cameras and other equipment stolen by the irregular Ortega forces.
Two of the many reporters, photographers and analysts under threat are sociologist and political analyst Oscar Rene Vargas and sports commentator Yader Valle. They described their situation to 100% Noticias.
Sociologist Oscar Rene Vargas
Nicaraguan sociologist and economist Oscar René Vargas denounces that there is an arrest order against him, so he decided to leave his home to avoid being detained.
Vargas, 70, told dpa that reliable sources alerted him to the alleged instruction to arrest him, issued this week, although he has not received any official notification.
“They gave orders to capture me and I will not wait for it to happen,” he said, noting that he has sought safe shelter away from home.
The sociologist, who was a co-founder of the governing Sandinista Front (FSLN) party in the 1960s and adviser to President Daniel Ortega during his first government two decades later, said he ignores the reasons for the arrest order.
“They say that on social media they accuse me of being a coup supporter, and since we are here in a period similar to that of (the late Chilean dictator) Augusto Pinochet, if they want to screw you they’ll make anything up,” he added.
Vargas has criticized from his Facebook profile the police and paramilitary operations in Masaya, east of the capital, and in a recent television program he analyzed possible scenarios of the political crisis, including an eventual departure of Ortega.
Sports Commentator Yader Valle
Sports commentator Yader Valle from Radio Corporacion publicly denounced Thursday the strong threats he has received from supporters of Daniel Ortega’s FSLN.
Yader explained that as a Nicaraguan citizen he felt the duty to suspend his sports show in order to use the space to denounce the abuses that the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo were committing against society.
“It all started when the protests began and the first deaths; I run a sports show here on the radio, but after I saw what happened I made the decision not to talk about sports anymore as long as the situation in the country continued and I reoriented my program towards criticism of the government, public denunciation and support for the civic struggle of the Nicaraguan people, students and farmers,” Valle explained.
It wasn’t long before the threats began and soon moved to another level, the chronicler denounces that they are no longer just calls to insult him with swearwords, but that they rose to death threats against him and his family.
“At first, I was attacked by some Sandinista fanatics calling me to tell me to mind my own business and to talk about sports, which is what they said I know how to do. My answer was that I, as a Nicaraguan citizen, I have every right to speak up about what I thought was good to talk about and that as a social communicator I had the ability and the experience to speak not only about sports. I maintained that as a Nicaraguan I was obliged to join the civic fight and denounce the abuses, murders and all the bad things that the government was doing against the Nicaraguan people,” said Yader.
During these 100 days of civic resistance the threats, siege and aggressions against the media and independent journalists has increased, for informing the public of the massacre that the dictatorial regime of Ortega-Murillo has executed.