Valeska Sandoval: “Several Police Beat Me Tied Up”

Valeska Sandoval with a Nicaraguan flag along with other university students in their 2018 occupation of the UNAN-Managua. Photo: Carlos Herrera / Confidencial

Last Saturday, April 24, Valeska was reported missing and the following Monday she appeared with signs of torture on her body. She points to Ortega’s Police as the perpetrators.

By Vladimir Vasquez (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The Nicaraguan police commanded by Daniel Ortega tortured Valeska Sandoval during the entire weekend after she was captured in the vicinity of Metrocentro when she was shopping with a friend. They gave no justification and on Monday a patrol car dumped her on the street where her relatives live after beating her all over her body.

According to what Sandoval told Confidencial, on Saturday, April 24, a person dressed in civilian clothes had been following her in the Metrocentro mall, while she was shopping. Before that, she said that she was going to meet at a place with some friends to do a quick protest picket, but the others did not show up. Afterwards, when she was waiting for a taxi, a police officer grabbed her hand and told her that she was under arrest without giving her any justification.

Subsequently, a group of riot police arrived at the scene, handcuffed her and took her away in a patrol along with two other youngsters whom she assures she didn’t know who they were or what happened to them after seeing them in the vehicle.

“Two or three policemen beat me. Males. While they had me tied up. They did not give me any kind of explanation. I always asked why I was there, and no one ever came to give me an explanation,” Sandoval said.

Over the weekend, Sandoval was brutally beaten by several police officers, who also kicked her and applied tasers, stun guns used to detain fugitives. All they asked her was what she had said in the United States when she traveled to seek asylum in July 2020, but she was deported by the then Donald Trump administration.

Tortured, persecuted, deported

Valeska was among the group of students at the UNAN-Managua who were attacked by paramilitaries and policemen while they had barricaded themselves inside that university. The video went viral on social networks in July 2018, as she repeated: “Mom, mom, forgive me. I went out to defend my homeland. I love you, did you hear!

A month earlier, in June, she had been captured by paramilitaries and also suffered torture. One of her toenails was pulled out, and she was abandoned along with Bryan Miranda and Gretchel Miranda on Cuesta El Plomo, in Managua.

Afterwards, there was controversy around her figure. Some called her a government infiltrator in the barricades of UNAN. And, to this day, some still allege that she gave information to the authorities that led to the capture of several young people who were entrenched in the university. A video published by official media and shared by supporters of the regime is the proof that many need to support their accusations against Sandoval.

However, she has defended herself, alleging that she was a victim of torture and that she was forced to read the accusations she made on that day, including indicating that MRS members were involved in the barricades.

They tortured her using water torture

The last time she was captured on April 24, she also suffered torture. “Before they left me (at my relatives’ house), I do not remember the course of the trip. They had untied me and put handcuffs. And after that they began to shove my head in a water tank over and over again until I lost consciousness.” That is the last thing the young woman remembers.

Her relatives told her that they heard someone shout outside the house: “here is that slut,” and left her lying in the street. When she woke up, the nightmare was over, but for a brief moment.

Sandoval says that she does not feel safe. She will try to seek asylum in another country that she does not mention but did say that she will try to travel again, because she can no longer be here or live in peace. In the meantime, she still must be in hiding, constantly moving, she said.

“Of course, I am at risk, because at the roots of all this, the persecution increased and I am sure that the next time they manage to capture me, I will no longer be able to tell the story, because I will be one more femicide in Nicaragua,” said the former student. She believes that she is going to experience greater persecution now that she told what happened in the El Chipote interrogation prison.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.