Nicaragua Canal Opposition Leader Arrested, then Freed

Francisca Ramirez was participating in a Mesoamerican project workshop in Nueva Guinea, in southeastern Nicaragua.

By Wilfredo Miranda Aburto  (Confidential)

The police patrol that arrested Francisca Ramirez.
The police patrol that arrested Francisca Ramirez.

HAVANA TIMES —The leader of the rural movement that opposes the building of an Interoceanic Canal in Nicaragua, Francisca Ramirez, was released Saturday afternoon by the National Police after being arrested earlier while participating in a workshop promoted by the Mesoamerican Caravan of Good Living,  with a group of young Mexican, Salvadoran and Spanish citizens to share experiences with environmental protection advocates.

Also released was farmer Pedro Mena, who housed the six foreigners, who have been in the country for several weeks.

“The police treated them like terrorists and they were taken to Managua. They questioned us on how we met them and how we contacted them, “Ramirez told Confidential by telephone.

The six foreigners remain in detention. The lawyers of the Nicaraguan victims (Ramirez and Mena) were not allowed to intercede for them before the authorities.

Ramirez was captured with violence after participating in a Mesoamerican project on the environment. Alexander Marenco was building a metal platform for a wood oven, when he accidentally introduced a paper on fire, which caused burns to his chest.

Riot police surrounding the police station in New Guinea.
Riot police surrounding the police station in New Guinea.

According to the environmental lawyer Monica Lopez Baltadoano, the National Police came to the La Fonseca community and took the young Mexican, Spanish and Salvadorans of the Mesoamerican project to the police station in New Guinea, even though they explained that the incident was an accident.

According to reports from New Guinea, the police station is surrounded by at least 50 riot police. The authorities have not clarified the reason for the arrest.

Those still detained are Daniel Espinoza Jimenez, Salvador Tenorio, Enmanuel of Light, Byron Reyes, Ana Laura Rodriguez and Eugenio Pacceli Chavez.

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