The arrest of another potential challenger of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has sparked criticism from American diplomats.
The Nicaraguan authorities detained a third potential presidential candidate because President Daniel Ortega increased the pressure on the eve of elections later this year.
Felix Maradiaga, 44, was detained after appearing in public court on Tuesday. Prosecutors are investigating his alleged violations of sovereignty, terrorism and support International sanctions Oppose the government.
Malatyaga is the leader of the Blue and White Alliance, an organization that emerged after widespread protests against Ortega’s rule in 2018. He testified at the UN Security Council in the same year about the government’s repression.
Last week, two other opposition politicians who planned to run against Ortega were detained.
Christian Chamorro Was under house arrest due to government charges of money laundering, and Arturo Cruz Detained before trial, so the prosecutor can investigate allegations of “provocation… and conspiracy to endanger the integrity of the country.”
The police stated that Maradiaga was “under investigation for undermining independence, sovereignty and self-determination, inciting foreign interference in internal affairs, and calling for military intervention.”
The police added that he was also accused of “using funds from foreign powers for terrorist and destabilizing acts.”
These may make the allegations against Malatyaga the most serious allegations against Ortega challengers.
The allegations are related to a law approved by the legislature led by Ortega’s allies in December last year. The lawmakers stated that the law was designed to defend Nicaragua’s “sovereignty” against hostile foreign influence.
But critics say its purpose is Stop opposition politicians From participating in elections.
With the support of the left-wing Ortega, it bans “those who demand, celebrate and praise those who impose sanctions on the Nicaraguan country”.
Ortega is a former rebel fighter who ruled from 1979 to 1990, returned to power in 2007, and won two consecutive terms.
However, he has been accused by the opposition, NGOs and the United States of authoritarian rule and brutal suppression of demonstrations.
Both the European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions on Ortega and his government.
“The arbitrary arrest of the presidential candidate Felix Marradiaga…should resolve any doubts about Ortega’s qualifications as a dictator,” Say Julia Chung, the top US diplomat in Latin America.
“The international community has no choice but to treat him like this.”