About a hundred people gathered outside the Nicaraguan embassy in San José on Saturday to voice their disapproval with the country’s imprisonment of political protesters.
More than 700 people have been detained in Nicaragua for participating in anti-government protests, which began last April. After a pause, protests resumed Saturday, and the Nicaraguan government announced it had arrested an additional 107 people, according to AFP.
“We are not going to allow any more political prisoners, any more blood, any more repression. We are not going to allow the death of any more people,” said Gerard Lopez, a doctor who says he was fired from his position last year for helping injured people who had been involved in protests.
Saturday’s protest in Costa Rica did not have a specific leader for fear of retribution from the Nicaraguan government. Instead, the rally was coordinated by several social organizations, including the Blue and White Movement and the Association of Feminists in Exile.
The message of the protest was reflected in the t-shirts worn by its participants.
Mayra Centena wore a t-shirt with an image of Medardo Mairena, a human rights activist and national coordinator of the Council for the Defense of the Land, Lake and Sovereignty, who has been detained in prison since July 13.
Another wore an image of the Macho Ratón to symbolize the spirit of revolution of the indigenous people in Nicaragua during the Spanish conquest.
“We are here to demand the freedom of the political prisoners, and we also want to know where all of the people who have ‘disappeared’ and have been kidnapped are,” said Flor de Loto Maria Jose, a protester who says she has been living in Costa Rica for five months. “We are demanding freedom of expression and freedom of the press.”
Protesters chanted the list of political prisoners detained under Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega’s rule, including Max Jerez, Freddy Blandon and Sofia Montenegro.
One such protester was Raquel Medrano, who says she has been living in Costa Rica for eight months. She says she was accused of terrorism, carrying weapons, money laundering and of a variety of other crimes by the Nicaraguan government, forcing her to flee the country.
“I am protesting because I am against the repression in the country and all the injustices that the government has committed,” she said. “I am fleeing from the persecution of all those who think differently to Ortega.”
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