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Nicaraguans gather in Costa Rica to celebrate release of political prisoners

June 12, 2019

Sounds of drums, cheering, and the the flash of blue and white permeated the Plaza de Democracia on Tuesday as about 100 people celebrated the release of Nicaraguan political prisoners by the Daniel Ortega regime.

In stark contrast to last month’s demonstrations, which commemorated one year since the deadly Mothers of April Protests, the mood in the air was one of joy and celebration. Though anti-Ortega chats punctuated the music and dancing, there were more smiles than tears.

Signs held at a rally in San José on June 11, 2019. (Jacob Spetzler / The Tico Times)

Alex Hernandez, a political exile who says he spent more than two months in a Nicaraguan jail for his participation in the 2018 protests, was among the demonstrators at the Plaza.

“This is a first step in proving that the civic resistance is generating change,” he said as the party ended and people gathered their flags and dispersed into the San José night. “This release is a step back for the regime, who is showing itself to be unable to punish the people for asking for their rights.”

Hernandez and other Nicaraguans gathered in response to the Ortega regime freeing at least 100 political prisoners under a new amnesty law. However, that law is being criticized because it could also give immunity to police and civil militias who killed protestors during the bloody 2018 demonstrations.

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