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Costa Rica
Thursday, May 26, 2022

In Costa Rica, Nicaraguan exiles demonstrate against Ortega’s Re-Election

Dozens of Nicaraguan exiles demonstrated Sunday in Costa Rica against President Daniel Ortega who will start his fourth consecutive term in office in Nicaragua on Monday, accompanied by his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo. 

“We are holding a vigil to let the world know that we do not agree with the Ortega-Murillo government, because his government is illegitimate,” said Ana María Hernández, one of the exiled Nicaraguans who was dressed in blue and white, typical of the flag of Nicaragua.

The group stood in the Plaza de la Democracia, in San José, and called for the release of more than 160 people who are imprisoned, with cheers of “freedom, freedom”, after reciting the name of each the detainees. 

“It was an electoral farce and a circus what was done in Nicaragua (in the November 7 election). Ortega is in that position (of starting a new term) because the police, the army and the paramilitaries hold him in power. But the people said enough is enough, many people are emigrating”, added Hernández.

Later at sunset, candles were lit, songs were sung and traditional dances were performed. 

More than 40 opponents, journalists and government critics have been arrested between June and December 2021, including 7 who were running in the Presidential elections.

Added to this group are another 120 people who are imprisoned for participating in the 2018 protests, whose repression left 355 dead and more than 100,000 exiled; most of them in Costa Rica, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Among the crimes connected to them is that of “treason to the homeland” and, on multiple occasions Ortega labeled them as terrorists supported by Washington. 

The re -election of the 76 year old former Sandinista guerrilla, who has been president since 2007, takes place in the midst of a series of sanctions applied by the United States and the European Union (EU) to family members, close associates, officials and some entities such as the Police and the Attorney General’s Office, for corruption and human rights violations.

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