Hugo Torres was a revered Sandinista guerilla leader that helped overthrow former Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza and the only revolutionary that participated in the two largest and most successful attacks that overwhelmed Somoza forces and freed many dozens of political prisoners.
The first raid was on a Christmas party of Somoza ministers and Somoza supplicants and the second was on the entire National Assembly. The daring operations resulted in significant prisoner releases and the turning of the tide of the conflict.
Included amongst those prisoners released due to those unprecedented raids was current Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega, the same person that later jailed him until his death. Ortega had been in prison for seven years after robbing a bank.
After the 1979 revolution Torres rose to the rank of Chief of National Security and then Army Brigadier General in the new Sandinista government before his retirement in 1998.
In a video made shortly before his arrest he stated “Forty six years ago I risked my life to free Daniel Ortega.” Torres later said those same former comrade revolutionaries, have now betrayed the principles they fought for.
Torres had been a part of one of many opposition parties rejecting Ortega and his government’s crackdown on those opposing his fourth run for President of Nicaragua created under new laws created by Ortega and his Vice President wife’s change of the constitution.
The infamous Mother’s Day protest march in Managua that resulted in many dozens of deaths of protest participants by Ortega forces and paramilitary gangs was hoped to gain the support of the international community. That help never came.
Now over 46 journalists and opposition figures, perhaps now 45, are in the infamous El Chipotle prison, where Ortega himself was jailed.