Last April 29, Nicaraguan Miskito Indigenous leader Carlos Hendy Thomas addressed the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, accusing the Nicaraguan regime of Daniel Ortega of killing community leaders, including his son, Mark,33, and of usurping the Miskitio’s Moravian Religion, paying non-indigenous pastors to take over Moravian Churches
The Sandinistas responded by prohibiting Hendy Thomas and long-time Misikito leader and Congressman of the Indigenous YATAMA Party, Brooklyn Rivera from returning to Nicaragua In the past week, the government further responded with a vengeance, laying siege to the Atlantic Region of Nicaragua, and arresting Rivera, who had returned surreptitiously to the country through the northern border with Honduras, said Hendy Thomas.
“There is a police or military presence in every village,” said Hendy Thomas. “All our territory is under siege. They pretty much took over.” Hendy, who is in exile in New Orleans, reported that Rivera was taken into custody on Sept. 29 and was in a hospital, according to a doctor that Hendy spoke with on Tuesday.
The doctor did not know Rivera’s condition or in which hospital he was being held, the doctor was subsequently arrested, said Hendy.
Hendy’s son Mark was a YATAMA youth leader and a linear descendant, like Carlos, of the last Miskito Chieftain. Sandinista radio called the death a suicide even before an investigation had been made.
According to Hendy Thomas, warrants have been placed for the arrest of all YATAMA leaders who have gone into hiding along with other Miskito leaders.
“There is no communication. We don’t have internet. We can’t do anything. We are pretty much shut down,” said Hendy Thomas. “No one is going out. Everyone is afraid. “The Sandinistas also siezed the Miskito-language radio and the Sandinista-controlled congress revoked YATAMA’s legal status.