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Costa Rica Extradites Opposition Leader Wanted by Nicaragua

Douglas Gamaliel Pérez Centeno, known as Douglas Gamaliel Álvarez Morales, alias “Relámpago,” was extradited to Nicaragua. The Judicial Investigation Organism (OIJ) confirmed the information yesterday.

The man is accused by Daniel Ortega’s regime for his alleged participation in the murder of a police officer and a civilian, along with Reinaldo Picado Miranda, alias “Comandante Omar,” also a former member of the Nicaraguan Resistance, the latter of whom is still in prison in Costa Rica.

According to the Nicaraguan media El Confidencial, the extradition occurred less than six months after a judge of the Puntarenas Trial Court and the Court of Appeals in Alajuela approved and ratified, respectively, his move to Nicaragua.

Daguer Hernández, defense lawyer for Álvarez and Picado Miranda, explained to the Nicaraguan media that he filed a second habeas corpus petition with Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court to prevent the extradition of Álvarez. He said that the Constitutional Chamber accepted the appeal on the afternoon of February 16, but the OIJ had already executed the extradition.

“The extradition took place at 8:00 a.m. this Friday, under the direction of the Criminal Court of Liberia, at the Peñas Blancas Border Post and with the collaboration of the National Migration Police,” explained the OIJ.

Human rights activists worry that Alvarez could be tortured by the Ortega regime, as he was a politically persecuted man.

“The Convention against Torture says that no state party shall expel, return, or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture. In Nicaragua, there is no guarantee that these people will not be subjected to torture,” explained Wendy Flores, lawyer for the Human Rights Collective Nicaragua Nunca Más.

The defense attorney told the Nicaraguan media that there were several issues in the process, especially considering human rights.

“The issue should have been addressed from a human rights perspective, even in the execution of the extradition. It should be guaranteed that there is no torture in the country of origin,” he said. The legal expert also said that he hopes that “it will be possible to clarify the multiple errors that have occurred in this procedure and review the extradition procedures.

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