Peasant leader Medardo Mairena, who had announced his intentions to run for the Presidency of Nicaragua for the opposition, was arrested Monday night along with three other rural leaders, the Peasant Movement of Nicaragua has revealed.
“Ortega-Murillo dictatorship on the hunt. Today they kidnapped, at the moment, four main leaders of our Movement. Pedro Mena, Medardo Mairena, Freddy Navas and Pablo Morales”, the group said in a statement.
With these four arrests, this brings to six the number of opposition members who have been apprehended this Monday night, and to 27 since last May 28. The other two are student leaders Lesther Alemán and Max Jérrez.
Aleman, 23, is the same man who rebuked Nicaragua’s dictator Daniel Ortega in a live television broadcast during the start of a failed national dialogue three years ago, calling for his surrender.
Sentenced to more than 200 years in prison
In the case of Mairena, he is a peasant leader who launched his aspirations to the Presidency of Nicaragua last April 7 for the opposition National Coalition, which was left without a platform after the Electoral Power canceled the legal personality of the only party of that bloc that was legalized.
Mairena was in prison for demonstrations against the Sandinista government that broke out on April 18, 2018, and a judge sympathetic to President Ortega sentenced him to 216 years in prison for allegedly killing four policemen, and he was later amnestied.
Mairena, leader of the Nicaraguan anti-canal Peasant Movement, was offering justice for the victims of the social, political and human rights crisis that Nicaragua is going through, as well as the release of hundreds of prisoners who are considered “political prisoners” by the opposition and humanitarian organizations.
Nicaragua is living convulsive weeks after the arrests of opposition leaders in the run-up to the November 7 general elections in which Ortega, in power since 2007, seeks reelection for five more years.
The Nicaraguan police are holding under arrest opposition presidential candidates Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastián Chamorro and Miguel Mora, accused of “national treason”, and now also Medardo Mairena.
In addition, two former vice-chancellors, two historic dissident Sandinista ex-guerrillas, a business leader, a banker, a former first lady, five opposition leaders, a journalist, two student leaders, two former NGO workers, and a driver for Cristiana Chamorro.