At least a dozen opponents of President Ortega in Nicaragua have been arrested outside the country

And in Nicaragua, police on Sunday jailed five prominent opponents of President Daniel Ortega. Among them is former combatant Dora Maria Telles, who is one of the most critical opponents of Ortega’s government.

Police said in a statement that Dora Maria Telles and Anna Margherita Vigil Guardian, two leaders of the opposition Onamus party, were also arrested. A few hours later, it was also announced that the party’s chairman, Suen Barahona Kwan, and the vice-president of Onamos, Hugo Torres, had been arrested.

According to a police statement, the five are under investigation “for committing acts that undermine independence, sovereignty and self-determination, and inciting foreign interference in internal affairs.”

Autocratic President Ortega, 75, and his wife, Vice President Rosario Morilla, have been in power since 2007. In 2018, the president launched a crackdown on ongoing demonstrations, killing more than 300 people. On November 7, Ortega will run for a fourth term as president.

With the latest arrests, 12 opposition leaders have been arrested in Nicaragua since June 2, four of whom are running for president in November.

The United States responded forcefully to the arrests earlier this month. According to Foreign Minister Blinken, Ortega “fears free and fair elections.” “President Ortega is proving to be a dictator,” chief US diplomat Julie Chung said. “The international community has no choice but to treat it this way,” he added.

Among those arrested was Dora Maria Telles, one of the most critical of the Ortega government. © AFP

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