Berta Valle

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El presidente de Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, levanta su mano con el pulgar marcado después de votar en las elecciones 2021 del 7 de noviembre. Resultó ganador y se reelgirá para un quinto mandato. (Cesar Perez/AFP/Getty Images)

La democracia ya estaba muriendo lentamente en Nicaragua, pero el 7 de noviembre Daniel Ortega le ha propinado la estocada final al declararse ganador de unas “elecciones” en las que no se le permitió participar a ningún candidato creíble de la oposición. Ahora, una cosa es clara: Ortega ha completado la transformación de Nicaragua de una democracia frágil a un Estado policial dictatorial.

El gobierno autocrático de Ortega en Nicaragua tiene años fortaleciéndose. Cuando surgieron las protestas masivas en abril de 2018, el régimen respondió con fuerza letal: asesinó a más de 300 personas, hirió a cientos más y obligó a muchos al exilio.…  Seguir leyendo »

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega gestures after casting his vote during the general election on Nov. 7 in Managua, Nicaragua. (Cesar Perez/AFP/Getty Images)

Democracy was slowly dying in Nicaragua, but this week Daniel Ortega dealt the final blow by declaring himself the winner in an “election” where no credible opposition candidate was allowed to run. Now one thing is clear: Ortega has completed the transformation of Nicaragua from a fragile democracy into a dictatorial police state.

Ortega’s autocratic rule in Nicaragua has been strengthening for years. After widespread protests starting in April 2018, the regime responded with deadly force, killing more than 300 people, injuring hundreds more and forcing many into exile. No one was ever held accountable for these crimes. In the aftermath of the protests, Ortega ratcheted up his repression by systematically dismantling the free press, persecuting civil society groups and deregistering opposition political parties.…  Seguir leyendo »

Juan Sebastián Chamorro, left, and Félix Maradiaga, right. (INTI OCON/Photos by AFP via Getty Images a)

Today marks 23 days since our husbands, Nicaraguan presidential candidates Félix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastián Chamorro, were arrested and disappeared by Daniel Ortega’s regime. Since June 8, they have not had any contact with their families or lawyers, and we worry constantly for their safety, health and well-being. Our days are balanced by hope and despair. The arrests of our husbands are just two in a broad campaign by Ortega to crush any opposition to his rule before the presidential elections in November: Five presidential candidates are among the at least 16 opposition leaders who have been jailed.

Ortega has tightened his iron grip on power to ensure that no credible candidate can oppose him.…  Seguir leyendo »