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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Commander Two protests in Daniel Ortega’s worst dungeon

The ardent Sandinista guerrilla column entered Managua on July 19, 1979 and, 93 km away, in León, the new revolutionary government junta met to assume the newly conquered power. Months earlier, a woman with short hair and a command led by a beri had defeated Somosysta forces in that city in a strategic victory to overthrow the dynasty. The woman is Dora Maria Tellez, then a 23-year-old medical student and a fearless fighter who had already participated in the attack on the National Palace. The morning after the victory, on the 20th, Tellez marched with the junta to Managua to join the jubilee and recover the positions that Anastasio Somoza Daybell had left with his flight from Nicaragua. Now, 43 years after this momentous event in Nicaragua’s recent history, Commander Two is being held in solitary confinement, led by Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, in a prison in the country, in the dark, and at the age of 66 with significant weight loss. has given. ,

The thinness and paleness of Tellez, a historical figure of Sandinismo, hated by the current presidential couple, can be clearly seen in one. spoken pictures Prepared from the testimony of some of the visits received, which his family collected and shared exclusively with EL PAS on 19 July. The former guerrilla fighter and historian keeps his hair short, already very white, with the skin on his face glued to his cheekbones, but without losing the sharpness of his gaze. “She has lost more than 15% of her body weight, but she has faced prison well because of her experience,” says a relative of a political prisoner.

Dora Maria Tellez, at center, in the days following the victory of the 1979 Sandinista revolution.Margaret Montealegre

Tellez was arrested in June 2021 along with other former Sandinista historical guerrillas, opponents, journalists and all presidential candidates willing to challenge Ortega and Murillo in elections. The oppressive growth that year made it easier for Ortega and Murillo to maintain themselves in power. The commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the Sandinista revolution has been marked this year by an oppressive atmosphere and the consolidation of a single-party regime, with persecution, prison or deportation condemned by critical voices.

The political prisoners of 2021 have served for more than a year in the cells of the Directorate of Judicial Aid (DAJ), better known as Chipotle. A gloomy prison in which the main opposition figures, condemned by various international organizations in defense of human rights along with the head of the United Nations, are subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment. a collection of practices that range from constant questioning, total and indefinite isolation, to eternal illumination or, conversely, constant darkness; According to complaints, psychological blackmail, lack of blankets, medical attention and precarious diets have affected most of the prisoners: some have lost 11 to 27 kg.

Along with Tellez, there were other historical figures in El Chipote who were shut down by Ortega and Murillo, such as former Foreign Minister Victor Hugo Tinoco and retired General Hugo Torres, better known by this name. Commander One In the 1978 attack on the palace, which led to the liberation of the Sandinista guerrillas, maintained by Somoza, including Ortega himself. These two accomplices of Tellez are no longer in El Chipote because Tinoco was jailed earlier, following Torres’s death in prison custody on 12 February.

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Commander One did not receive timely medical help to treat a pre-existing disease and fell into the cell, which Tellez could see. He was taken to the hospital, but by then it was too late. Torres’s death shook the precarious conditions of political prisoners, especially those of the twenty oldest. Ortega and Murillo decide to place political prisoners under house arrest who presented with debilitating diseases, although inhuman treatment continues in other cases.

In more than a year of imprisonment, political prisoners have only been allowed eight visits, brief positions lasting no more than two hours and guards supervised by El Chipote. More than 47 opposition leaders have been sentenced to 8 to 14 years in prison for alleged offenses of “treason against the country” and “undermining national integrity” in political trials in which they did not allow defendants full authority. was given. Defense.

The deteriorating situation in the prison has shocked the family, despite the fear that their movement would stop. spoken pictures Like the one in Tellez. Relatives have launched a campaign whose purpose is summed up in its name: “Be Human”, a cry for the release of prisoners for humanitarian reasons. A request that the government has since ignored, in the words of Ortega, those in El Chipote and the prison system are “sons of the bitch of imperialism.”

“The dora that can’t stand being in the dark all the time, she can’t even see the back of her hand. They practically don’t take it out in the sun and it’s translucent… not in a poetic sense, There is a rather worrying paleness. Although he continues to exercise and encourage other political detainees. Hugo Torres’ death hit him hard,” describes a relative of the former guerrilla who, a few months earlier, had severe skin on one of his arms. He had suffered an infection that caused second degree burns. “After that episode in the skin, he said he felt weak and slept for a full week, until he recovered and returned to exercise,” the family source said.

“A regime that practices torture”

Monica Baltodano is another former Sandinista historical guerrilla and has been free as she went into exile in Costa Rica. Today a historian, she rejects the captivity of her comrades in the conflict and claims the names of other political prisoners associated with the Sandinismo of the Revolution are not recognized as Télés and Torres. “El Chipote has Irving Larios, Father Cesar Parales, who was the revolution’s ambassador before the OAS; there are also prisoners who are daughters of other 1980s fighters, such as Tamara Davila, who has been held incommunicado for a year, She says.

Monica Baltodano During Her Days In The Sandinista Army.
Monica Baltodano during her days in the Sandinista Army.

Baltodano’s brother, Ricardo, was also Ortega’s political prisoner in 2018, in the first wave of arrests since the 2018 social protests that rocked the regime. So the former knows firsthand the abuses condemned by guerrilla relatives and human rights. “I was imprisoned under the Somoza dictatorship. We were isolated but we could see our children, not like now, like Tamara Davila and other prisoners. The Ortega regime practices torture. With girls in 2018 Rapes have occurred, as documented by human rights organizations. The regime has implemented open and harsh torture similar to that of Somoza. However, with the 2021 political detainees, the figures are, they did not commit assault and applied electric shocks. But this is a bit more perverse because keeping a person completely isolated is one of the worst tortures in prison. They have no chance of knowing what is happening abroad or talking to each other,” laments Baltodano.

43 years after the victory of the Sandinista revolution, Baltodano sees everything distorted. Especially when watching your fellow fighters in prison and not enjoying peaceful old age. It seems infamous for former guerrillas Ortega and Murillo to disguise so brutally as revolutionary rhetoric.

“Daniel Ortega in his service has turned the Sandinista Front into a tool; an electoral system whose fundamentals are already foreign. The sole purpose and passion is the power to defend the interests and privileges of his family”, says Baltodano . “The force that Carlos Fonseca established for the purposes of advancing social justice, emancipation and democracy no longer exists. It has been perverted by Ortega, as it has with the military, police, judiciary and all institutions. Everything works like a leash of family power.”

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, right, gestures while reviewing an honor guard, after the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Thursday, December 18, 2008.photo: village preaching

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