Nicaraguan business leader Michael Healy Lacayo, highly critical of the government led by Sandinista Daniel Ortega and who was released, deported, and stripped of his nationality almost a year ago along with 221 other opposition prisoners, has died this Thursday at the age of 61. , according to his family and friends.
Healy, the last president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep), the main employer leadership in Nicaragua that was dissolved by order of Ortega in March 2023, died of a heart attack in Panama, where he was to start. a new job, according to his family and friends.
The business leader was jailed on October 21, 2021, amid several arrests before the general elections on November 7 of that year, in which Ortega, in power since 2007, was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth consecutively, and second together with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with his main opponents in prison or in exile.
Healy was detained by the Nicaraguan Police to be investigated for alleged crimes of money laundering, property and assets that harm the state and Nicaraguan society, and committing acts that undermine freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, etc. .
He was sentenced to 13 years in prison
In May 2022, the business leader was sentenced to 13 years in prison by Judge Angel Jeancarlos Fernández González, head of the Fourth Criminal Trial District Court in Managua, for the crime of harming national integrity, as requested by the Prosecutor’s Office. .
Healy was elected president of Cosep in September 2020 for a three-year period, ending in September 2023, replacing businessman José Adán Aguerri, who was also arrested, convicted, released, expelled from Nicaragua, and denationalized for betrayal when he was arrested.
He was released from prison and deported to the United States on February 9, 2023, along with 221 other Nicaraguan prisoners, who were subsequently deprived of their nationality and property after being sentenced for crimes considered treason.
President Ortega called the imprisoned, tried, and convicted opponents “traitors of the country,” “criminals,” and “sons of Yankee imperialists.”.
“Nicaragua needs people to step forward.”
The deceased former union leader was the president of the Union of Agricultural Producers of Nicaragua (Upanic) and a supporter of the Sandinista government. 210 hectares of a farm dedicated to the cultivation of sugar cane and bananas were confiscated after demonstrations against the government in April 2018.
Before being elected president of Cosep in July 2020, Healy declared himself “another victim of the confiscation that this government has not allowed to produce and create jobs” and also said that “Nicaragua needs people who lead one step to achieve the change that our country needs.”
Healy is also a member of the opposition Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, which is the government’s counterpart at a negotiating table seeking a peaceful solution to the sociopolitical crisis that the country has been experiencing since April 2018.
Cosep, made up of 26 business chambers, broke its consensus alliance with the government and Sandinista unions after the crisis that erupted in April 2018, when thousands of Nicaraguans took to the streets to protest against the Ortega administration. , whose armed reaction left hundreds of prisoners dead or missing under the argument that they were defending themselves against an attempted coup d’état.