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Montevideo, April 14th 2024 - 11:32 UTC



Nicaraguan opposition leader Hugo Torres dies in jail

Monday, February 14th 2022 - 09:54 UTC
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Torres had once risked his life for the man he eventually had him incarcerated Torres had once risked his life for the man he eventually had him incarcerated

Former Nicaraguan guerrilla leader Hugo Torres Jiménez -who once risked his life to defend current President Daniel Ortega- has died Saturday in jail where he had been placed by the administration of the same man his life he had defended.

 “We communicate with deep pain the death of our beloved father,” said his children in a note released by the opposition National Blue and White Unit (UNAB) group.

Torres, 73, had been under arrest since June 13, 2021 at the El Chipote prison alongside other 46 opposition leaders Ortega needed out of his way to make sure he would be reelected Nov. 7. Ortega had claimed they were all Washjington-backed conspirators and considered each one of them to be a criminal.

“As per the express will of our father, no funeral honors or public ceremonies will be held,” the family said. Torres had been hospitalized in December as hios healtyh deteriorated.

Torres once fought alongside Ortega during Nicaragua's 1979 revolution against the Somoza dictatorship. He has become the first opposition leader to die and it is yet unknown whether his health deteriorated due to his imprisonment conditions.

Torres was among the Sandinista leaders who broke up with Ortega more than 20 years ago to found the Sandinista Renovation Movement.

“This interview may be the last one I give,” Torres said. “I am here, waiting for them to come for me,” Torres had told The Associated Press on June 13 last year, after seeing drones flying around his home. “It's not just potential candidates any more, it's political leaders,” Torres said of those being arrested. “This is not a transition to dictatorship; it is a dictatorship in every way.”

Torres had rescued Ortega from jail in 1974 by raiding the home of a close ally of then-dictator Anastasio Somoza. Ortega had been jailed for a botched bank robbery in Managua, the capital, years before. In a video he posted hours before his arrest in June, Torres said “46 years ago I risked my life to get Daniel Ortega and other political-prisoner colleagues out of prison.”

“I am 73, and I never thought that at this stage of my life I was going to be fighting against another dictatorship, now more brutal, more unscrupulous, more irrational and more autocratic than the Somoza dictatorship,” Torres had said.

Relatives of jailed opposition activists have said prisoners have been subjected to isolation, constant interrogations and insufficient food, affecting their health. The families also described inhumane detention conditions.

Thousands have fled into exile since Nicaraguan security forces violently put down antigovernment protests in 2018.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.
Tags: Nicaragua.

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  • imoyaro

    One down, how many to go? At least he is being suitably punished for helping Ortega.

    Feb 14th, 2022 - 01:26 pm 0
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