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Dictatorship "hides" political prisoners in El Chipote: 47 days without family visits

In the facilities of El Chipote, 27 convicted political prisoners have been held incommunicado from their families for 47 days.

The police complex officially called the Directorate of Judicial Assistance, but better known as the “El Chipote” jail. Former political prisoners accuse the center of being the site of physical and psychological tortures. Photo from Confidencial archives

Redacción Confidencial

14 de octubre 2022

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For 47 days the political prisoners detained in the infamous El Chipote jail, have been totally incommunicado from their relatives. This is the third time that Daniel Ortega’s regime has subjected prisoners of conscience and their families to a period of more than 45 days without visits, causing anguish and anxiety. This time the situation is aggravated by the hunger strike by four of the political prisoners, who were already showing signs of malnutrition.

The relatives of political prisoners have demanded the scheduling of visits in compliance with the provisions of Nicaraguan legislation, which determines meetings every eight, 15 and 21 days, but the regime has refused. In more than 15 months of confinement, the ten visits accorded to the families have been set discretionally in a period of 40 days, for that reason, the relatives were waiting to be summoned since last weekend, but it did not happen. Several of them ask when they arrive to leave water at the jail gates, but they do not get answers.


“We have no idea how they are,” especially after the passage of hurricane Julia, warned Ana Lucia Alvarez, sister of Tamara Davila and niece of Ana Margarita Vigil, both political prisoners. She stressed that in several cells of El Chipote water seeps, causing excessive humidity.

“It has been agony. It is torture to be incommunicado, of not knowing, of uncertainty of when we are going to see them, of how they are, of how the hunger strike is going, how are they from that process. It is part of the arbitrariness and violations of human rights of our family members and ours as well,” Alvarez said.

The relatives ignore the reasons why the regime has not allowed them to see the political prisoners. Some believe that it could be in retaliation for the hunger strike begun by Miguel Mendoza and Roger Reyes, who demanded to see their daughters, and Dora Maria Tellez and Irving Larios in demanding an end to the torture system.

Some relatives fear that the political prisoners are sick and that is why they are being hidden. There is no official information.

A relative of a political prisoner in El Chipote who agreed to speak anonymously believes that this long wait for visits could be related to the beginning of the legal processes against the most recent prisoners of conscience, and perhaps, for that reason is the delay.

He also did not rule out that it is a consequence of the confrontational speech that Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo have maintained against the international community and much more, after the resolution of the General Assembly of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of American States (OAS) last Friday, October 7, demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners.

Hunger strike continues

Margin Pozo, Mendoza’s wife, commented that she has not slept due to the uncertainty and anxiety of not knowing anything about Miguel, who is diabetic and to undergo a hunger strike compromises his health. In addition, she is concerned about the health of her little Alejandra, who got sick for the sixth time in less than three months, which according to specialists, is due to an emotional problem.

“It is the anxiety and anguish that we family members go through every day. I go daily to leave water at 6:00 a.m. and cannot go beyond reception. It is very difficult for me to be close from where Miguel is and not be able to see him. This is psychological torture for me,” expressed Pozo.

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The journalist also assured that the sports commentator is a man of his word and is not going to abandon the hunger strike until he is allowed to see his daughter. “They are depriving me of spending the best moments with her. They are not going to make up for the year I have not been with her, in her life,” Miguel told his wife before subjecting himself to food deprivation.

Fernanda Guevara, Roger Reyes’ wife, has also been unable to sleep. She feels anxious for not knowing anything about the lawyer. The lack of communication generates a lot of anguish and although Guevara has hopes that this weekend they will be summoned for visits, she is also aware that the other possibility is that another 20 days will pass without seeing them.

“The anguish accumulates from not knowing if your relative is eating well, and now that he is not eating at all, this has brought a lot more anguish,” expressed Guevara, who assured that Reyes was very convinced of his effort to see his daughters again.

The relatives of political prisoner Suyen Barahona have maintained the campaign “A call for Suyen,” demanding that she be allowed to communicate with her little son, with whom she has not spoken for more than 15 months. Cesar DuBois, Barahona’s husband, said that they were worried because although the pattern of visits every 40 days was not fully complied with, it was an estimate that had been maintained in recent occasions.

“We do not know the reasons why the Government has not allowed the corresponding visits,” highlighted Dubois.

“It pains us to see this whole situation,” said Norma Vega, wife of political prisoner Pedro Vasquez. She has asked on several occasions in El Chipote about the visits, but they do not tell her anything, so she fears “that something strange is happening.”

The 27 political prisoners who are convicted with sentences that range from seven to thirteen years in prison, incommunicado and suffering torture in El Chipote managed to see their relatives about 95 days after they were abducted, at the end of May and beginning of June, 2021, and afterwards, the second longest wait for visits occurred the first quarter of this year, after 55 days of anxiety and the most recent one that adds 47 days.

Daniel Ortega keeps more than 200 prisoners of conscience imprisoned in the different jails of the country. Since September 26, a group of 20 political prisoners from the La Modelo penitentiary also began an indefinite hunger strike, demanding their “immediate and unconditional release” and, until this happens, improvement of prison conditions. This has provoked reprisals from prison authorities, who have carried out abusive searches and have threatened them with transfers to maximum security punishment cells, as confirmed by Confidencial a few days ago.

https://mailchi.mp/confidencial.digital/englishnewsletterform

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times

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Redacción Confidencial

Redacción Confidencial

Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.

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