The Ortega justice system declared the three university leaders arrested in August guilty of drug trafficking – marijuana – and not guilty of the crimes of “propagation of false news” and “undermining national integrity.” The Prosecutor’s Office requested eight years in prison and an 800-day fine for the young women, whose sentence will be read on November 14, confirmed a source familiar with the case.
Since their arrest, the young women have been accused of “undermining” and “propagation.” However, on October 27, the Public Ministry expanded the accusation to the crime of drug trafficking. And precisely, that was the only crime that the Prosecutor’s Office supposedly dedicated itself to proving. They did not present reports from social networks or videos, which are two recurring pieces of evidence in cases of political prisoners, the source said.
“The Public Ministry only dedicated itself to supposedly proving the drug issue, and did not prove the other two accusations,” he added. Regarding drug trafficking, the Prosecutor’s Office indicated that the three young women were allegedly found with marijuana -approximately one kilo-. A criminal lawyer explained under anonymity to CONFIDENCIAL that he does not rule out that the Ortega regime returns to the old pattern of fabricating common crimes against political prisoners.
In 2018, when the civic protests began, the Ortega regime accused political prisoners of terrorism and in 2019 of crimes such as robbery, murder, illegal possession of weapons and, above all, trafficking and possession of narcotics. Most of the 35 political prisoners that the regime did not release, after the exile of the 222 last February, are serving sentences for common crimes, including drug possession.
The trial of the student leaders was held last Tuesday, November 7, by judge Nancy Aguirre, head of the Tenth District Trial Court of Managua, who is part of the machinery of judges and prosecutors who have sentenced dozens of inmates of conscience.
Prosecutor’s Office invents that they were detained together
The three young women were included in a single court case, in which the Prosecutor’s Office argues that they were detained together, when that was not the case, the source refuted. Espinoza and Morales were kidnapped on Saturday, August 19, in their respective homes, and Campos was arrested on Monday, August 21.
Adela Espinoza, 26 years old, is a graduate of Social Communication from the UCA. She is a feminist activist and mother of two young children. In an interview that her mother, Flor Tercero, gave to 100% Noticias, she said her daughter actively participated in the 2018 protests and that later she joined women’s organizations. “She is a feminist,” she emphasized.
Gabriela Morales is a Social Worker graduated from the Juan Pablo II University, also confiscated by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. She actively participated in the 2018 protests, and it is presumed that she would have been arrested for some publications on social networks.
Mayela Campos, a third-year Industrial Engineering student at the National University of Engineering (UNI), also became involved in the civic struggle and was believed to have been arrested for a video she shared on social media. The three remain in the La Esperanza women’s prison.
This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times. To get the most relevant news from our English coverage delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to The Dispatch.