The Police of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo detained the founding leader of the Yatama indigenous party and deputy to the National Assembly, Brooklyn Rivera, who was reportedly being transferred from Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi) to Managua.
Rivera’s arrest occurred around 8:30 in the morning on Friday, September 29, after a raid on his home in the city of Bilwi.
Tininiska Rivera, daughter of the indigenous legislator, told CONFIDENCIAL that prior to the raid, some workers from the Ministry of Health arrived at the house to “check the land for malaria outbreaks.” However, Rivera and the staff who accompanied him did not let them enter the house.
Minutes after the Minsa visit, three National Police patrols arrived at the house and immediately proceeded to raid it. The officers “did not show any documents” or provide any explanation, they simply “came in, took everyone’s phones and took him away,” Tininiska said. The raid was also recorded in a video circulating on social networks, where the moment in which several police officers surrounded the home of the indigenous legislator and later broke into the home.
The deputy’s family went to the Bilwi police station to ask about the arrest, but they were ignored. Unofficially, they learned that Rivera was taken in an ambulance to the community of Sahsa, at which point they transferred him to a police patrol where he would be traveling to Managua.
Rivera was under surveillance
Deputy Rivera’s daughter also explained that her father had remained under surveillance by the regime since last April, when he returned to Nicaragua after participating in a forum on indigenous communities at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. On that occasion he was denied entry to his country, but he entered irregularly through the Mosquitia area.
“Since his entry (to Nicaragua) he moved around to different safe houses,” said Tininiska. However, “yesterday (Thursday) he arrived at his house because his plans were to travel today (Friday) at night,” she noted.
She said the regime “knew perfectly” all of his father’s movements. They knew “what he did, where he did it, the meetings he had,” she continued.
Yatama Offices Stormed
Simultaneously with the transfer of Deputy Rivera to the capital, the regime’s Police militarily occupied the Casa Verde, as the Yatama headquarters is known, in the municipalities of Bilwi and Waspan.
Two community radio stations belonging to the indigenous party also operated in those properties.