Police Arrest Indigenous Legislator Nancy Henriquez at Her Home

The Yatama legislator was transferred to Police District III, in Managua, to be “interviewed” in the case of Brooklyn Rivera, family denounces

Nancy Elizabeth Henríquez

Diputada suplente y presidenta de Yatama, Nancy Elizabeth Henríquez. Foto: Cortesía

3 de octubre 2023


 The Ortega regime imprisoned the alternate deputy and president of the indigenous party Yapti Tasba Masraka Nanih Asla Takanka (Yatama), Nancy Elizabeth Henríquez James.

The arrest occurred on Sunday, October 1, two days after the founder of the Yatama indigenous party and deputy to the National Assembly, Brooklyn Rivera, was imprisoned.

Henriquez was at home when she was taken along with a niece and two-year-old her grandson, to the District III police station to supposedly be interviewed in the case of Brooklyn Rivera, her daughter Liza Francis Henríquez reported to 100% Noticias.

“They put them in a van and took them to District II, then they changed the route to District III. From the moment they took her to District III, the screams and threats towards her began, they locked her up and we don’t know anything about her,” she described.

Henríquez’s daughter stated on her social networks that both her niece and the three-year-old child were released after arriving at the station. However, “until now I do not know my mother’s whereabouts.”

The Yatama Asla Takanka organization spoke out on its social networks about the imprisonment of the representative of this party. In the publication they asked for the release of both indigenous leaders and also demanded proof of life. “We hold the regime responsible for everything that happens to her, and we demand her release,” they said.

Banishment and arrest of Brooklyn Rivera

Henriquez was the one in charge of the Yatama seat in the National Assembly, for several months, after the exile of deputy Brooklyn Rivera. The indigenous legislator was prohibited from entering the country in March 2023 when he tried to return after participating in a United Nations forum on indigenous issues in the United States.

Later, Rivera published a video on social networks where he claimed that he had entered Nicaragua irregularly and was in La Mosquitia, in the Caribbean Region.

“I had to look for other options on how to return to the country, because I have leadership responsibilities, with the people, with the Yatama organization, and also my work in the Legislative Assembly, I have my family,” Rivera said in part of the video.

It was until September 29, 2023, that at around 8:30 a.m. he was arrested after a raid on his home in the city of Bilwi (Puerto Cabezas).

Tininiska Rivera, daughter of the indigenous legislator, told CONFIDENCIAL that prior to the raid, some workers from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) arrived at the house to “supervise the property 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 patrol vehicles 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 deputy’s family went to the Bilwi police station to ask about the arrest, but they were not attended to there. Unofficially, they learned that the Yatama leader was taken in an ambulance to the community of Sahsa, at which point he was transferred to a police patrol in which he was taken to Managua.

Both Rivera and Henríquez were eliminated from the list of deputies of the National Assembly, as confirmed on the website of this legislative body.

Closure of radio stations

Yatama also denounced the illegal occupation of the party headquarters, which was taken hours after the arrest of deputy Rivera.

They also rejected the cancellation of the community radio station Yapti Tasba Bila Baikra, which operated in Bilwi and Waspam, carried out on the same day by the Telecommunications and Postal Institute (Telcor).

Both events represent “a clear violation of the freedom of social communication and peaceful assembly. It is a planned strategy to silence the voice of the people and limit the communication and social mobilization of the indigenous peoples,” said Yatama.

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


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