Anticipating OAS Permanent Council Meeting, Ortega-Murillo Government Excarcelates Fifty Political Prisoners

Fifty political prisoners were excarcelated this morning, announced the Ortega-Murillo Ministry of Governance via press release. The announcement came hours before a special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council, to discuss the situation in Nicaragua.

The Ortega-Murillo negotiating team issued its own press release, praising the release as evidence of “the Will and Commitment of our Government to the Harmonious Cohabitation in the homes and among the Nicaraguan Families.

Governance’s press release describes the excarcelated prisoners as “people who were detained for crimes against common security and public peace.”

At the time of their incarcerations, though, the police hyped up the accused as responsible for acts of terrorism and other serious crimes, which are now being euphemistically downplayed as “crimes against common security”.

The legal processes against political prisoners in Nicaragua are rife with irregularities and breaches of due process and procedure, as noted by the Group of Independent Experts of the OAS (GIEI). According to the GIEI, “judicial processes improperly charged students, rural and social leaders with crimes such as terrorism and organized crime, among others, in order to persecute and punish legitimate acts of opposition against the government. The GIEI corroborated the existence of a pattern of judicial criminalization, in which there is no correlation between the facts and the codified criminal conduct (executive summary, p. 5).”

All individuals were either granted house arrest or “other measures”, such as parole, but were not freed or had their judicial files expunged.

In the past, the Interior Ministry published names, IDs and addresses of all excarcerated individuals. This time, only names and government IDs were made available to the public.

These are the people who were excarcelated.

1. Aníbal Iván Parrales Jarquín
2. Franklin Rodrigo Artola García
3. Jefferson Edwin Padilla Rivera
4. Jefry José Ortega Orozco
5. Kevin Antonio Mena Bellorín
6. Kevin Roberto Solís
7. Moisés Javier Chévez Cárcamo
8. Wilber Antonio Prado Gutiérrez
9. Jorge Junior Marenco Rojas
10. Gerald Geovanny Espinales Largaespada
11. Allan Enrique Alemán Castillo
12. Brayan Francisco Pérez Ampié
13. Wilmer Antonio Baltodano Salinas
14. Francisco Homero Pérez Bucardo
15. Juan Ramón García Baltodano
16. Marcos Antonio García López
17. Reymundo Gutiérrez López
18. Trinidad Agustín Acevedo Correa
19. Mariela Margarita Sotelo Rodríguez
20. Maribel del Socorro Rodríguez Mairena
21. Raquel Guadalupe Ruiz Borge
22. Fenner Antonio Dávila Gaitán
23. Oscar Danilo Rosales Sánchez 
24. Yenki Francisco González Collado
25. Ernesto José Arauz Rizo
26. Víctor Leonel Velásquez Martínez
27. Etner de Jesús Sequeira Vásquez
28. Franklin Javier Morales García
29. Geovany Ramón Zapata Hurtado
30. Juan Daniel Corea Corea
31. Luis Tomas Fonseca Martínez
32. Miguel Ángel Guerrero López
33. Walter José Mercado Pereira
34. Francisco Ramón Zeledón López
35. Wilmer Rene González Valle
36. Carlos Evert Pineda Herrera
37. Francisco Ramón Valle Sequeira
38. Bryan Alexander Quiroz
39. Fredrych Eliseo Castillo Huete
40. Luis Arnulfo Hernández Quiroz
41. Mathil Alexander Pérez Amador
42. Gerson Snayder Suazo Báez
43. Hamilton Javier Sánchez Quiroz
44. Terencio de Jesús Bautista Rivera
45. Luis Miguel Ramos Lazo
46. Róger Alfredo Martínez
47. Alexander del Socorro Pérez
48. Luis Miguel Díaz Barrios
49. Moisés Alfredo Leiva Chavarría
50. Víctor Manuel Díaz González


Excarcelations were done secretly, starting at dawn, according to Julio Montenegro, lawyer for the CPDH.

The prior excarcelation received not only abundant press coverage, but also motivated many Nicaraguans to come out on the street to cheer buses presumably transporting political prisoners as they made their way to various locations around the country.

Even though no media was at hand, the homecomings received coverage nonetheless, via social media

This is how Fener Dávila came home. Mr. Dávila was accused of terrorism, kidnapping, bodily harm, and obstruction of public services.

Victor Díaz’ relatives shot this video of his homecoming. Mr. Díaz, who is a leader in the Peasant Anti-Canal Movement, was sentenced to 25 years for terrorism, bodily harm, aggravated assault, and obstruction of public services.

Friedrich Castillo poses with a Nicaraguan flag, after his excarceration. Mr. Castillo, a college student who survived the attack on the Divine Mercy church, in July of last year, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for terrorism.

Jefferson Padilla granted an interview to La Prensa. Mr. Padilla was accused of aggravated robbery, aiding and abetting a fugitive, terrorism, and obstruction of public services. Padilla described being traumatized due to psychological and physical “mistreatment,” that began from the moment of his apprehension.

“The accused me of so many things. They accused me of arson, of organized crime, after beating me. They brought me out [of the cell] nine times. They wouldn’t let me sleep.”

Mr. Padilla described how the police came to his home, destroyed the door, and took him to El Chipote. He said they accused him of burning a microbus, during a protest he did not attend. “They grabbed me because I went to the marches. They were just grabbing anyone,” he said.

Luis Miguel Díaz was greeted enthusiastically in Ometepe. Mr. Díaz was accused of arson, reckless endangerment, aggravated harm, and aggravated robbery against the FSLN.