MANAGUA (AP) – President Daniel Ortega on Monday called the bishops who supported the protests that broke out in Nicaragua in April 2018 “terrorists” and said that in another country “they would already be detained.”
Ortega directed a message on the official television together with his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, in which he attacked that social revolt, which he described as a “terrorist coup” by the opposition “to take away their rights and sovereignty from the people.” .
“We were at peace, and what did they do? They organized a terrorist coup. It could not be a coup d’etat because the Army participates in it, and here the Army and the police are the uniformed people, defending the peace and stability of the country, ”said the 75-year-old president.
Ortega recalled the national dialogue that was installed in May 2018 to try to settle the crisis, amid the protests, and said that the bishops brought there “a shameful document” and “read us an ultimatum”, in reference to a “plan of democratization ”presented by the Episcopal Conference, which acted as mediator and witness of the talks.
“The bishops signing there on behalf of the terrorists, at the service of the Yankees (…) those bishops are terrorists too. In any other country they would be judged, just there in Costa Rica they would be detained ”, remarked the Sandinista leader.
The Costa Rican government has criticized the police repression in Nicaragua and has received almost 100,000 exiles and refugees in its territory in the last three years, according to data from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Ortega also lashed out at the 37 opponents detained since June, including seven candidates for the presidency for the November 7 elections, in which the Sandinista leader is seeking his third consecutive reelection.
“Those who (being) prosecuted are now pure virgins,” he commented sarcastically, and sentenced: “They are terrorists, they are the ones who encouraged the protests. The bosses, the ones who organized all this, were the white collars, the ones who didn’t get their shoes dirty, the ones who felt untouchable ”.
He warned that the detained opponents, whose release governments and international human rights organizations have demanded, “committed crimes punishable worldwide.”
For his part, Murillo gave statements to official media in which he accused the bishops of “blessing death” and “stirring up curses.”
“We saw the religious authorities blessing the tragedy, death (…) They are rioters of curses, evils and perversions, sponsoring crimes, terrorism and abortion” together with organizations “of civil society”, he added.