Oppositionist Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, whom the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, avoided facing in the controversial recent presidential elections by being imprisoned, was sentenced this Monday to eight years in prison for the crimes of money laundering, goods and assets, appropriation and improper retention, abusive management and ideological falsehood. Chamorro, a 68-year-old journalist, had been under house arrest since June 2, 2021, and was sentenced by a criminal court in Managua, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) reported in a statement.
Daughter of the assassinated Nicaraguan hero and anti-Somocista journalist Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal and former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997), Cristiana Chamorro was the opposition figure most likely to win the November 7 presidential elections, in which Ortega he was re-elected for his fifth term, fourth in a row and second along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with his main contenders in prison.
Chamorro is the seventh opponent who aspired to be a candidate for the presidency of Nicaragua in the last elections to be found guilty and sentenced for the crimes of money laundering or treason. The other six are the academic Arturo Cruz, who was ambassador to the United States of the Ortega government between (2007-2009), from whom she distanced herself; the activist, academic and leader of the Blue and White National Unity, Félix Maradiaga; and the economist and nephew-in-law of former President Barrios de Chamorro, Juan Sebastián Chamorro. Also the journalist Miguel Mora, founder, owner and former director of the television channel 100% News, closed by the authorities and now broadcast on the internet platform; the peasant leader Medardo Mairena and the lawyer and conservative politician Noel Vidaurre.
The trial of Cristiana Chamorro is part of a series of legal proceedings against forty opposition leaders and critics of the Sandinista regime, who were imprisoned before those elections and accused, most of them, of “treason against the country” or money laundering. Ortega has branded the imprisoned and judged opponents as “traitors to the country”, “criminals” and “sons of bitches of the Yankee imperialists”.
Subscribe here to newsletter of EL PAÍS America and receive all the informative keys of the current affairs of the region
Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.