Nicaragua: Business Leaders Sentenced To 9 And 13 Years

Nicaraguan businessmen Michael Healy and Álvaro Vargas, arrested when they presided over the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep), were sentenced this Tuesday to 13 years and 9 years in prison, respectively, reported the opposition Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, to which they belong.

Judge Ángel Jeancarlos Fernández González, head of the Fourth Criminal District Court of Managua, sentenced Healy, who was the president of the employer’s association, to 13 years in prison for the crime of undermining national integrity, as requested by the prosecution.

Meanwhile, Vargas, who was the vice president of Cosep, was sentenced to 9 years in prison for the crime of conspiracy to undermine national integrity.


In a statement, the Civic Alliance considered that it was “a null process, based on fabricated accusations against innocent people and issued by incompetent, biased judges at the service of the Sandinista regime.”

That alliance, which was the counterpart of a negotiating table with which a peaceful solution was sought to the crisis that Nicaragua has been going through since April 2018, demanded the “immediate” freedom of the leaders of Cosep, which is the main employer leadership of Nicaragua, as well as the 181 “political prisoners.”

In the event that they are not released, they demanded that their conditions of nutrition, hydration, access to medicine and water, adequate lighting and ventilation, and hygienic and sanitary conditions, as well as medical attention, be improved.

Almost 60 opponents have been sentenced

The business leaders were detained by the National Police in mid-October to be investigated for the alleged crimes of laundering money, goods and assets to the detriment of the Nicaraguan State and society, and carrying out acts that undermine the independence, sovereignty and self-determination, among others.

The arrest of Healy and Vargas, critics of the government of President Daniel Ortega, occurred in the midst of a wave of arrests in the framework of the presidential elections on November 7, which put more than 60 opposition, student, and peasant leaders in jail. , journalists and independent professionals, including seven dissidents who aspired to compete for the Presidency.

It also came a day after the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) demanded the “immediate” release of the aspiring presidential candidates and the “political prisoners.”

The OAS made that request when there were 17 days left before the November 7 elections in which Ortega was re-elected with his main opponents in prison.

Of the 68 Nicaraguans detained during 2021, mainly between last May and November, at least 57 have been sentenced to between 7 and 13 years in prison, including business leaders.

President Ortega has branded the imprisoned, tried, and convicted opponents as “traitors to the country,” “criminals,” and “sons of bitches of the Yankee imperialists.”

Reliable, trustworthy and easy. Multimedia news agency in Spanish.



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