ontario news watch

Nicaragua arrests a third potential challenger to Ortega

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua’s National Police arrested another potential challenger to President Daniel Ortega on Tuesday, the third opposition pre-candidate for the Nov. 7 elections detained in the past week.

Félix Maradiaga was arrested after being called to the Attorney General’s Office to provide a statement. He is being investigated for alleged crimes against the government.

His arrest followed those of Cristiana Chamorro last week, who remains under house arrest, and Arturo Cruz Sequeira, a former ambassador to the United States who was arrested Saturday under a controversial “treason” law passed in December. On Monday, a judge ordered Cruz held for three months while an investigation is carried out.

Ortega is seeking a fourth consecutive term as president. His government has been moving aggressively to clear the field of challengers. Maradiaga was a pre-candidate for the opposition coalition Blue and White National Unity.

A National Police statement said Maradiaga was being investigated for “acts that diminish the independence, the sovereignty and the self determination, inciting foreign interference in internal affairs, requesting military interventions, organizing with financing form foreign powers to carry out acts of terrorism and destabilization, proposing and managing economic, commercial and financial operation blockades against the country and its institutions, demanding exalting and applauding the imposition of sanctions against the Nicaraguan state and its citizens, damaging the supreme interests of the nation.”

The Associated Press