The arrest of Arturo Cruz comes three days after the house arrest of opposition presidential candidate Cristiana Chamorro.
Nicaraguan police have arrested opposition politician Arturo Cruz. In less than a week, he ousted the hopes of a second president և intensified the battle ahead of the November election, in which President Daniel Ortega sought to retain power.
Academician Cruz, who was Nicaragua’s ambassador to the United States from 2007 to 2009, was arrested at Managua airport on Saturday after arriving from Washington, according to his aides.
The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that Cruz was being investigated by the national police on the basis of “solid evidence that he attacked Nicaraguan society.”
It does not elaborate on the possible charges against the 67-year-old man or whether he will remain in custody or not.
Cruz was arrested three days after opposition leader Christiana Chamorro, who was also Ortega’s potential rival in the November election, was placed under house arrest after the government pleaded guilty to money laundering.
A former Ortega ally, Cruz is running in the November presidential election as a candidate for the Alliance of Ciudadana, a coalition of right-wing parties backed by prominent businessmen.
The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights called his arrest by the Ortega government a “perverted strategy” to silence people he considers political enemies.
“These are not criminal investigations, this is political persecution,” it said.
In: USA called on Cruz to “release immediately”.
“The international community spoke. “Under Ortega, Nicaragua is becoming an international pariah, moving away from democracy,” said Julie Uli Chung, acting deputy secretary of the US State Department’s Office for the Western Hemisphere.
The Organization of American States also called on the Nicaraguan authorities to release Cruz.
“It is unacceptable for the security forces to manipulate the judicial system to imprison the opposition candidates. “These actions are against free and fair elections,” said Luis Almagro, Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Ortega, a former guerrilla fighter who led from 1979 to 1990, returned to power in 2007 and won two consecutive re-elections. The 75-year-old man intends to be re-elected in November for the third consecutive term.
International organizations, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, have accused the Ortega government of making false allegations against its opponents.
The electorate has already eliminated two opposition parties.