The economist and banker Luis Rivas Anduray, who at the time of his arrest was the Executive President of Banpro, Grupo Promerica, celebrates this June 15 one year since he was kidnapped by the Police and taken to the Evaristo Vásquez Police Complex, (also called El Chipote), in compliance with orders issued by Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.
Your catch –happened unexpectedly at ten o’clock at night– surprised many because the banker was not part of any of the opposition groups that were repressed by the regime to eliminate political competition in the elections of November 7, 2021.
Rivas was accused of allegedly having violated Law No. 1055 “Law for the Defense of the People’s Rights to Independence, Sovereignty and Self-determination for Peace”, for being part of a WhatsApp group in which the need for electoral reform in the country.
The investigator of the Inter-American Dialogue, political scientist Manuel Orozco, rejected the accusations of crimes against the State of Nicaragua, assuring that “the cause is totally political. There is no legal or legal basis for the accusations, because a conversation about electoral reform is not binding with the threat against the State,” Orozco said in a interview on the show This week.
Orozco considers that the arrest of Rivas “defies logic within the political context because he is a citizen who has not been directly involved in the country’s politics, in financing parties or in political participation, nor is he a candidate.”
Rivas Anduray is a member of the Board of Directors of Banpro, and regional CEO of Grupo Promerica, a financial entity with a presence in nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Cayman Islands.
According to Orozco, the reason to send the banker to jailit is because “it has a direct link with big capital, with Ramiro Ortiz, with Carlos Pellas, among other people, and that constitutes a token of economic and political extortion on the part of Rosario Murillo, in particular, who has been the interlocutor between the regime and big capital until April 2018. His imprisonment occupies a place within the sphere of economic and political destruction of the country.”
Luis Rivas in solitary confinement
Although the economist’s family has avoided making a public statement about the Rivas Anduray prison, statements by the relatives of other political prisoners reveal the conditions of deprivation in which they find themselves, with visits every 45 days, food restrictions, and isolation in those who are forbidden to talk to the cellmate.
Another of the cruelties that the relatives of prisoners of conscience have denounced is the blocking of food or medicine that is sent to them; hard beds without mattresses, pillows, or sheets to ward off the cold; visits that are only allowed when the regime wishes to grant them, and even the prohibition of allowing them phone calls, or any type of reading, including the Bible.
Rivas’s wife Haydée Lacayo Rodríguez recently signed a statement with other relatives of prisoners of conscience calling for the release of all political prisoners and even, to propose some type of dialogue with Ortegaappealing to the Church and the living forces of the nation to promote a constructive meeting.
Banpro, for its part, issued a statement the day after the banker’s capture, in which it limited itself to stating that “we are sure of the moral quality of Dr. Rivas and we trust that his situation can be clarified,” in addition to ensure that the entity “as a responsible institution, ratifies its adherence to the laws in force in our country”
A union leader consulted to write this note, limited himself to responding “I do not comment.”
Last February, Rivas Anduray was also subjected to a mock trial, in which Ortega judge Jeancarlos Fernández found him guilty of “conspiring to undermine national integrity”, using the Sovereignty Law, and for the crime of “ illegal possession of firearms”, for which the Prosecutor’s Office of the Daniel Ortega regime requested that he be sentenced to thirteen years in prison.
The situation of political prisoners has had such repercussions among some nations and leaders of the international community that at the Summit of the Americas pleaded for his release; the United States government withdrew the visas 93 officials who are accomplices of Ortega, including judges and prosecutors; and the European Parliament voted by a large majority, asking the European Union to sanction 17 judges and magistrates.