Five former soldiers, including two retired generals, a colonel, a lieutenant colonel and a high-ranking officer, all retired from the Nicaraguan Army, reacted with outrage to the death of retired Brigadier General Hugo Torres, a political prisoner of the regime for eight months in El Chipote prison, and questioned the “silence and cowardice” of the military institution that did not recognize the merits of one of the founders of the Army.
CONFIDENTIAL consulted the Nicaraguan Army about its institutional position regarding the death of a retired general, founder of the institution, a political prisoner of the regime since June 13, 2021, but we did not receive any response. The institution did not even issue a note of condolence to the relatives.
We also consulted a dozen former officers, Hugo Torres’ comrades-in-arms, about the legacy of the former guerrilla and retired brigadier general, who died on the night of Friday, February 12, in a hospital under police custody.
Five high-ranking former soldiers spoke out and described Hugo Torres Jiménez as a “hero” in the fight against the Somocista dictatorship and as a patriot who faced another dictatorship in the last years of his life.
The complicit silence of the Army and its former subordinates
Statements by a retired officer, who asked to remain anonymous
I knew Hugo Torres from the fight against the Somocista dictatorship. I knew the brave fight of him taking up arms in multiple combats against the National Guard (GN) Always willing to participate, many of us are witnesses that Hugo was forged in the fight.
I am also a witness to his extraordinary role in the construction of the new Army and his tireless work to maintain the morale of the new officers and soldiers during the hardest part of the war against the counterrevolution with his passionate speech and consistent with his clear ideas and ideals.
Hugo leaves a mark on our generation and on his country, even though today from the unjust prison, from what his party was, or from what his Army was, they want to viciously and cruelly erase his deed and his name.
We all belong to death, and especially Hugo, who spoke with her so many times in so many battles, but that gives the right to a dignified death and not being unjustly imprisoned.
I cannot imagine more cruelty than a 73-year-old hero being allowed to die in prison, it is hard for me to imagine in what heart such hatred fits, knowing that he is seriously ill they do not let him rest the last days at home next to his children !
And the complicit silence of his former subordinates who now turn the other way or bury their heads and honor in the sand like an ostrich in danger. Hugo lives modestly as he always lived in the heart of the people and of the honorable and worthy ones who dress in civilian clothes or in uniform.
“They pretend that the patriots are traitors to the country”
Statement by a retired general, who asked to keep his identity confidential
Undaunted I watch your departure. Your homeland is still walking on this bitter roof.
Our Nicaragua with gangsters in power, pretend that syour lies are accepted truths.
Their hatreds, repeated daily, love songs.
His excessive ambitions, love for Nicaragua.
His incredible accumulation of riches, love of the poor.
The monstrous levels of corruption, a supportive government.
They pretend that the patriots are traitors to the country.
Those who think differently, enemies of God and of TWO.
A ruler who promotes the division of society between the good and the bad, between the faithful and the unfaithful, between the sons of the country and the outcasts.
A government that does not recognize your merits as a brave son of the country and cancels your degrees and honors that the now mute military institution should have given you.
Here’s to you and your last example.
There is already a new generation, that of 2018, and others will join, willing to fight for a Free, Dignified and Sovereign Nicaragua.
Why the silence?: “Nobody wants political problems with the couple”
Statements by a former Army general, who asked to keep his identity confidential
In the ranks of the Army there is a deep silence as a reaction to the death of Hugo Torres. Although the current cadres were not mostly generational with him, they nevertheless knew of his impeccable military quality.
It is enough to remember that Torres was Head of the Political and Party Directorate during the war years. General Torres forged military cadres who succeeded him in command positions.
He was also head of the DID and the DGSE in its final stage, there he was sent to erase the vestiges of Lenin (Cerna), something very difficult since all that had been decomposed.
The silence in the Army is due to what happened to Hugo Torres and Carlos Brenes, the persecution, torture and imprisonment. The silence is due to great prudence and fear among the current officers and among the retired is because nobody wants political problems with “the couple.”
“The Army is obliged to recognize the services rendered to the institution”
Statements by a retired colonel, who requested to remain anonymous
Hugo Torres leaves a cult of perseverance. His first devotion to his homeland, a civic path traced for democracy and the reconstruction of the country. One of the things that he remembers most about him was his time in the political formation of the officers as head of the Political Directorate until the beginning of the professionalization of the Army.
He was a kind of teacher. He was always persuasive, with a personal approach without differences and without discrimination, guiding the understanding of political and personal matters. My reaction to what happened to him is outrage and annoyance.
The Army had to speak out and at least express its condolences at the death of one of its main founders, particularly for the quality of services rendered to the country. It is already a serious offense not to pay condolences to their families.
The treatment of the general leaves the institution in a bad position and proves the inhuman and degrading treatment that different countries and human rights organizations have made known to the State of Nicaragua.
The Nicaraguan Army is under a moral obligation to recognize the services rendered to the institution and other services to society in general. The institution has evaluations of the services provided by General Torres, the one he did for the granting of the rank of Brigadier General and the condition of honorable retirement. That was the settlement of institutional services.
In correspondence to this, he must pray the condolences of the Army. Given the rank of general, the cadre directorate has the files, the leadership must approve it and the Public Relations Directorate must disclose it. This type of model of governing Nicaragua (Ortega’s) I always reject, at this historical moment we are rejecting it, hence the crisis in which the country is submerged.
The example of Hugo Torres: “To die for the country is to live”
Statements by a retired lieutenant colonel, who asks that his name be kept confidential
Hugo Torres Jiménez was a man of iron firmness, granite discipline and gigantic patriotism. He was the most important of the guerrilla commanders, not because the nine said so, but because he was a man of action.
It was precisely his actions, being the only one who participated in the two most important operations of the FSLN in its guerrilla stage: the assault on the house of Chema Castillo, in 1974, and the seizure of the National Palace, in 1978.
He led a life of courage, humility and decency and above all (had) the ability to know how to change course when the Homeland demands it. He bequeathed to the opposition forces that there is no age to fight for noble ideals and with his last action he leaves his strong personality that “to die for the country is to live”.
Hugo, like the rest of the more than 170 political prisoners, are victims of the brutal repression of the corrupt State at the service of the tyranny. What else could be expected from the dictator and his wife who are determined to perpetuate themselves in power at any cost? Hugo knew the consequences of confronting the dictatorship.
He had every chance of being able to seek asylum. However, he preferred to confront the regime even if he was imprisoned. He won the game, went on to immortality with Eddy Montes, the first assassinated by the guard of the regime’s prison system.
The silence of the Army is the most cowardly of the attitudes of that military body, castrated of all its values by the corruption of the regime. It passively watches as one of its greatest founders is destroyed, lending itself in the vilest way to the destruction of the history of the institution.
The minimum, if they felt like an institution, was to issue a statement announcing to the country the death of a founder and condolences to their families. But the Army is no longer national, it is an organized force at the service of a family.
Nicaragua is facing the total loss of the condition of citizens, before a regime that does not respect the little that remains of the Constitution and that ignores the international norms that govern respect for human rights. H H. That gives us a strong bell to work hard in the conception of a strategy that allows us to confront this bloodthirsty regime.
The statement from the Public Ministry leaves me in no doubt. What else could we expect from these savages? Could a report attached to the truth be expected? We would be delusional. This regime is willing to bleed the entire country in order to stay (in power) and will use the darkest means to achieve it.