Retired general and brother of dictator Daniel Ortega, Humberto Ortega, former head of the Nicaraguan Army, pointed out that the death of political prisoner Hugo Torres was due to the “cruel confinement” to which he was exposed in the cells of El Chipote.
In a opinion article published in the newspaper La Prensa, Humberto Ortega highlighted the milestones that retired Brigadier General Hugo Torres achieved as a guerrilla, including the operation that achieved the release of several political prisoners of the Anastasio Somoza dictatorship in 1974, including Daniel Ortega.
“The most inhumane of his confinements (of Daniel Ortega), for seven years, achieves relief from the harsh prison conditions and family visits, thanks to the struggles of the exemplary mothers of political prisoners accused of being terrorists, among them, Doña Lidia, our mother,” he describes.
In addition, he stressed that in his last days, Torres did not shy away from sacrifice and jail, in his civic struggle. “Once again he demonstrates his revolutionary convictions, and he dies, like anyone at his age and physical condition, when exposed in the cruel confinement.”
In the same article, the former head of the Army also called for the release of political prisoners, which he describes as “a starting point in a process that resolves the crisis in Nicaragua.”
“This unfortunate, painful outcome of a comrade in struggle should contribute to the solution path to the political crisis that our country is suffering, which urgently requires a climate of reconciliation, which is generated by the release of political prisoners, through any of the legal, legal instruments required,” he writes.
In July 2021, Humberto Ortega referred to his brother’s political prisoners and assured that “These who are detained are not terrorists, they have not attacked the stability of the country; they are simply opponents who have their point of view as I do. Likewise, he firmly pointed out that he could be classified as a terrorist or a traitor to the country due to the criticism he made of his administration.
Two years later, when Daniel Ortega’s regime began to detain the first political prisoners, Humberto also spoke out and consequently his older brother accused him of being a pawn of the “oligarchy” and the “empire.”
Nicaraguan Army is silent
Days before Humberto Ortega’s letter, five high-ranking ex-soldiers, including two retired generals, a colonel, a lieutenant colonel and a high-ranking officer, also reacted with outrage to the death as a political prisoner of retired Brigadier General Hugo Torres. In an interview published in CONFIDENTIALquestioned the “silence and cowardice” of the military institution, which did not recognize the merits of one of the founders of the Army.
“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 in his house next to his children,” claimed a retired officer, who asked to keep his identity anonymous.
Likewise, they highlighted that there is a deep silence in the ranks of the Army as a reaction to Torres’ death, since internally it is known “the impeccable quality of the soldier” that he was.
“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,” said a former Army general.
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.