The opposition Blue and White National Unity denounced on Monday that Guatemalan indigenous journalist Irma Alicia Velásquez was detained in Nicaragua, and attributed the action to the way of governing of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, which it describes as “repressive.”
“We denounce the retention and expulsion of the Guatemalan journalist and anthropologist Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj upon her arrival in Nicaragua. The regime continues its repressive and authoritarian escalation. It is time for the international community to act with greater firmness in the face of these abuses, ”said the National Unit on its social networks.
Until now, the authorities of the Directorate of Immigration and Aliens have not referred to the case.
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Acnudh) said it had information “on the arrest by Nicaraguan authorities of the Guatemalan columnist and anthropologist Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj, at the Managua international airport.”
According to Acnudh, “Velásquez was on his way to an academic event. At the time of the events, several belongings were allegedly stolen and the reasons for the arrest were not reported to him.”
In addition to being a journalist, Velásquez is a professor and anthropologist of Quiche Maya descent and an expert in memory, truth, and the defense of justice.
Velásquez’s specialty coincides with the demand of the Mothers of April Association (AMA), who demand “memory, truth and justice” for dozens of young people who died in the attacks of the Government anti-government protests in 2018, whose leaders benefited from a controversial Amnesty Law in 2019.
Since 2018, Nicaragua has been experiencing a sociopolitical crisis that, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), left at least 355 dead in its first year, of which Ortega has admitted 200.
The IACHR has also reported that there are currently more than 190 convicted “political prisoners” in Nicaraguan jails.
The Nicaraguan crisis worsened in the elections last November, when Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, were re-elected to their positions with their rivals in prison or in exile.