Dictatorship kidnaps the priest Enrique Martínez Gamboa in Nicaragua

Regime blocks medicines and does not allow a private defense to the priest Enrique Martínez Gamboa

Daniel Ortega’s regime has not allowed the entry of the necessary medications to control the chronic ailments of the priest Enrique Martínez Gamboa, attempting on his life.

For 11 days, the religious has remained in the Judicial Assistance Directorate (DAJ), known as El Chipote, incommunicado with his family and his private defender, which the judge still does not admit, despite the fact that his relatives made the request, confirmed the lawyer and human rights defender, Pablo Cuevas.

The 64-year-old priest is diabetic, hypertensive and has kidney damage. For these reasons he must take medicine daily and be under constant check-ups. His family and his private defense have demanded that he be examined by a doctor and that they allow him to enter his medication, but they have not received answers.

“This puts the life of the priest at serious risk, because we all know that a heart condition is serious, that it can lead to death for anyone if it is not treated, if it does not take medicine on time,” said Cuevas, who knows closely to the religious for several decades.

“Medical assistance is not a gift, it is an obligation of the regime. Anything that happens to the priest is the direct responsibility of the Government. The protection of due process is being violated”, questioned the defender during an interview on the program This weekwhich is broadcast on Facebook and YouTube due to the dictatorship’s television censorship.

The father was violently captured on the afternoon of Thursday, October 13, while he was at his home in Managua. The Ortega justice expressly accused him of the alleged crime of conspiracy in competition with the spread of false news. However, after eleven days of his kidnapping, he has not been taken to a preliminary hearing nor one of protection of constitutional guarantees.

Cuevas points out that article 95 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPP) and the Political Constitution of Nicaragua indicate that three hours after an arrest, the citizen has the right to meet with his family or his lawyer, but neither of them has been authorized. “It’s a series of irregularities,” warned Cuevas. “We want to make it clear that if someone is committing a crime in this situation, it is the government,” he denounced.

Priest Martínez still does not have a private defense attorney, so Cuevas suggests that the case seems to be following the same pattern as the case of Monsignor José Leonardo Urbina, that the judge imposed a public defender aligned with the Ortega regime, leaving him defenseless.

“Crime” of Father Martínez Gamboa: telling the truth

The priest Martínez is remembered for his speech at the end of the Mother of All Marches, on May 30, 2018, which was attacked by police and paramilitaries of the Ortega regime, leaving eight dead.

“Nicaraguans are the majority and we have a clean heart, not blood-stained hands like others. Don’t cower, don’t cower, don’t cower. Long live Nicaragua, long live the mothers of those who fell on April 19, long live decent doctors and journalists,” he said on that occasion. “Out with the murderous couple (Ortega and Murillo), out with the miserable murderers,” the priest shouted.

For the human rights defender, the “crime” of the priest is to practice his profession. “Someone who is a servant of God, someone who preaches the gospel has to speak the truth, and what he did on that platform was speak the truth. We all saw the massacre with horror, we all saw with horror the situation of criminality of the Government and its hosts. He as someone who is called to proclaim the truth, he had no choice but to do what he did and as a result, they did not forget that act, “he said.

The father, who belongs to the Diocese of León, but sometimes celebrated mass in the Santa Martha Church, and was chaplain of the La Salle school in the capital, has maintained a firm position in the defense of human rights. During the Eucharist he mentioned the political prisoners and the suffering of their mothers, wives and children, in addition to the injustices that are experienced in the country.

“In our country, telling the truth is outlawed. The father spoke the truth and is paying the consequences, they accuse him of treason against the country. For the presidential couple, they are the country, and to betray the country, they assume that it is to betray them,” said Cuevas.

Father Martínez’s position for the defense of the town is longstanding. In 1987, he was in charge of the parish of La Paz Centro, León, when the military service recruited any young man on the streets. “It was a hunt for young people,” says Cuevas. The mothers came to the temple to seek consolation, and he, in his homilies, denounced the abuses that the Sandinistas, with Daniel Ortega in power, were committing.

That caused the annoyance of fanatics of the Sandinista Front, and they began a campaign against him. On one occasion, an angry mob broke into the temple and attacked the priest. He managed to escape with his life and was relocated by the ecclesial authorities in another temple. “He has been a man who has been sensitive to people’s pain,” Cuevas said.

This time was no different, before his kidnapping, he had been threatened, harassed and persecuted. He was being watched, says Cuevas, but due to his character he was not going to go into exile.

Police siege drives priests into exile

The Ortega regime has imprisoned eleven religious, including Bishop Rolando Álvarez, at home in prison for more than two months. The persecution against the Church has escalated to unprecedented levels in recent history, causing a wave of religious exiles to guarantee their freedom. It is estimated about a dozen parents, however, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has not provided official information in this regard.

Cuevas has registered four complaints from priests and two from seminarians in exile. His testimonies reveal that many other priests are being coerced, threatened, intimidated, watched by the Police and civilians linked to the structures of the Sandinista Front, including politicians, who enter the temples to record the priests’ masses.

For Cuevas, the objective of the regime in arresting the priest Martínez is to send a message -of intimidation- to the population and to silence the discordant voices of the official line. He assures that catechists, evangelizers, delegates of the word are fleeing and have already arrived in the United States, pushed by state persecution. “It is the regime of terror that the Nicaraguan regime is imposing against the religious and therefore against the population,” said the human rights defender.

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