Oppositionist Douglas Alfredo Cerros Lanzas, 53, was found guilty of the crimes of undermining national integrity and spreading false news. Both charges are contained in the “cybercrimes” and “sovereignty” laws, approved at the end of 2020 and used by the regime to imprison opposition leaders.
The trial lasted more than ten hours and took place last Thursday, January 27. It was in charge of Judge Verónica Fiallos Moncada, of the Criminal District Court of Ocotal Trials, in Nueva Segovia.
The citizen was illegally detained on November 6, on the eve of the national elections. He was heading towards his home, in Ocotal, when he was intercepted by police officers.
According to the digital platform Despacho 505, the opponent was denounced by Deputy Commissioner Byron Mauricio Maradiaga Rubio, head of the Judicial Assistance Directorate in Nueva Segovia. The police command, who testified at the trial, declared that they accused Cerros Lanzas because he supposedly promoted the “no vote” in the last elections.
The accusation of the Public Ministry indicates that, since July 2019, the opponent has incurred “in actions that undermine national integrity”, by inciting “the destabilization of social peace”, through Facebook and Whatsapp. Prosecutor Alberto Mena Gámez accused the citizen of using social networks to induce “not to be vaccinated” against covid-19, and promote international sanctions against the regime.
Second found guilty
Cerros Lanzas is the second opponent found guilty under the Special Cybercrime Law, known as the “Gag Law”, and the “Sovereignty Law” or Law 1055, approved by Ortega in a package of repressive legislation used to direct his political hunt in 2021.
On January 13, opponent Donald Margarito Alvarenga Mendoza, 56, was found guilty “of undermining national integrity (conspiracy), and spreading false news through information and communication technologies.”
Judge Rosa Velia Baca Cardoza, of the First Criminal Trial District of Chinandega, imposed on him —on January 18— a sentence of seven and a half years in prison; but nevertheless, a day later he rectified and increased the sentence to twelve years in prison.
In the case of Cerros Lanzas, the prosecutor Mena Gámez requested a sentence of twelve years in prison: four for the alleged crime of spreading false news, and eight for undermining national integrity.
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