Today begins political trial against Cristiana Chamorro and four defendants from the FVBCh

USAID rejects the judicial farce against the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation

The administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, described this Thursday, March 17, as “a farce orchestrated by the Ortega-Murillo regime” the charges against him. case of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation (FVBCh).

Power, who represents the main donor of the FVBCh, denounced the attempts to silence civil society and the media, while highlighting the work of the former Foundation in defense of access to public information and the strengthening of independent journalism in Nicaragua. .

Power’s statement represents international support for the FVBCh, with a history of twenty years of work in defense of freedom of expression and with an important regional projection, subjected to a political trial since last year on charges of money laundering. by the regime that maintains that the help of the media program was used to “destabilize”.

However, since May 2021, the United States denied that there is evidence of money laundering in the judicial plot that allowed the arrest of Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, in her capacity as former president of the FVBCh, who was inhibited from her political aspirations months before the presidential elections when she was emerging as the strongest candidate.

Chamorro Barrios was the last of the seven convicted candidates to comply with the repressive strategy of Ortega who was re-elected without electoral competition after imprisoning political, business and social leaders, thereby guaranteeing a fourth consecutive term since he took power in January 2007.

The conviction of five former FVBCh officials, including Chamorro Barrios, his brother Pedro Joaquín, two former financiers —Walter Gómez and Marcos Fletes— and the driver Pedro Vásquez was taken in less than thirty minutes last Friday, March 11.

Then, Judge Luden Martín Quiroz, of the Ninth Criminal District Court of Managua, “assessed” some 3000 pages of alleged evidencewith which he made the decision to convict the defendants, for which the Prosecutor’s Office is asking for between seven and 13 years, depending on each case and the crimes attributed by the authorities.

The Prosecutor’s Office based its accusation on the testimonies of 16 cops that they accepted that the information on which they based their search warrants was actually provided by their bosses.

One of them, Captain Jairo Ramírez Carrión, even accepted on the last day of the trial that the source of the FVBCh funds—like that of USAID—was lawful and has served to finance training projects for police officers, prosecutors, and judges.

On March 12, Brian A. Nichols, Undersecretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States, considered that the charges were unfounded and that it was a great injustice against the Chamorro Barrios brothers.

Judge Quiroz dismissed more than a thousand pages of defense evidence and also the deteriorating health of the detainees, for which the relatives of the former FVBCh financiers and the driver they asked they were sent home by jail, worried after the death of the retired general Hugo Torres Jimenez, a hero of the fight against Somoza whom Ortega took prisoner last year.

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