Sat, Jan 12, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Nicaraguan judge resigns in protest

AP, MEXICO CITY

Nicaraguan media on Thursday reported that a Nicaraguan Supreme Court justice has resigned with a scathing open letter to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who faced down protests last year by unleashing security forces and allied groups against demonstrators.

The letter circulating widely on social media was accompanied by a photograph of Justice Rafael Solis Cerda’s government-issued ID.

The letter’s authenticity could not be independently confirmed. A message to Solis was not immediately answered. The government did not immediately comment.

Solis is a long-time member of Ortega’s Sandinista Front party, but his letter said that Ortega and his wife, Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo, are dragging Nicaragua toward a civil war.

“I fought against a dictatorship and I never believed that history would repeat itself on account of those who also fought against that same dictatorship,” the letter said.

At least 325 people are estimated by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to have died in the violent repression of street protests that began on April 18 last year, initially over social security cuts that have since been called off, Solis said.

Since the protests were banned and the government regained control of the streets, leaders and even participants of the public opposition have been arrested and jailed.

Last month, the government shut down several human rights groups and independent media outlets. It also expelled teams from two branches of the OAS that were investigating allegations of human rights violations.

Solis’ letter said that he had considered resigning last year, but had hoped that Ortega and Murillo would enter a genuine dialogue with their opponents.

However, suggestions that he offered Ortega on negotiating an end to the political crisis were disregarded, he said.

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