The image is outrageous, the only one known of Cristiana Chamorro in her home confinement, which has been a year old this Thursday. The presidential candidate appears with her arms crossed and her face uncovered, wearing striped pajamas, espadrilles and a white coat in the middle of a room in her home. Next to her, armed, with a beret and bulletproof vest, an agent of the Nicaraguan National Police, much shorter than the opponent of the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

Chamorro is the only candidate who has not been sent to a cell in the sinister Nuevo Chipote, but her guards have insisted on turning her house into a kind of exemplary prison, where she cannot even watch television. That has been precisely the objective of the distribution on social networks weeks ago of the photograph of her confinement.

“A campaign of stigmatization and criminalization has been maintained against the Chamorros and that photo is part of that campaign. It seeks to denigrate them, expose them to public opinion and their sympathizers. The image really generated a lot of rejection and rejection. It is part of the construction that Murillo has made around the Chamorro family, marked by the feeling of revenge. And, in particular, against her, as we saw months before her capture with some statements that Cristiana responded to publicly. It is a factor that triggered subsequent events ” , assured for EL MUNDO the sociologist Elvira Cuadra, director of the Center for Transdisciplinary Studies of Central America.

A new chapter of the Nicaraguan nightmare that began just a year ago. The Sandinista caudillo ordered the hunting and capture of all presidential candidates, as well as activists and journalists who bothered him especially in the face of his self-coronation in November. The first to fall was Chamorro, accused of money laundering through the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, founded by her mother with the aim of helping the independent press.

“You want to tarnish my name, but you will never succeed, neither that of my father (Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, a journalist assassinated by the Somoza dictatorship) nor that of my mother. I am innocent,” he defended himself before the Sandinista judge who sentenced to eight years in prison, one year less than the sentence against his brother Pedro Joaquín, who was also weighing the possibility of running for Citizens for Freedom.

Both the foundation and Cristiana and their collaborators, also imprisoned, were also sentenced to pay million-dollar fines, the epilogue to a sentence that is justified by highlighting the attacks against the country’s stability and treason “committed” by those convicted. .

“These are crimes fabricated by the regime,” his brother, Carlos Fernando Chamorro, has criticized from exile, who has once again called for the freedom of the 181 political prisoners. “All are innocent”, he has clinched it.

“In case there were any doubts about the repressive nature of the Ortega regime, the arrest of Cristiana Chamorro sent the unequivocal message that Ortega was willing to decapitate the political opposition in order to cling to power. The subsequent judicial farce, in which she was forced to wear wearing a blue uniform and handcuffed her to her hearing in El Chipote, reveals the cruelty of a cruel regime that intends to silence any expression of dissent through criminalization and humiliation in order to stay in power”, Tamara Taraciuk, director of Acting for the Americas of Human Rights Watch (HRW).

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