Managua. The former Nicaraguan ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Edgard Parrales, was arrested yesterday in Managua, after he criticized President Daniel Ortega’s decision to withdraw his country from the hemispheric body.
Parrales is the first major detainee, with whom the number of opponents imprisoned since May in Nicaragua rises to 41, seven of them politicians who aspired to compete against Ortega, after the president secured his fourth consecutive term in the November 7 elections , an election strongly criticized by the international community, led by the United States and its allies.
Neither the police nor the Prosecutor’s Office have confirmed the arrest of Parrales as has happened with the other opponents arrested prior to the elections.
However, the former diplomat’s wife, Carmen Córdova confirmed that her husband was detained when he was leaving his home in Managua.
When it came out, “he shouted: they are taking me against my will!”, The woman revealed to the independent digital magazine Confidencial.
“They captured him at his home, they were not policemen in uniforms, but two plainclothes people who took him away by car,” reported the president of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, Vilma Núñez.
A critic without going into exile
Parrales, who was also a priest, supported the Sandinista Revolution of the 1980s as Nicaraguan ambassador to the OAS and head of the defunct Ministry of Social Welfare.
Without going into exile, he dedicated himself in recent years to providing analysis to the media about the crisis that the country is experiencing since the 2018 protests against the government, whose repression left 355 dead and more than 103,000 exiles, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. (IACHR).
The government recognizes only 200 deaths and has said the protests were a failed Washington-sponsored coup.
Last week, the Ortega government denounced the inter-American letter and announced that it would leave the OAS.
Parrales criticized and regretted the decision and assured that, “first, (Ortega) has to respect human rights, stop repressing and freeing political prisoners.”