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Nicaragua court convicts government critics of ‘conspiracy’

A Nicaraguan court has found seven different critics of President Danial Ortega’s administration guilty of conspiracy. Human rights groups have denounced the court proceedings as a political trial. Three individuals convicted of conspiracy were opposition leaders who planned to run in the 2021 election. During the 2021 election, dozens of government critics were detained and Mr. Ortega won a fifth term. Those charged with conspiracy, including presidential hopeful Juan Sebastián Chamorro, former ambassador to the US Arturo Cruz, and former deputy foreign minister José Pallais face sentences ranging between eight and thirteen years.

The trial has been held at El Chipote prison behind closed doors. Critics of the trial have proclaimed that the seven charged with conspiracy are innocent, and that the regime convicted them of crimes that have not been committed as a means to quell voices of opposition. These are not the first individuals to be convicted, and are rather the latest in a wave of trials against opponents of Mr. Ortega’s government. Earlier this month, two other outspoken government critics were also found guilty of conspiracy.

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