Nicaragua sentences ex-presidential candidate to 8 years in prison amid wider opposition crackdown
Christiana Chamorro Barrios, a former Nicaraguan presidential candidate, was sentenced to eight years in prison for financial crimes on Monday. This is the latest crackdown on opposition members by President Daniel Ortega’s government. Ortega won his fifth term as president last November.
In June 2021, a vague national security law was passed and has been used to justify jailing opposition candidates, leaders, journalists and human rights activists before the November election. At least 40 opposition figures have been found guilty of financial crimes or conspiring to undermine national integrity. Chamorro is a journalist and former director of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for Reconciliation and Democracy and will remain on house arrest after her sentencing. Her driver was also sentenced to seven years in prison for money laundering. Chamorro’s brother, along with the foundation administrator and accountant were also sentenced to nine years in prison and 13 years, respectively. All five opposition figures were found guilty on March 12, 2022 in a closed trial and all pleaded not guilty.