Ortega justice finds political prisoner Ana Margarita Vijil guilty

Political prisoner and former president of the Union for Democratic Renewal (UNAMOS), Ana Margarita Vijil, is the third member of the opposition to be found guilty by the justice of the Ortega-Murillo regime of having allegedly “conspired to undermine national integrity to the detriment of the State of Nicaragua and Nicaraguan society.

This Tuesday, Yader Parajón and Yaser Vado were the first political prisoners with a guilty verdict for the same catch-all crime. Vado was also found guilty of “spreading false news”, following trials that legal experts called “illegal”.

María Josefina Gurdian, known as “Pinita”, in a live broadcast, assured that this Wednesday, February 2, the regime condemned her daughter Ana Margarita for “crimes that she did not commit and of which she was illegally accused “. “Today the Ortega-Murillo regime found her guilty for her work in defense of human rights, her dreams and her work for a free and just Nicaragua,” she said. after the trial, which lasted about eight hours and took place in court. at the El Chipote prison complex.

She said that at the end of the mock trial, Vijil declared herself “a human rights defender and said she would continue to do this work for the rest of her life”. When she signed the sentence, she identified herself as a political prisoner.

Confidencial has learned that the prosecution is seeking the maximum sentence of ten years for opposition MP Vijil.

Vijil’s hearing was described as a “new torture session” by the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), which denounced that the lawyers defending the opposition leader had remained incommunicado, stripped of their phones.

Contrary to what happened in the trial of Parajón and Vado, in which the police prohibited the entry of their relatives, after the protest of members of Vijil’s family, they allowed the entry of a nobody in El Chipote. This is where all the political trials are held, which Daniel Ortega reactivated on January 24, after having been “frozen” since October 2021, before the presidential elections, in which he was re-elected without a political contest for a fourth consecutive term.

The CENIDH also assured via its Twitter account that at noon this Wednesday, the Police only authorized the entry of food for the lawyers and rejected that of Vijil. The opposition leader served 235 days in detention, during which she suffered weight loss, solitary confinement and constant interrogations, which are described as psychological torture by lawyers and human rights defenders.

Vijil was violently detained along with former guerrilla, historian and UNAMOS leader Dora María Tellez on June 13, 2021, during the politician hunt for UNAMOS leaders, which included the arrest retired Brigadier General and guerrilla commander Hugo Torres; former Deputy Foreign Minister Victor Hugo Tinoco and UNAMOS President Suyen Barahona.

As of February 2, the Ortega regime had scheduled trials for some 16 of the more than 30 opponents imprisoned in the “new Chipote”, including three members of UNAMOS. Tellez’s trial took place on Thursday, February 3, and as expected, she was found guilty without evidence. Barahona’s mock trial is set for Monday, February 7.

Ana Margarita Vijil has dedicated 16 of her 44 years of life to political activism. She is the youngest of six siblings and since 2018 has accompanied the families of the victims of the Ortega repression in their demand for justice. She was arrested along with thirty other opponents, including Barahona and Tamara Davila, a member of Blue and White National Unity (UNAB) National Unity political council, on October 14, 2018, as they took part in a peaceful protest, which was brutally repressed by anti-police. -Riot, in Managua. The detention lasted a few hours and after that they were all released.

Justice without impunity

As soon as he was confined, Vijil protested against the claims of Daniel Ortega, who after promising in the act of self-inauguration on January 10 that the country would return to the economic growth it had before the protests of 2018 , assured that he would “wipe the slate clean”, in reference to the massacre that occurred in the civic rebellion, which he suppressed in blood.

Leaving the “new Chipote” on her fifth visit, Vijil’s mother, María Josefina, also known as “Pinita” Gurdian, posted the opposition member’s message, pointing out that in Nicaragua “there there can be no ‘clean slate'”. that those who have been killed will never be forgotten and that “there will be a clean slate until there is justice without impunity”.

Pinita keeps fighting for the freedom of Vijil and the rest of the political prisoners. In an open letter, published in December, she shared that her daughter was devastated by her condition, due to two surgeries and an intubation she underwent to treat the cancer she is suffering from. “I have metastases caused by ovarian cancer and I will soon start another cycle of chemotherapy. I don’t want to die, let alone in these circumstances. I want to have Ana Margarita with me. I’m doing everything possible to live and set her free,” Pinita said in the letter published in Confidencial.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times