Independent presidential candidate, Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, was disqualified from participating in the general elections in November, following an accusation made on the night of June 1st by the Attorney General’s office, controlled by the Ortega-Murillo regime.
The Prosecutor’s Office formally accused the presidential hopeful for “the crimes of abusive administration and misrepresentation, both concurrently with money, assets and capital goods laundering.” After two weeks of an alleged investigation against the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation (FVBCH), it also maintains illegally under arrest former finance officer Walter Gomez and former accountant Marcos Fletes.
In its accusation, the Prosecutor requested the disqualification of Cristiana Chamorro in the electoral process, assuring that “she is not in full enjoyment of her civil and political rights, because she is in a criminal process.”
In addition, it requested immigration prohibit her from traveling, and also bars her from attending “certain meetings and places,” and even communicating with people linked to the facts under investigation, “to prevent them from evading the investigation process carried out against them.”
Restrictions imposed against journalist and former workers
Journalist Maria Lilly Delgado, and former workers of the Foundation, Lourdes Arroliga and Guillermo Jose Medrano also must comply with the preventive measures imposed on Chamorro. However, the statement from the Prosecutor’s Office does not explain if they are being criminally processed.
“The Public Ministry will continue to carry out all the necessary investigative procedures to establish the facts. We have summoned and will continue to summon those people who appear to have benefited from the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation,” states the document of the Prosecutor’s Office that has already cited more than thirty journalists, media directors and representatives, former employees and representatives of organizations that work with some sort of support from the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation.
Chamorro’s disqualification occurs two weeks after the Attorney General began the investigation against her and seven hours after she arrived at the national headquarters of the Citizens for Freedom (CxL) party to request information to register her presidential candidacy. It also occurs less than 48 hours from the deadline established by that party for the registration of candidacies expires.
Meanwhile, the Ortega Police are holding former FVBCH finance officer Walter Gomez and former accountant Marcos Fletes kidnapped. They were abducted on May 28 and since then their relatives and lawyers have not been able to communicate with them. Both former employees are being investigated in the case against Chamorro and the Foundation that she presided over until February 2021.
A score of journalists and media directors have also been called to testify. The last to have declared were the writer Sergio Ramirez Mercado, journalist Patricia Orozco and the sociologist Cirilo Otero.
On May 20, when the case against the FVBCH became known, Cristiana Chamorro denounced that the alleged inconsistencies found in the financial reports of the NGO were the “set-up” of a “macabre and terrible” action, which seeks to incriminate her “in something that is completely false.”
“Surely it is a process not only to disqualify me as a presidential candidate but also to prevent Nicaraguans from going to vote freely,” said Cristiana Chamorro.
Less than 96 hours later, on May 24, Chamorro reported that Daniel Ortega’s regime froze her bank accounts and ordered the lifting of bank secrecy, as part of the case against the FVBCH. The accounts of other former Foundation employees were also frozen.
Cristiana Chamorro is one of the presidential candidates who aspire to lead the opposition in the general elections on November 7 in which Daniel Ortega will seek his fourth consecutive 5-year term in office.