Marking various parts of their bodies with the word “freedom”, sewing their lips shut, or refusing to be photographed at all times, are some of the protest actions that have been initiated by an undefined number of political prisoners to demand their freedom. This was confirmed by one of their relatives and by Karen Lacayo, coordinator of the association of Relatives of Political Prisoners.
By means of a video recorded from inside his cell in the prison known as “La Modelo”, political prisoner Ernesto Antonio Ramírez García described the decision approved by the Ortega regime to release common criminals rather than prisoners of conscience as a “mockery”. “We want our freedom. Here it is written in blood, as you can see -in the video-, I have scratched my skin. This is how we are going to sew our mouths(…)”, he said.
Ramírez’s wife, Skarleth Narváez, confirmed that he made a mark on his leg. She explained that her husband mentioned that he and two other political prisoners would protest, but he did not give her any names or other information. She can only confirm her partner’s situation, who was apparently denied a special visit on January 1, 2021, given that she had not received the notification call from the prison until the afternoon of December 31.
“They were going to mark their legs with the word ‘freedom’ and even mark their chests. Others were going to sew their lips together, and others were no longer going to let them (the guards) take their pictures. He says it is a daily occurrence that they take them outside and take pictures of them,” she told CONFIDENCIAL.
Lacayo, for her part, assured that she still does not know how many political prisoners are “in resistance,” but confirmed that they have marked “different parts of their bodies with knives and have darned their mouths shut in resistance and are asking for their freedom,” she said.
Family members forced to sign a document
Narváez explained that for the past four months, the relatives of political prisoners have had to sign a document at the request of the authorities of the prison system. “We promise not to tell falsehoods, and state that we found our prisoners in good physical and emotional health, and we have given in to signing that document to prevent reprisals against them (our family members)in the future, and so that it (not signing) would not be an impediment to a possible release”, she explained.
She added that there is a different treatment towards the political prisoners, who are constantly being photographed “to make it look like everything is fine”. They have the political prisoners in uniform, they use the blue uniform, and they’re the only ones dressed like this on visits. The rest are dressed normally”, she said.
Ramírez was captured in Jinotepe on May 16, 2019, accused of the common crimes of drug trafficking and carrying weapons, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He participated in the civic protests of April 2018 and in the blockades.
Ramírez addressed Ortega in the video: “Mr. Ortega, I say to you, I do not fear you. I’m not interested in being sent to ‘La 300’ – the maximum-security cell – or wherever you want to send me, know that everything will be over soon, all this that you are doing to our country, will soon be over… nobody here is afraid of you,” he said.
According to reports from human rights organizations, on December 18, the Ortega regime released three political prisoners of a total of 106. The released prisoners are Juana Estela López, 59; Justo Rodríguez, 67; and Margarito García, 49.