Sergio Beteta, the young man arrested in Managua on December 21 on for protesting with the Nicaraguan flag and burning that of the FSLN, is accused of “drug trafficking” and “illegal possession of weapons” two days after his detention, detailed attorney Julio Montenegro.
The defense lawyer said the accusation is totally false. “The circumstance in which he appears is well-known. It clearly does not make sense. Those who engage in activities of this type are never going to expose themselves in the streets with an illegal substance and with weapons,” he said.
Sergio Betata held a one-person protest in front of the Central American University (UCA) by burning an FSLN flag and holding one of Nicaragua while shouting slogans. The action was disclosed through a live broadcast made by Article 66. Minutes later, he was detained by Daniel Ortega’s Police and transferred to a police station, later taken to the infamous El Chipote interrogation jail. The initial hearing is set for January 18 and was assigned to judge Karen Chavarria Morales.
“Protestors don’t expose themselves that way”
“It is clear this situation that does not make sense. Those who engage in [protest] activities of this type are never going to expose themselves that way,” added the lawyer. So far the defense attorney has not had access to the official accusations. “He appeared in the live broadcast burning the (Sandinista) flag, calling for unity and questioning politicians.”
Montenegro went to the Managua court to register his defense representation of the accused, but the request was denied. They said they were not receiving these requests during vacation periods.
Sergio Beteta is a self-organized protestor who joined the occupation in the UNAN-Managua during the 2018 anti-government protests. A source who met him then but who for security reasons prefers to remain anonymous, relates that the young man was in the protests since the beginning and supported the barricades at the campus.
“Since freedom to protest was taken away by the dictatorship [in September 2018], in his despair, he was forced to carry out this demonstration using his freedom of expression. We all could see that the boy was arrested for raising a flag and burning the FSLN’s,” he said.
According to Montenegro, the young man’s relatives managed to see him by the end of the year, but there are no further details of his condition. The defense lawyer does not rule out that he could be transferred to the cells of the Penitentiary System.
In recent months, the Ortega regime has raised the levels of besiegement against opponents, self-organized, political prisoners and relatives of the victims, preventing them on many occasions from leaving their homes.