Nicaragua Opposition Figure Cristiana Chamorro on House Arrest Over Money Laundering Claims
Nicaragua has placed opposition face Cristiana Chamorro on house arrest over money laundering allegations after her house was raided by police.
The move against Chamorro, who is also a 67-year-old journalist, was announced on Wednesday. She was seen as a possible challenger to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in the November elections. However, it is not yet clear if Ortega will seek a fourth term in office, according to an Aljazeera report.
Carlos Fernando Chamorro, Chamorro's brother, said that they raided his sister's home after being on-site for more than five hours. Reports said that most of the opposition believe this is a way to eliminate all of the most proponent opposition leaders.
A Managua court had earlier said that it had ordered her detention on claims of abusive management and ideological falsehood. Other grounds for her detention were money, property, and assets laundering "to the detriment of the Nicaraguan State and society."
Election in Nicaragua
Chamorro is the daughter of former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. She was also expected to run in presidential elections on November 7, according to The Guardian report. However, prosecutors announced that they had filed charges against her and asked the country's electoral body to bar the journalist from holding public office.
The head of the Organization of American States warned that Nicaragua was going towards the "worst elections possible," noting that the moves against Chamorro removed all political credibility on the election.
Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, said his sentiments in a tweet, saying that Nicaraguans deserve real democracy.
The Nicaraguan government said that the opposition figure is under probe for financial irregularities connected to the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for Reconciliation and Democracy. The group was a nongovernmental organization named after Chamorro's mother. Chamorro said that the claims were issued to keep her out of the election race.
Meanwhile, opposition parties in the country had accused the Nicaraguan government of doing a "witch hunt" alleging Ortega of being afraid of having a free, transparent, and observed election, according to a BBC News report.
Chamorro's father is Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, who was the editor of the newspaper La Prensa. The paper had opposed the autocratic Somoza family that ruled the country for decades.
Her father was assassinated in 1978. Before her father was killed, Pedro was jailed and forced into exile multiple times by the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza.
The organization named after her mother focused on press freedom. However, Chamorro had stepped down from the post earlier this year after leading the organization.
She then announced her aim to becoming a presidential candidate for the opposition Citizen's Alliance.
Her mother won the 1990 election and became the first female president in Latin America. She had also put an end to Ortega's first 11 years as president of Nicaragua.
Ortega had returned to power in 2007 and ruled the country with his wife and vice president Rosario Murillo.
In 2018, protests erupted the country and paramilitary groups had crushed the nationwide uprising, which demanded his resignation.
WATCH: Nicaragua police detain government opponent Cristiana Chamorro - from FRANCE 24 English
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