July 30, 2021

An environmentalist flees to Costa Rica for the "threats" of the Government of Nicaragua

An environmentalist flees to Costa Rica for the "threats" of the Government of Nicaragua

Nicaraguan environmentalist Mónica López fled to Costa Rica "because of the constant threats that the government is making" of Nicaragua, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) reported today.

"We are shocked by the decision made by Mónica López Baltodano, environmental rights defender (…) who, like other Nicaraguan leaders and human rights defenders faced with the imminent risk to her life, was forced into exile," said the Cenidh in a statement.

López is a well-known lawyer, member of several civil society organizations, who for five years have been defending the rights of the rural areas of southern Nicaragua and who have been part of the Antichannel Campesino Movement.

"The decision of Mónica and of those who have seen the need to leave the country reflects the severity and magnitude of the repression exercised by the Ortega Murillo regime, which has contributed to the forced displacement of thousands of Nicaraguans," the organization added.

In a message emitted by social networks, Mónica López, who is the daughter of former Sandinista guerrilla Mónica Baltodano, confirmed that she is in Costa Rica from an unspecified date.

In the middle of last September a brother of the ex-guerrilla, the university professor Ricardo Baltodano, of 52 years, was arrested and accused of terrorism, kidnapping, torture, injuries, fires and destruction of vehicles.

The environmentalist, whose mother is a dissident of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), has shown her concern for what she believes is a persecution of her family.

The socio-political crisis in Nicaragua since last April has led thousands of people to leave the country, many of whom have gone to neighboring Costa Rica.

Humanitarian organizations estimate that the crisis has left between 322 and 512 dead and thousands of wounded, while the Government recognizes 199 victims and denounces an attempt of "coup d'état".

These organizations maintain that in Nicaragua there are more than 300 "political prisoners", while the Government affirms that there are more than 200 detainees "by coup leaders".

Anti-government demonstrations began with failed social security reforms and became a requirement for the resignation of President Daniel Ortega, with 11 consecutive years in power, and his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo.


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