A former Nicaraguan National Police lieutenant who defected from the regime revealed in an interview Monday that the ruling Ortega regime demanded security forces kill peaceful anti-government protesters.
In an exclusive interview with the Nicaraguan outlet Confidencial from Mexico City, the former police officer, who claims 20 years of experience on the force and goes by “Eduardo,” admitted that military authorities ordered the murder of civilians and promised them immunity from any potential legal proceedings.
“The orders were precise: they said that the commander has already given orders and there is no problem, we are not going to be prosecuted, there are orders to go out and kill people,” he said. “And the people that are alive, that we manage to seize, we are going to prosecute them for terrorists.”
The officer, who fled Nicaragua last June and sought refuge in Mexico, also described how, during widespread demonstrations against the regime last April, police officers were told to carry out political espionage by monitoring protest leaders, locating their homes, and eventually killing them.
In the first days of April, we as policemen were locked up, quartered. It was on the order of Daniel Ortega. He said we should not go out on the streets because people were were protesting. What he expected was for civilians to attack those who were in the blockade or those who were protesting, but that was not the case. When he saw that it had gotten out of hand, he directly gave orders for the police to go out to repress the citizens. He said categorically that we should go out and kill the people who were protesting.
“They forced us to go and locate the houses and document where the leaders of the protests lived, and then execute them,” he added. “They later showed up dead. It’s because they were detected from one place and were killed elsewhere. There are still people who are missing, and they will never find them.”
Eduardo’s testimony adds to the mounting evidence of egregious human rights violations carried out by the socialist regime since widespread demonstrations began last year. As well as the use of violence against political dissidents, the regime has also stepped up its repression of other potential political opposition, targeting institutions such as the media, universities, and the Catholic Church.
Combined with their efforts to remove the Maduro regime in Venezuela, the Trump administration has also taken steps to weaken Ortega’s grip on power. Last November, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions against Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo, as well as other senior regime officials, banning American entities from dealing with them while also freezing all of their U.S.-based assets.