Sunday, January 16

The Ortega regime detains the president of the largest employers’ association in Nicaragua




The National Police arrested this Thursday Michael Healy Lacayo, president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep) —The most important union in the country—, minutes after leaving the Prosecutor’s Office after an appointment to which he was summoned the day before. Healy attended the interview without knowing the reasons for his appearance. “I have not done anything wrong,” said the businessman prior to his entry. Four kilometers later, he was arrested by a police patrol on one of the capital’s main avenues. Shortly after the arrest, the officers raided his house.

Despite the fact that in recent months the Cosep chaired by Healy did not issue any belligerent opinion regarding the elections on November 7, the figure of the businessman is linked to the opposition movements that emerged three years ago during the anti-government protests. The businessman gained notoriety in the first session of a dialogue between the opposition and the government, in May 2018. At the table, he threatened President Daniel Ortega with stopping the country if he did not order an end to the repression.

Healy threatened, at the dialogue table in 2018, President Daniel Ortega with stopping the country if he did not order an end to the repression

The authorities reported after his arrest that he would be prosecuted for the alleged crimes of money laundering and for “carrying out acts that undermine national sovereignty.” Álvaro Vargas Duarte was also arrested, President of the Union of Agricultural Producers of Nicaragua (Upanic). With them, there are four businessmen jailed in the recent repressive escalation of the government against opposition leaderships. The first detainees were José Adán Aguerri, Healy’s predecessor at Cosep; and Luis Rivas Anduray, general manager of the Banco de la Producción, the largest in the country.

The capture of the executive occurs almost three weeks before the general elections, in which President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo imprisoned candidates who could be a risk to their mandate.

«These actions violate the individual rights established in the Political Constitution of Nicaragua and the human rights recognized by the international treaties signed by Nicaragua. The country needs peace and stability. We demand their freedom, “reacted the employer through a statement on social networks.

The 2018 protests put end the controversial model of ‘dialogue and consensus’ between capital and the Nicaraguan government. This mechanism was questioned by sectors of civil society, because according to them it prioritized economic stability at the expense of democracy and institutionality.

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