Police in Nicaragua arrest another opposition leader

July 27, 2021 GMT

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Police in Nicaragua arrested on Tuesday academic José Antonio Peraza, the leader of the opposition alliance White and Blue National Unity.

Peraza, a political science professor, was the 22nd opposition leader arrested, in addition to seven potential presidential candidates detained in a crackdown that started two months ago. Almost all were detained under broad accusations of treason.

On Saturday, opposition leader Noel Vidaurre was placed under police custody at his home, as was political commentator Jaime Arellano.

Almost all of those who could have challenged President Daniel Ortega in the Nov. 7 elections have now been detained. Hours before his arrest, Peraza said Nicaragua faces “the worst possible scenario for elections we could have imagined.”

Ortega alleges the country’s April 2018 street protests were part of an organized coup attempt with foreign backing. Ortega, 75, is seeking a fourth consecutive term in Nov. 7 elections.

Most of those arrested in a crackdown that began in late May are being held incommunicado, at undisclosed locations and with no access to lawyers or family visits.