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OAS condemns Nicaragua’s pursuit of political opponents

June 16, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this March 21, 2019 file photo, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega speaks next to first lady and Vice President Rosario Murillo during the inauguration ceremony of a highway overpass in Managua, Nicaragua. Nicaragua’s National Police have arrested on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, two more potential challengers to President Ortega, the third and fourth opposition pre-candidates for the Nov. 7 elections detained in the past week. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga, File)
FILE - In this March 21, 2019 file photo, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega speaks next to first lady and Vice President Rosario Murillo during the inauguration ceremony of a highway overpass in Managua, Nicaragua. Nicaragua’s National Police have arrested on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, two more potential challengers to President Ortega, the third and fourth opposition pre-candidates for the Nov. 7 elections detained in the past week. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga, File)
FILE - In this March 21, 2019 file photo, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega speaks next to first lady and Vice President Rosario Murillo during the inauguration ceremony of a highway overpass in Managua, Nicaragua. Nicaragua’s National Police have arrested on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, two more potential challengers to President Ortega, the third and fourth opposition pre-candidates for the Nov. 7 elections detained in the past week. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Organization of American States’ Permanent Council approved a resolution Tuesday condemning the arrest in Nicaragua of presidential pre-candidates, restrictions imposed on political parties and calling for the immediate release of political prisoners.

In a virtual meeting, 26 countries voted in favor of the resolution while Nicaragua, Bolivia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines voted against it. Mexico, Honduras, Argentina, Belize and Dominica abstained.

In recent weeks, Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega’s government has rounded up 13 opposition leaders, including four presidential challengers for the Nov. 7 elections. They face allegations ranging from money laundering to crimes against the state.

Last week, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on several people close to Ortega, including his daughter.

Ortega has maintained that massive street protests that erupted after reforms to the social security system in 2018 were actually an attempt to remove him from office with foreign backing.