MANAGUA – Organizations representing Nicaragua’s business community demanded on Thursday that the National Police withdraw its public accusation against them for allegedly participating in the “failed coup d’etat” of April 2018.
“We demand that the unfounded accusations of the police authorities be withdrawn immediately,” the leaders said in a statement read by the president of the Cosep Employers Federation, Jose Adan Aguerri.
During the reading of the statement in the presence of journalists, the Cosep office was surrounded by a strong police contingent, EFE confirmed.
Police on Wednesday accused the businessmen of being “participants in last April’s failed coup d’etat,” which is why the force denied them a permit they had requested to hold a demonstration to express support finding a solution to the socio-political crisis in Nicaragua.
The police statement likewise accused business organizations of being “promoters, inciters, leaders, in the realization of blockades (roadblocks).”
The businessmen referred to in the statement are members of Cosep, the American Chamber of Commerce of Nicaragua and the Nicaraguan Foundation for Economic and Social Development, who requested permission to hold a march on Thursday, permission for which was denied.
“The National Police – without any legal basis – is rejecting our request, and with political arguments contrary to the principles of police ... legality and professionalism, it accuses us of being participants in a series of absurd activities, which we strongly deny,” the businessmen said in a statement.
Before the social crisis that broke out last April, the private sector was one of the main allies of President Daniel Ortega’s regime.
Last September, the National Police prohibited public demonstrations without prior approval.
The crisis in Nicaragua has left between 325 and 561 people dead, and 340 to 767 under arrest, depending on which figures from humanitarian agencies one uses.
However, Ortega claims that there have been 199 deaths and 340 arrests, calling those people “terrorists” or “common criminals.”
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has said that Ortega’s government has committed crimes against humanity.