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Raids and detentions continue in eastern neighborhoods of Managua

Residents of the eastern neighborhoods of Managua say they suffer from siege and persecution by armed hooded men and police officers, who at different times of the day patrol the streets and search homes in for people who have on the list.

Residents of the eastern neighborhoods of Managua complain about police abuses and illegal detentions. Photo Oscar Sánchez, El Nuevo Diario

“I estimate that at least 30 people have been taken from Villa Progreso and from here in the Georgino Andrade neighborhood,” a citizen who only identified himself as Juan said in a low voice, for fear of reprisals.

In these neighborhoods, says the resident, people can no longer stay at the doors or sidewalks of their homes for fear of being requisitioned or detained, “even if the person is not doing anything wrong.”

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In addition, to the Villa Progreso and the Georgino Andrade neighborhood, residents also report raids in Villa Austria, 8 de Mayo, Villa Rafaela Herrera, Las Americas I and III; practically the whole area where for more than a month residents maintained barricades in protest against the Government of Daniel Ortega.

Francisco Cantillano, who was taken a week ago, said that he left his home in Villa Progreso to go to work and before reaching his destination he was detained. “They asked me for my papers, the (police) on the motorcycle searched me and asked me where I was going, what I was going to do and where I lived. I told them that the jobs were difficult and that they let me go, but prepotently told me if, they wanted, I could be there 20 minutes or an hour,” said Cantillano, who recalled that during the time he was detained, officers brandished loaded a shotgun to intimidate him.

“This is horrible. There is no one to stop them, they do everything without showing you an arrest warrant, they go into your home and you have no right to claim, and there is nowhere to denounce them,” said the Villa Progreso resident.

The legal advisor of the Permanent Commission of Human Rights (CPDH), Pablo Cuevas, reported that daily they receive complaints from people who live in the eastern neighborhoods of Managua and that the majority are for detainments and constant siege.

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“There are not only complaints. I live in that area and I see many things. The continuous patrolling, sometimes of caravans of trucks of the districts VI and VII and the illegal detentions.

“I say illegal because the authorities already suppressed the Constitution, the Criminal Code and the same law of the National Police. The search and seizure orders no longer exist, homes are violated and arrests are made outside the legal area, without any sanctions against the agents,” Cuevas argued.

In the Americas I colony lives “a kind of state of siege,” said a resident who identified himself as Alan Fernandez. “Here is your main route. From 5:00 a.m. until about midnight they patrol continuously. They go through the highway La Sabana and come to the corner of the of the Upoli (Polytechnic University).

“On Friday, as at 9:00 p.m., here from the CDI Sol de Libertad gate one block north, they shot a man because when they saw them coming, he ran.

“Then they put him in one of the vehicles and took him away. And who is not going to run when you see two patrols coming and two civilian trucks without license plates with armed people and hooded?” Fernandez questioned.

Another neighbor, who lives near the baseball field, lamented the atmosphere of insecurity in which they live due to police operations.

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In Rubenia, residents also told El Nuevo Diario that at night, armed hooded and police are located in the sector of the overpass and search drivers for no reason.

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