Nicaragua’s Main Opposition Figure Chamorro Sentenced to Prison

Nicaraguan opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro has been given an eight-year sentence after being found guilty of money laundering.

Cristiana Chamorro, 68, will be kept under house arrest, as she has been since she was detained in June.

Chamorro claimed that the charges were politically motivated and intended to stop her from running in November’s election, in which President Daniel Ortega won a fifth term in office.

Chamorro is from one of Nicaragua’s most influential families and was one of seven presidential hopefuls detained ahead of the poll.

Shortly after Chamorro announced her presidential candidacy, prosecutors accused her of “abusive management and ideological falsehood” during her time at the helm of a media foundation she had led until early 2021.

Chamorro remained defiant during her trial, which was held behind closed doors.

Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, Cristiana’s brother, two former foundation employees Marcos Fletes and Walter Gómez, and Chamorro’s driver, Pedro Vásquez, also received prison sentences ranging from seven to thirteen years.

“You’re accusing five honorable people,” Cristiana Chamorro told the court during the two minutes that the court gave her to refer to her guilty verdict.

Cristiana Chamorro was ordered to pay three times the alleged amount laundered by the judge. The judge ordered her brother Pedro Joaquín to pay 300 days of fines.

Marcos Fletes and Walter Gómez will have to pay 300 days of fines. In addition, the judge prohibits them from exercising their professions for the duration of the sentence.

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