Nicaraguan Political Activist Shot in Costa Rica

A well-known Nicaraguan political activist who was outspoken against President Daniel Ortega was shot on Saturday.

Joao Maldonado, a prominent leader of the 2018 demonstrations in Jinotepe municipality. southwestern Nicaragua was shot twice in the chest and once in the arm on Saturday evening, according to local police.

Reuters reported that Maldonado underwent emergency surgery but was in critical condition in a Costa Rica hospital. 

In recent months, police in Nicaragua have arrested and detained more than two dozen opposition figures, many were held incommunicado at undisclosed locations and with no access to lawyers, the Independent reported.

Ortega alleged oppositions involved in the April 2018 protests, were backed by foreign aid to organize a coup attempt. 

In June, Human Rights Watch, an international human rights organization, called for increase pressure on Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega as arrests of political opposition figures continue ahead of November 7 elections. 

“High-profile arrests and other serious human rights violations against critics appear to be part of a broader strategy to eliminate political competition, stifle dissent, and pave the way for President Daniel Ortega’s re-election to a fourth consecutive term,” Human Rights Watch said.

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