"I Loved a Government That Today Deceives Me"

Elisa Silva  on the program “Tonight” where she denounced the arrest of her brother, accused of terrorism. (Confidencial)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Maynor Salazar, Managua | 10 September 2018 — Elisa Silva Rodríguez feels deceived. The illegal detention of her brother, Carlos Humberto Silva, destroyed the trust and credibility she had towards “her president,” Daniel Ortega. Elisa was a faithful militant and supported “her party” in all elections, however seeing her brother on Channel 6, accused by the National Police of being a terrorist, annihilated the devotion she had towards the Sandinista ruler.

“It scared us to see my brother in clothes not hisown, and being exposed as a criminal, terrorist, and we are not terrorists, others are terrorists, but my brother is not. Is it to be a terrorist to think differently?” said Elisa in an interview on the TV show Esta Noche.

Silva was arrested on August 25 when he had just finished playing a basketball game at Luis Alfonso Velásquez Park against a team from the Mayor’s Office of Managua. His only crime was to proclaim: “When we win, we are going to change the name of this park.” Then a police officer arrested him.

“We learned about it because a friend told us that he had been arbitrarily arrested. They said a policeman came and told him ‘we are going to take you’. My brother asked him ‘why are they going to take me?’ The agent responded, ‘We’re going to take you away,’ and Carlos turned around and they handcuffed him,” Elisa said.

That night Elisa and Carlos’s other relatives went to the National Police districts one, two, three and four. In none did they get an answer. When they arrived at El Chipote, the officer on duty denied them information. Again they made another tour of the police stations, ending again in the cells of the Directorate of Judicial Assistance (DAJ), where this time they confirmed that her brother was there.

“I did not look for any media to denounce what happened, I did not look for anyone, I still believed in justice, because I defended, I defended the vote of my commander Daniel Ortega, I was dying to go to the square, to be in an activity, because I believed that everything was fair, but today he is hurting a person who served him,” said Elisa.

Charged by the Police 

After eleven days detained in the cells of El Chipote, the National Police charged Silva on Tuesday and accused him of being the leader of a terrorist group “that maintained traffic barriers in the vicinity of the National University (UNAN) in Managua.” Senior Commissioner Farle Traña, second chief of the DAJ, added that in addition to being accused of terrorism, he “caused” damage to public property, used homemade weapons, industrial weapons, molotov bombs and launched mortars.

The Police “investigation” says that on May 11, at the Rigoberto López Pérez roundabout, Silva burned the chayopalos* installed there.

“I went to Channel 10 to tell the commander that I was willing to kiss his feet, because my brother is an innocent man. How can he repay me today by accusing him of being a terrorist, is there justice in this country? I want them to give me proof of the paraffin because my brother didn’t so much as light a match,” said Elisa.

Silva’s sister explained that her brother supported the barricaded students of the UNAN-Managua, bringing food so that they had something to eat. When her brother found out that a student was dying, he cried bitterly. And if he heard they were attacked, he would come out with an aluminum pot to bang and make noise in the neighborhood. Of course, he was never on the university campus.

“That was his way of protesting, but my brother was never a ringleader and he did not know the students, how is it possible that you do this to Daniel? Do not keep destroying our families, President. I honored you, I did not believe in any other channel more than in what the president said, and today I’m slapped in the face, that’s why I denounce you,” said Elisa.

She added that, “He (Daniel Ortega) knows very well that I was out there, supporting him faithfully in the elections, with that much I want to tell him, because I gave my life for the ballot box, because they would not take a vote from my president. I am not a politician, but I defended your vote, I ask you for justice for my brother.”

Illegal detention

As with other citizens, the detention of Carlos Silva occurred within the framework of illegality. Vladimir Miranda, the lawyer who leads the case, explained that until Tuesday, September 4, there was no accusation against him in the courts of Managua.

“Arrest is for a serious crime or by judicial order. And we have a more than clear understanding that neither of these exists in the case of Carlos, which is why we talk about kidnapping. No charges have been filed in the courts of Managua. Eleven days have passed. We were expecting the order of the judge within 48 hours, and that was not the case,” said Miranda.

The lawyer explained that the family of Carlos Silva has a judicial record dated August 29, which indicates that Carlos has no legal precedent, which proves that he was illegally detained.

“We used all the legal avenues mandated by our law, we filed an appeal, an judge was appointed, we went to El Chipote, we met with the judge and they did not even let him in. From the legal point of view, there is no alternative for these people. It is more than clear that the rule of law in Nicaragua is weak, even if you have all the resources, what the law orders you to do, everything that the law dictates at this time, isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” lamented Miranda.

The lawyer added that the citizens are being unfairly accused and there is no option that will enforce their rights. He said that the Prosecutor’s Office, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Police, the judges, are in collusion.

“I’m not the one to say if you leave or if something is going to happen to you or if you want to die. That’s your problem, you’ll know how you’re going to defend yourself, but I defended you one day, and I fought because I thought you were the best candidate, and today I feel deceived,” insisted Elisa, speaking of Daniel Ortega.

Elisa said that she never received any privileges from the government party and that her fidelity was not bought by a piece of land or two hundred cordobas. Neither with food nor a political position.

“I did believe in Daniel Ortega, and I say it in a different channel, and I believed with all my honor. And it hurts me that they are not speaking the truth about my brother. I worked for this government, Ortega knows that I did that work out of love Because I did not receive a payment from the Council. I did it out of love, because I liked my Government. I ask my brother’s forgiveness for having loved a government that today deceives me, “Elisa concluded.

*Translator’s note: “Chayo palos” are ornamental tree-like sculptures, also known as “trees of life” installed at enormous expense (reportedly $25,000 each) under the direction of Nicaragua’s first lady Rosario Murrillo, who is nicknamed “Chayo.”


Editor’s note: This article has been published in the Nicaraguan newspaper Confidencial which authorizes this newspaper to reproduce it.

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