Intercept / Nicaragua
When Mariela cerrato saw her daughter and son-in-law on the evening news in late July, flanked by masked police and described as terrorists, she was not surprised. She knew the authorities had been hunting the couple.
Their business had been burned to the ground just days before and a wanted poster with their faces had been circulating on social media. Paramilitaries in balaclavas had come to Cerrato’s house demanding that she disclose their whereabouts. But she didn’t know — the pair had been moving from safe house to safe house. The last time she had seen them in mid-July, they were preparing to flee their small city of Masaya, Nicaragua with the hope of reaching Costa Rica.
Now Cerrato’s daughter, Maria Peralta, and her husband, Christian Fajardo, are in a maximum-security facility in the country’s capital, Managua, facing over 30 years in prison. They are just two of more than 400 activists arrested and being prosecuted as part of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s crackdown on protesters who have been calling on him to resign.
By Sara Kinosian / Carlos Pérez