A major news story this week was the killing of Eddy Montes Praslín on May 16, 2019. He considered himself a political prisoner, as he was called to the police station in Matagalpa on October 7, 2018 over an invasion of his land, and was then detained and transferred to the El Chipote prison in Managua without an arrest warrant, and 56 days after his arrest was charged with having looted the police clinic in Matagalpa and stealing and setting on fire the maintenance workshop of the municipal government. He was a nationalized US citizen who served in the US Navy.
Immediately following are the two official press releases of the Ministry of the Interior about this event (The Ministry responsible for the prison system). That is followed by a translation of a press released issued by his fellow prisoners of the event, providing their testimony of what happened.
See original Spanish versions of the press releases by the Ministry of the Interior at: https://www.el19digital.com/articulos/ver/titulo:90215
The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Nicaragua makes known to Nicaraguan Families and families of other Nationalities that today, Thursday May 16, 2019 at 3:00pm, while attending a visit of the International Committee of the Red Cross to the penitentiary establishment of La Modelo and the Women´s Comprehensive pentitentiary in Tipitapa, for the ninth time a serious alteration of the interior order occurred on the part of prisoners for crimes against public order, who in recent days have destroyed the infrastructure of the penitentiary gallery, carrying out the burning of assigned mattresses, destruction of the electric system, roof of the gallery, surrounding fencing and aggression against penitentiary officials.
Around 2:30pm a good group of prisoners pounced on the staff of the security perimeter, struggling with one of the guards with clear intentions of taking his service weapon from him, in the course of that struggle there was a shot that impacted the prisoner Eddy Antonio Montes Praslín, 57 years of age, who was immediately transferred to the closest treatment center, where he died while applying resuscitation measures.”
Issued in the City of Managua on the sixteenth day of the month of May of 2019.
Public Relations, Ministry of the Interior.
The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Nicaragua makes known to Nicaraguan Families and families of other Nationalities that the prisoner Eddy Antonio Montes Praslín, 57 years old, died at 4:05pm today Thursday May 16, 2019, while he was being treated by emergency medical staff that were carrying out resuscitation procedures. Eddy Antonio was part of a group of prisoners who pounced on the penitentiary staff of the security perimeter, struggling with one of the guards with clear intentions of taking his service weapon and put the lives of officials at risk, who in self defense made one shot in spite of having an automatic rifle.
Eddy Antonio Montes Praslín was under the jurisdiction of the seventh district penal court of Managua, for crimes of terrorism in a series of crimes including obstruction of public services, aggravated theft, fabrication, trafficking, ownership and use of restricted weapons, substances or explosive artifacts; for having participated on May 15, 2018 at 9:00 am on the attack on the “Leonard Mendoza” National Police Unit, located in the city of Matagalpa, wounding with firearms the Police Inspector Jorge Fernando Lanzas, Assistant Inspector Ismael Talavera González, Assistant Inspector Oscar Danilo Otero Blandón, and Officer Carlos Adán Mendoza González.
Issued in the City of Managua on the sixteenth day of the month of May of 2019.
Public Relations, Ministry of the Interior
Report of incident by political prisoners, May 17, 2019
[see original hand written Spanish note at https://www.facebook.com/200823376627607/photos/pcb.2317351014974822/2317350868308170/?type=3&theater ]
Official Press Release 5/17/19
Political Prisoners, La Modelo Jail, Tipitapa
We inform the people of Nicaragua, International Human Rights Organizations, and the international Community about the events of the brutal and bloody attack that we political prisoners suffered in galleys 16-1/16-2 of the “La Modelo” jail in Tipitapa, on the afternoon of Thursday May 16, 2019.
Yesterday at approximately 2:30pm an official of the DOT (Office of Tactical Operations) of the penitentiary system, who was standing guard in the eastern part of the perimeter wall of the Modules where we were located, began to threaten, attack and aim his AK rifle at a group of political prisoners who were close to the eastern side of the perimeter gate, immediately we responsibly requested the authorities to move or relocate that officer because there already existed in addition a history of aggression on the part of the officer against us.
In the form of a demand a group of us brother political prisoners began to demonstrate at the side of the perimeter gate; without violating at any time the perimeter which is allowed us, and almost immediately an exaggerated amount of anti contingency forces of the DOT surrounded the perimeter and without saying a word opened fire on us, one of the AK 47 bullets hit the body of Mr. EDDY MONTES PRESLÍN, 57 years of age, a political prisoner from Matagalpa with US citizenship, who at no moment violated the perimeter nor attacked any official. The impact of the bullet was located in the left side of the pelvis with entry and exit wounds, which caused a large loss of blood. On trying to move Don Eddy Montes to a safe zone, the merciless officials intensified their fire and did not allow him to be moved; which is why we began to throw stones at them to cease fire for a moment and move Mr. Montes, who we were able to take to the southern gate of our perimeter, so that he might receive medical attention. In that place he was taken still alive by a group of doctors of the Penitentiary system. Moments later we became aware of the regrettable news of the death of our brother EDDY MONTES PRESLÍN.
Seconds after moving Mr. Eddy Montes, an exaggerated group of officers of the Penitentiary System, heavily armed, opened fire again on us, the volleys of shots were relentless, in addition to the tear gas and pepper spray that they shot at us, which is why we retreated to our modules, a small space where they also shot at us to kill and launched tear gas now being within our perimeter.
Confined and almost intoxicated by the gases, they forced us to leave our modules, attacking us in a brutal manner with tonfas, iron bars, kicks, blows, stun bombs, pepper spray into our eyes, body and even genitals, until they had us subdued on the floor, where still not satisfied, they continued kicking us, beating us, and launching more pepper spray, but this time in our open wounds and mouths.
“We are the sons of Sandino”, “We are the cubs of Ortega”, “The Comandante stays”, “Damn sold out dogs”, the officials of the Penitentiary shouted at us while they beat us continuously, in a bloodthirsty manner.
The brutal and inhuman aggression stopped when the officials became aware of the presence of the International Commission of the Red Cross in the jail, which saved us from death.
The bloody attack left more than 100 people wounded and injured, approximately 60 of them with serious injuries like broken arms, ribs, legs and serious wounds to the head, face and eyes. We want to express our grief over the cowardly murder of our dear friend and brother Eddy Montes Preslín, his death leaves us in deep grief and tears; but with an even greater commitment to continue this struggle.
At night a group of juridical assistance from the National Police entered into the jail to arrange a set up to justify the cowardly murder of Eddy Montes, with suspect objects and bags in their hands they did a false diagram of the event, which is why we ask the Nicaraguan people to not believe the lies of the official media of the government, nor of the institution of the police. We have photographic proof of the place where Mr. Montes was killed, which we will send to the communications media along with this press release.
We are grateful for the support of the Nicaraguan people and our families, especially the people of Matagalpa for their support and signs of solidarity with us and in memory of our brother Eddy Montes.
- The verbal attacks and provocations still continue on the part of the officials.
Attention: The sons and daughters of Nicaragua
Political prisoners /Modelo prison
EDDY MONTES! PRESENT!
Only the People will save the people!
Hanssel Vásquez [Signature]
Pedro José Gutiérrez [Signature]
Luís Obando Pineda [Signature]
Carlos José González Flores [Signature]
Victoria Obando V [Signature]
José A. Guido Carballo [Signature]
Rafael Enrique Acevedo Guevara
José Luís Ortega B
César Augusto Fernándes
Bayron Correa Estrada
Gerald Enrique López Cuadra