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Nicaragua arrests former ambassador to the OAS, critic of Ortega

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Former Nicaraguan ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Edgard Parrales, was detained in Managua on Monday after the diplomat said President Daniel Ortega’s moves to withdraw from the OAS would not take effect immediately.

Parrales was Nicaraguan ambassador to the OAS from 1982 to 1986, during Ortega’s first stint in power.

“They captured him at his home, they were not policemen in uniforms but two people in civilian clothes who took him away by car,” said the president of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, Vilma Nuñez.

The police’s press office did not immediately reply to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Last week, when the Ortega government denounced the OAS’ charter and announced that it was leaving the regional body, Parrales criticized the decision.

“It is not so easy to get out of the OAS,” he said. “It takes two years for this to take effect, during which Nicaragua is still committed by the statutes to respect human rights,” Parrales said.

José Miguel Vivanco, the executive director for the Americans division of Human Rights Watch, denounced Parrales’ detention.

“Ortega’s message is clear: He is going to go after anyone who criticizes him,” Vivanco said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom, writing by Laura Gottesdiener, editing by Richard Pullin)

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