Nicaragua: Hefty prison terms for farm leaders in protests

Posted at 6:18 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-18 18:18:51-05

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — A Nicaraguan judge has given lengthy prison terms to three farmers' leaders who participated in protests against President Daniel Ortega's government.

Defense lawyer Julio Montenegro says the penalties are 216 years for Medardo Mairena, 210 years for Pedro Mena and 159 years for Luis Orlando Pineda.

Mairena was convicted in the death of four police officers and a civilian during last year's unrest, when large demonstrations demanded Ortega quit. Mairena was also accused of "terrorism."

Montenegro rejected the charges and the sentences, calling Mairena's sentence "the most exaggerated." Prosecutors had sought far lesser sentences for all three — in Mairena's case, 73 years.

Nicaraguan law caps prison time actually served at 30 years.