In Nicaragua, relatives of imprisoned former National Guardsmen noisily demanded their release from jail last Wednesday (26 September).
GV & CU Tipitapa jail with armed guard outside (2 SHOTS)
LV & SV Female relatives shouting to prisoners from outside main gate (2 SHOTS)
CU & SV Prisoners waving garments and sheets through bars to shouting relatives (4 SHOTS)
CU Prisoners behind bars (2 SHOTS)
SV Prison facade
CU INTERIOR Nicaraguan Interior Minister Com. Tomas Borge speaking in Spanish
SV & GV Sandinista soldiers on drill inside boundary fence (2 SHOTS)
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Background: In Nicaragua, relatives of imprisoned former National Guardsmen noisily demanded their release from jail last Wednesday (26 September). But Interior Minister Tomas Borge said it was impossible to release any more guardsmen for the moment, because some of those already freed were now attacking Sandinist soldiers.
SYNOPSIS: Tipitapa jail houses some of ex-President Anastasio Somoza's disbanded National Guard troops. Some of the prisoners there have been interned since the revolution, waiting to be tried for what the new government calls "serious crimes", and that could mean up to another 30 years behind bars. But the trials have been delayed, and the prisoners involved in this demonstration -- and their relatives outside the prison gates -- want to know what fate awaits them.
Recently, Interior Minister Borge released a number of National Guardsmen from detention, but now its reported some of them have turned against the new administration.
Major Borge said in an interview that some of the released guardsmen had joined up with counter-revolutionaries to attack Sandinist soldiers.
It was impossible therefore -- he said -- to release any more prisoners, for the time being.
But -- Major Borge continued -- he would try to make Tipitapa jail a much more open prison. A so-called "neutral zone" is to be established where prisoners awaiting trial can meet their relatives and speak to journalists.
But until the neutral zone is established, the Sandinist soldiers on guard in Tipitapa will go on policing the prison.