Matagalpa, a commercial city in the mountainous north of Nicaragua, suffered many destructive attacks during the attempted coup in 2018. One of the worst occurred on June 25, when opposition vandals robbed and later set fire to the municipal depot, or plantel, where the vehicles and equipment are kept that maintain the city. The destruction is shown in the video below.
As with all such attacks, Nicaragua’s opposition-aligned media blamed “Sandinista mobs” for the violence. The report in Articulo 66 said “Ortega paramilitaries” were responsible, 100%Noticias blamed “government mobs”, although it admitted that protesting “students” had entered the depot three days before. According to La Jornada, three days before the attack it was people in government trucks who had looted the depot, and then sold the stolen goods in the streets.
These stories fell apart when a young member of the “M19” opposition gang who were attacking various buildings in Matagalpa, Nelly Marily Roque Ordóñez, admitted that they had occupied the municipal depot (see second video)
Marily Roque and others were later arrested, tried and imprisoned for this and other crimes in Matagalpa. All were released the following year in the government’s conditional amnesty for those convicted of crimes related to the coup attempt (including those guilty of murder). Marily Roque later left Nicaragua for the United States. Now with the status of an “ex-political prisoner”, Roque was given a sycophantic interview in La Lupa in 2021.
Matagalpa’s municipal depot has since been rebuilt. Sadrach Zeledón, Matagalpa’s mayor throughout this period, has helped the city return to the peace and prosperity it enjoyed before. Incredibly, both Zeledón and deputy mayor Yohaira Hernández, far from being praised internationally for their remarkable work in helping their city recover, have been personally sanctioned by both the US and UK governments for alleged human rights abuses. A further article will look at this issue in more detail.