San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Police Release Suspects in Estrada Shooting

The National Police this week reportedly released three men detained last week after determining that none was involved in the April 6 attack on Attorney General Hernán Estrada, who was assaulted and wounded while doing early morning exercises near his house. Police are still investigating.

Estrada, a close ally of President Daniel Ortega, was grazed on the neck but not seriously injured by a bullet allegedly fired by a gunman on a motorcycle. He says he heard four shots.

Though police have yet to determine a motive, Estrada said he thinks the attack was politically motivated and blamed the media for “instigating violence” and “some religious leaders” for “seeing uprisings where none exist.”

Several days before Estrada was attacked, Juan Abelardo Mata, the Catholic bishop in Estelí and a vocal critic of the Ortega government, said there are rearmed groups operating in Nicaragua and warned of the possibility of civil war.

Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes said in mass last weekend that no Catholic religious leaders have instigated violence at any moment.


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