Former president and 2011 presidential hopeful Arnoldo Alemán claims he survived an ambush by “Sandinista assassins” on July 25 in the rural municipality of San Miguelito, in the southern department of Río San Juan near the Costa Rican border.
“The cowardly assassins almost killed my 9-year-old daughter Andrea Fernanda, but thank God they only managed to break the back side window of the vehicle that she was traveling in along with my wife and family,” Alemán said in a Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC) press release. “God is protecting us and protecting Nicaragua.”
According to a party statement, the PLC campaign caravan, which included Alemán’s family, local mayors and party officials, was ambushed by a group of masked men carrying red and black Sandinista flags. The statement says the masked men blocked the road with burning tires and attacked the PLC caravan, forcing it to retreat back to the center of town.
Party spokesman Leonel Teller said in a release that Alemán, with the help of police officials and ex-contra combatants who came to his defense, was eventually able to escape town and slip past the Sandinista mob without further incident. Three PLC officials were allegedly injured and most of the vehicles were damaged in the altercation, according to the PLC.
Alemán likened the ambush to a similar Sandinista attack on a PLC caravan in 1996, in which one person was killed and others were injured after taking fire from an AK-47.
“We want the democratic people of Nicaragua to know that we will not be terrorized,” said Alemán, adding that his campaign will continue to the “far corners of the country to bring the message of hope and of triumph to defeat the dictator and his party.”
Alemán declared his candidacy on July 11 and has since been campaigning in rural parts of the country. He was expected to have spent last night in the remote southern Caribbean river town of Greytown.
The ruling Sandinista Front has not commented on the allegations. The Nica Times was unable to get in touch with National Police spokeswoman Vilma Reyes to get the police’s side of the story.