New charges against Nicaraguan opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro

Mexico City, Aug. 25, (dpa/GNA) - Nicaragua's Public Ministry on Tuesday said that a new charge was brought against opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro, who has been under house arrest since the beginning of June accused, among other things, of money laundering.

The presentation of new charges against the politician, two of her brothers and seven of her collaborators come amid a massive crackdown on the opposition in recent months.

The opposition accuses the authoritarian government of President Daniel Ortega, who has ruled since early 2007, of trying to eliminate possible rivals before a presidential election in November.

Cristiana Chamorro, 67, is now also accused of "appropriation and improper retention" of resources or assets, as part of an investigation the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, which she headed until January, on money laundering charges, a Public Ministry statement said.

The statement also said that charges of money laundering, misappropriation of funds and abusive management were formalized against her brother and prominent journalist Carlos Chamorro, founder of the news portal El Confidencial, who fled to Costa Rica in June.

Two more charges were also brought against another son of former president Violeta Barrios (1990-1997), Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, who has been in detention for two months.

Ortega was the leader of revolutionary forces that fought dictator Anastasio Somoza in the 1970s. Critics accuse him of establishing a dictatorship himself, along with his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

In 2014, Ortega's party used its significant parliamentary majority to pass a constitutional reform allowing the president to stay in office indefinitely.