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'Riverdale' cast calls for Nicaraguan government to release showrunner's father

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, writer and showrunner for the CW series, says his father, who has not been heard from since his arrest in July, is being held as a political prisoner.

The cast of the CW series “Riverdale” asked fans to support their push for the release of their showrunner’s father in Nicaragua, who his family fears is being held as a political prisoner after he was arrested in July.

Image: Francisco Aguirre-Sacasa
Francisco Xavier Aguirre Sacasa, then the foreign minister of Nicaragua, spoke at a news conference in Managua on Oct.17, 2000.Javier Galeano / AP file

Police detained the man, Francisco Aguirre-Sacasa, Nicaragua’s former foreign minister, on July 27 after authorities stopped him from traveling to Costa Rica, the U.S. State Department said.

His family has not heard from him since then and worries that he has been “disappeared” for his opposition to the current regime, his son Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the showrunner of “Riverdale,” said on Instagram last month.

Actors Cole Sprouse, Lili Reinhart, KJ Apa, Camila Mendes and other members of the “Riverdale” cast posted a video asking fans to use the #FreeFrancisco hashtag on social media and to sign a petition demanding the release of political prisoners in Nicaragua.

“Roberto’s father and a dozen other activists were kidnapped and arrested. No one knows where they’re being held, if they’re being given food, water or medicine,” Reinhart said.

Mendes said, “We’re imploring you to use your voices to put pressure on the global community and rectify this miscarriage of justice, not just for Francisco, but for any political leaders who put their lives on the line to make this world a better place.”

The Nicaraguan government has been accused of rounding up opponents of President Daniel Ortega and holding them as political prisoners. The State Department said last month that it was restricting visas to numerous politicians from the country after at least 32 political opponents and pro-democracy activists were arrested, including seven presidential candidates.

In his post last month, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa asked people to pray for his father, who is 76, and the others who disappeared after their arrests.

“My father wants Nicaragua to be a free, democratic country,” he wrote. “He’s dedicated his life to the betterment of his homeland and its citizens. It’s gotten him into trouble before, but never as dire as this. We fear the worst.”