MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nicaragua’s National Police appeared to confirm Tuesday that retired Gen. Humberto Ortega, brother of President Daniel Ortega, has been under guard since local media reports emerged two days earlier that police had surrounded his home.

The police said in a statement that the Health Ministry had visited 77-year-old Humberto Ortega, who suffers from heart problems, in his home and evaluated his health without ever saying why he was under police guard.

Local media reported that police showed up Sunday, the same day online news outlet Infobae published a lengthy interview with Humberto Ortega, who led Nicaragua’s army during the 1980s. In it, he discussed his at times tense relationship with his brother, which more recently has included more casual conversations.

He also characterized his brother’s current administration as “authoritarian, dictatorial” in explaining that when the leader of such a government dies, it is very difficult for there to be continuity with the immediate group in power.

Daniel Ortega has increased his grip on power since putting down street protests in 2018. Hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled or been forced into exile since.

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